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Thread: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    Well let's find out!

    Story:
    ~Is seven too young to be left home alone? Meet the New York mom who says it teaches children independence and responsibility
    ~Mother-of-three Lizzie Heiselt says she occasionally leaves her 'homebody' seven-year-old son at home alone for up to 45 minutes

    ~She is averse to 'helicopter parenting' - stifling kids by being too involved in their lives - and instead encourages hers to learn and do things on their own


    after school special sauce herel

    Now I'm actually on the fence but will go with don't do it. And here's why. I think there are very smart 7 year olds out there. They can do math in their heads. They can name all the presidents. They can figure out a rubix cube. They are book smarts. Now some are 'experience' smarts, for lack of a better word. I mean how much experience can you actually have at 7 if you probably can only remember to 6? They know to speed dial 911. They know to not open a door to strangers. They know to run from a fire. Not to plug in their bobby pin into an outlet (something one of the kids my mom was babysitting did while alone taking a nap!). They know how to talk to adults.

    But do they know how to deal with an emergency that requires deductive reasoning? That requires experience in what to do in that scenario. I know not to put metal into the microwave. But my brother did it at 25 because he was an idiot. Something a kid could do even though they are told not to. Does a kid know what to do if a toilet over flows and how to turn off the water at the source? Or god forbid there's an earthquake (in Southern Cali, this CAN actually happen quite often and not out of the blue like you flat land people would love to believe. Though you have those tornados. So it's a pull.

    Anyways. I might leave a 12 year old alone. But not a 7 year old. No matter how brainy mensa smart they are. That's just me. And I wouldn't be considered a helicopter parent (if I had kids) I mean I would let them play in mud just for fun.


    What say you?
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    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    45 minutes? Possibly, especially in an era of cell phones when I know I'll be easy to reach by phone. Six hours? No.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  3. #3
    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    I'm guessing 7 year olds now a days would be glued to the x-box 360 for a good 45 minutes. So then yes. Then again some are antsy. It takes 30 seconds to jump on the furniture and jump off with a towel draped around you because you think you are Batman and you die. Less then 45 minutes.

    I guess you have to figure out what kind of kid you have. A kid that is a vegetable. Or a kid that has a creative mind.
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    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    I interact frequently with a 7 year old cousin. Yes, she's silly and yes she pulls stupid crap on occasion but she isn't generally a risk of instantly suicidal stupid. Give her explicit rules of what not to do for the time you're gone and she'll probably be okay. I've got a greater concern that she'll steal snacks I don't want her to have or make a mess and not clean up then that she'll hurt herself. If she was into instantly fatal crap then she wouldn't be allowed out of the line of sight of an adult relative and she generally has free travel inside the house or around the decent size yard as long as she tells someone which of the two she's in. I prefer for an adult or at least older kid to be around if she's over but she can survive 45 minutes unsupervised. I'm still not into a six hour plan at all but 45 minutes should be fine.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I guess you have to figure out what kind of kid you have. A kid that is a vegetable. Or a kid that has a creative mind.
    It's that right there. How well do you know your kid? Is your kid Damien or easily influenced by social media & tv? Are they getting into trouble at school? Do they enjoy destroying things? Or are they a mousy bookworm? Are they super-friendly & likely to talk to sketchy people in windowless vans, or are they skittish? It's hard to say if 5, 6, or even 17-year olds are old enough to be left unattended. It's one of those things that can only be decided on a kid-by-kid basis.

    My parents were leaving me alone for hours when I was 5 - 6 years old. Because they knew exactly what I'd be doing during that time: reading or coloring. I could make myself a can of tomato soup on the stove (a regular ol' electric stove) or a grilled cheese sandwich, or stick a pot pie or frozen dinner in the oven for dinner. When my friends could play, we roamed the streets in a destructive little pack from yard to yard or apartment complex to apartment complex. We stayed out past dark.

    I also walked to & from school alone or maybe with a friend or two. Walked to the park alone. Walked to the convenience stores alone (and bought my parents' cigarettes). Walked to the library alone. Snuck out of the house at 3am to raid neighbors' flowerbeds - alone.

    But I wasn't the only kid I knew who was doing this - all of us had working parents, and the only ones who had babysitters were the ones who had older siblings. And usually, the kids w/brothers & sisters weren't 'babysitting', per se, they were trying to kill each other.

    My nieces? Left to their own devices at 15 and 11, they decided to steal a car & go joyriding.
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    I was also a kid left to my own devices. During first grade I would walk to and from school down a large blvd all by myself. No problems. Freaked my aunt out. But I was generally left to my own devices.
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    I don't actually remember what age my sister and I were first left home alone for extended times at. Nothing generally came of it. We were certainly staying home alone at various points by the time I was 10. Just don't remember if it was early as 7.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  8. #8
    Supporter Torey's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    My sibling and I were routinely left home alone at 7 years and upwards, although ours was purely through neglectful carelessness of our mother. We were, however, taught how to handle just about any emergency that could crop up by our grandparents throughout our childhoods - and we could both use a phone to call for help, so that was about all that was needed.

    Kids nowadays - I don't know. I can't speak for how smart or dumb or naive other people's kids are - so it's not for me to speculate what they should do. If it were MY kids - and I plan, along with my wife, to teach them life skills early - I wouldn't have an issue with leaving my 7-year-old alone for 45 minutes.

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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    State law here says they have to be 13 to be left alone. Personally, I think by 6 they should be able to be by themselves for half an hour. An hour by 10 at the oldest. And by 13 they should be able to be home alone for an afternoon/evening. Long enough for a date night. 15 they should be able to do overnights and possibly weekends if they're trustable.
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    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: Is 7 too young to be left home alone?

    I doubt a little that leaving a 7 year old at home is good. Unless the parents hide everything dangerous like knives away, explain to the kid where the food is and so on.
    45 minutes? Maybe, just maybe it can somehow turn out good.
    "Fair means that everybody gets what they need. And the only way to get that is to make it happen yourself."



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