What age would you be comfortable leaving your kids home alone?

What is the general age most of you are comfortable leaving your kids home alone? I have a very mature 11-year-old, a nine-year-old, and six-year-old. There are times that it would be so much easier to make a quick run to get milk or something, like a 30min time frame, without the kids. I have cameras in my house, a house phone, two big dogs, and we live in a good area. Is this something that seems ok to do, or would you not, even for a quick run?


I’m a latchkey kid so i was being left with my brother by the time i was 8 and babysitting for different friends and neighbors by the time i was 10. I’d definitely look into what your state and county laws are first though just to be on the safe side. At the end of the day only you can decide if they’re old and mature enough for this.


I believe it really depends on the child. Some kids shouldn’t be left alone at 20 and others are good at 11. The safety of your home is also important. I was left alone at age 8 - but that was in the 1970’s. I left my child at age 11 - because daycares no longer take children at that age. Go figure when most states legal age is 14.


i hate babysitting my little cousins bc theyre old enough to watch themselves. i first started babysitting my young sisters when i was 9. was hell but thats better than having an adult with better things to do do it when the kids are old enough to do it themselves.

I left my daughter home alone with her brother when they were 13 and 7. It was only for a short time, and my husband works five minutes from home. I also made sure the neighbor would be home and could keep an eye on the house, just in case, and my daughter has also taken babysitting classes and is CPR and first aid certified.

I put my foot down at 11 to be left home alone. I didnt want to go to a baby sitter I just wanted to stay home and sleep lmao so my mom let me then. She only worked 10 minutes away and my neighbors watched over me I had people if something was wrong. I knew what not to do and stuff.


In Wisconsin the Red Cross offers a babysitting course to 11 year olds, which includes education on babysitting infants. You could look to see if your state offers something like that for peace of mind. Ultimately, it’s up to you, your comfort level, your children, and their comfort level. Definetly have a conversation with them and make sure they’re all comfortable and okay with the plan if you choose to do so. Have an emergency plan in place that everyone knows and is on the same page about.

I found a website that lists legal babysitting ages by state, which you can check to see what your state says is an appropriate age. I’d double check with your local government (usually you can find it on an online search or a phone call to Department of Human Services) to see if they say something different.

In my opinion if they know what to do if an emergency was to happen then go for it. Maybe not so much the 6 year old because if law enforcement was to show up that may be a hard situation for you to explain to them. I have a mature 9 year old as well. We leave him home sometimes for quick walks around the neighborhood. He loves it and it makes him feel good.


I had a friend that left her 12 year old with his 8 & 4 tear old siblings… all was ok , she went to pick her hubby up from work, only 5 mins away … came home to a fire engine and very distressed children, that the neighbours had rescued! Shed done it loads of times too !!!
The other side to this…if she’d had a bad car accident on the way to see fetch her hubby .


Wow in New Zealand you can’t leave a child under the age of 14 to look after younger children. Its actually not always how mature they are its how would they cope in an emergency.


Honestly it depends on their maturity level. I have a 13, 11 and 6 year old. My 13 year old watches my 11 and 6 year old for a hour or two once a month to make $$. However, he’s very mature and has his own lawn care business too :woman_shrugging:. Where I am minimum age is 8 but the Elementary school buses still won’t drop kids off unless someone is home :roll_eyes:


I’m not a mother but I follow this page because I’m studying Elementary Education and I just love kids and all that lol. But I just wanna say my mom started leaving me home alone when I was 11, and she would make sure I had something to eat for the evening when she went to work


I left my oldest home with his brothers for quick milk runs when he was around 11. I always let the neighbor know so someone was keeping an eye on the house. It really depends on the kid though. If you feel comfortable and they feel comfortable then I think its fine.

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The boys were home alone when at 8 & 10. 25 yrs later when my daughter came along I lived 5 houses from the grade school. She was home alone after school at age 9.

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Doesnt matter how “quick” you could be going without the kids imagine how “quick” something bad could happen (just my opinion)


It’s best to Google and check with your state Dept of Children and Families to be sure. Each state is different. Should something happen while you’re gone you could be charged with neglect if they under the state approved age.


My son was 12 and he was home alone for about half hour cause he got off the school bus before I got home from work
I also told him lock the doors and don’t let anyone in this was in the 80s
This day and age 16 or older lol

I would test it. If you can watch your cameras from your phone, leave them alone. Drive up the road and sit and watch. See how the others react to the 11 year old. If they do not listen, come back home, address the issues and try again maybe the next day. It may take a couple tries to get them to understand the 11 year old is in charge, or it may not. Better to be close to diffuse a situation than in the middle of aisle 3 when all hell breaks loose. Do not go back at first conflict, see how they work it out. OR you could lock yourself in the bedroom with the 11 year old in charge and see how it goes.


Yea it would depend on the maturity of the kids, for sure. But check your local laws. I live in Pennsylvania and I believe its illegal to leave a child at home alone until the age of 12.
With that said, I have a 16 yr old that can watch both his 11 and 9 year old brothers legally, but I trust the 9 yr old the most LOL :rofl::rofl:

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For me…the 11 and 9 year old no problem but I would be nervous about the 6 yo. That’s just me and my comfort zone though. You know your kids. I would say what are you comfortable with?