To leave dd1 home alone once a week for an hour while I work?

(131 Posts)
MissMalteser Fri 29-Nov-13 16:31:34

dd1 is just turned 11 & since her birthday I have started to let her walk home from school once a week (ten minute walk, no main roads) let herself into the house & start her homework until I get home from work (she gets home @ 3:15 & I am home for around 4:15, I pop home @ lunchtime & open the door for her so she has no key to worry about losing, & call her @ around 3:30 to make sure she's got home ok & started her homework
I was quite comfortable with this & saw it as her starting to gain some independence, especially since come September she will be needing to travel to secondary school on her own, including unaccompanied on a bus, so I seen it as a bit of preparation one day a week
However I've just had a call from her teacher, asking if I was in need of any "additional support" after school as she was sure it was a worry for me, and did I know they had an after school club?
I was quite taken aback and explained all the reasons I was quite fine with it, which she did agree with, but it did make me a bit hmm tbh
Dd1 is also quite happy with the arrangement btw & is quite mature for her age, she knows not to use the cooker if she is hungry, don't open the door to anyone and my number is programmed into our home phone etc

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Fri 29-Nov-13 16:35:30

My sister started getting independence at 11, shes nearly 14 now and she happily stays on her own til her parents return, i did the same at 11 aswell, aslong as you give her a couple of rules, and shes shows responsibility, theres no reason why she cant handle an hour alone, unless she has SN or the like.

Ladymuck Fri 29-Nov-13 16:36:07

Certainly I leave ds, also year 6, for up to an hour at a time. But if a teacher had brought it up then I would wonder how they know? Has your dd been saying something that would indicate that she isn't as happy with the situation as you think she is?

Worriedkat Fri 29-Nov-13 16:36:50

You leave the front door unlocked between lunchtime and 3.30? shock.

Apart from that I think 11 is fine to be alone for an hour.

bigTillyMint Fri 29-Nov-13 16:37:16

Mine were left home alone for up to an hour at this age. Never had any problems. I also saw it as a stepping-stone to becoming more independent in preparation for secondary school.

We also had the rule of no cooking!

Trills Fri 29-Nov-13 16:37:21

Give her a key.

5Foot5 Fri 29-Nov-13 16:37:48

It sounds perfectly OK to me. I think you are doing the right thing to start giving her a bit of independence now as it will all help her confidence when she has to start doing more for herself at secondary school.

pollywollydoodle Fri 29-Nov-13 16:38:14

seems reasonable to leave her in those circumstances...the only other thing i would do is make sure she knows she can knock on a neighbour if there is an emergency

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Fri 29-Nov-13 16:38:46

My Sis had rules:

No cooking
No friends round
No answering the door
No answering the phone.

bigTillyMint Fri 29-Nov-13 16:39:17

Missed the bit about the key - do you live on a little island off the coast of Scotland?!

Mine have never (so far!) lost their house keys - 3 yrs for DS and 5 for DD. You could always sew them onto an elastic into her school bag.

GinAndIt Fri 29-Nov-13 16:39:38

I don't see a problem with it. I'm considering doing the same with ds next year, once he turns 11, except it'll be in the morning so I can get an earlier train to work. He'll just need to make sure he slams the door behind him!

The only thing I would be a bit hmm about would be you unlocking the door hours beforehand - I'd be more worried about someone breaking in tbh! Can you get one of those key safe thingys so you don't need to leave the door unlocked?

I think you know your own kids and their level of maturity - I would have no concern about ds as long as I could phone him/he could phone me.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Nov-13 16:40:18

you need to lock the door and give her a key!

or have a number code entry system fitted
www.securitysafetyproducts.co.uk/security/keyless-locks/ssp-upvc-biometric-and-code-door-entry-system-homeoffice.php

pollywollydoodle Fri 29-Nov-13 16:40:21

and i missed the bit about leaving the house unlocked...just give her a key...

bigTillyMint Fri 29-Nov-13 16:40:54

Actually, thinking about it we had the same rules as Lucius.

One time, DS made his friend stand on the doorstep whilst he came in and changed and they went back out to play footygrin

They still have to check before bringing friends back!

MissMalteser Fri 29-Nov-13 16:42:53

She was overhead talking to her friends about why she couldn't go to their house after school apparently, as she had to go straight home and I would worry if she didn't pick up the phone, I have just had a chat with her and the teacher called her out of the room to discuss this!

ApprenticeViper Fri 29-Nov-13 16:45:49

From the age of 11 I would be on my own for two hours, two afternoons a week after school as both DPs worked (one only part-time) and I had my own doorkey. My younger DB would be at a neighbour's (who had a son a year older than my brother) but I was trusted to be on my own in our house. I suppose my DPs felt that I could take responsibility for myself, but it wouldn't have been right to make me responsible for DB when he was three years younger than me plus we would probably have ripped each others' heads off

YADNBU, but my concern is (as mentioned upthread) your house being open from lunchtime onwards! Can your DD lock the door from the inside once she is home?

gamerchick Fri 29-Nov-13 16:45:56

I would give her a key. Walking in on a burglary isn't something I would want to risk.

I don't see the issue other than that.. you know your own kid.

GinAndIt Fri 29-Nov-13 16:48:57

Apprentice, I read that as 'I had my own donkey' grin

Sorry. As you were.

Hulababy Fri 29-Nov-13 16:49:51

1. Why not give her a key? She could have it in a purse or ona long keyring coil attached insie her bag. Do you realise your insurance is probably not valid if you have left your house door unlocked?

2. Have you considered maybe a cheap PAYG mobile phone? Then if she does want to go to a friend's house maybe she could call you to check if it was okay first.

MissMalteser Fri 29-Nov-13 16:50:36

Sorry lots of crossposts
Yes we live in a very small culdesac, we have an elderly couple next door who are home all day and are the ultimate nosey neighbours so very little chance of anything untoward happening smile maybe the key is a better idea, though she is terrible for losing things so we would have to find a hiding place for it

BackforGood Fri 29-Nov-13 16:53:09

The only bit in the whole scenario I'd be concerned about, is the leaving the house unlocked between lunchtime and her getting home shock. Just give her a key!

bigTillyMint Fri 29-Nov-13 16:53:21

MissM, now is the time to instil in her the need to NOT LOSE THINGS! Get her started now in preparation for Y7wink

Euphemia Fri 29-Nov-13 16:53:45

My DD is 11.5 and has been left alone before and after school since the start of the school year in August. We leave a key in a secret place - safer than risking her losing it at school!

She's on her own for max. 45 mins in the morning and one hour at night. She doesn't really like being left alone, but she's coping fine with it.

PuppyMonkey Fri 29-Nov-13 16:54:00

Leave the key with the nosy neighbours and she can pick it up from them each day??

My house is in quiet area with lots of nosy neighbours about. We got burgled in broad daylight while DP was on the school run.

BackforGood Fri 29-Nov-13 16:54:13

x-posted.
Put it on some string tied into her school bag, or, even leave it with the neighbours. I wouldn't want my dcs to be going into a house that anyone could have walked into over the previous 3 hours.

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