Is 9-Years-Old Too Early to be Left at Home Alone?

A mom writes in asking for advice. She wonders if 9-years-old is too early to be left home alone. They have a neighbor whose young boy is always left home alone while his parents work. They tried to do things with him, but he always declines. She hears the smoke alarm go off around midnight some nights, so she knows he is awake. Any advice for this mom?

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A member of the community asks:

“My neighbor across the hall from me has a nine-year-old who is left home alone all night on weekdays while dad is gone working the night shift. I find it incredibly sad, and I do worry that nine is too young. This same child was out trick or treating last night, alone!

I offered for him to tag along with me, my hubby, and our two kids, but he said no. My oldest is just eight, and I can hardly stand to leave him inside the house alone while I’m outside in the yard. Also, this same child is obviously school-aged and is up past midnight while dad is gone. We’ve had smoke alarms go off in our building from him.”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Mom Worried About Her Neighbor

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Advice Summary


The advice for this mom was mixed. Some agreed that 9-years-old is too young to be home alone, while others disagreed. One said, “All kids are different. Dad is doing what he has to do. Offer to help or mind your business.” Another agreed, “I have an incredibly mature 9-years-old and would have no qualms leaving him on his own if I had to. Every kid is different. This boy is likely fine. Offer the dad and the boy your help, that you are right there if the boy ever needs anything. It would likely be reassuring to both.”

Others disagreed. One shared, “This would be considered neglect or reckless endangerment where I’m from. 9 is a child and you would get in serious trouble. What if he cut himself, there was a fire, someone tried to take him. I know people have to work but also there are sitters, neighbors, etc and people you can ask for help.” Another agreed, “If he’s setting off smoke alarms he isn’t mature enough to be left alone all night.”

Most agreed that she should offer to help or mind her own business. One suggested, “Why not just go over and ask to help out? You don’t know the whole situation, and better to ask than assume.” Another commented, “Maybe offer your assistance and ask if the child can stay at your house on nights he has to work and help get him ready for school the next day.”

Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!

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