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  #21  
Old 24.09.2007, 21:57
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Re: children left home alone

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I think the flavour of the original post has been lost. This is a 7 year old child being left as the sole carer of a 2 year old. OK, the 7 year old might be very grown up for his age and be brilliant at crossing the road and avoiding strangers, etc., but is he really up to looking after an active 2 year old??? I don't think so!

I do believe that kids should gradually be taught independence and how to be street savvy but any parent that thinks it's acceptable to leave a 7 year old in charge of what's tantamount to a baby needs their head looking at.

That's nothing to do with mollycoddling, that's just plain irresponsible.
I quite agree, there is no way a 7 year is mature enough to look after a 2 year old.
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  #22  
Old 24.03.2008, 15:38
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Re: children left home alone

I just called the local Police to see if there was a minimum age to leave children alone. He said there was not, it was a matter of common sense. If the child was capable of locking themselves in a bathroom and not being able to follow instructions to open the door from inside. That would mean they would have to call a locksmith to break lock. Then the child was too young to be left alone. Then they would have to pay for the locksmith intervention and the police. He spoke about knives in a kitchen and the danger, but still there is not a minimum age... So talking to the parents is a good idea. You will find if they are Swiss they will keep on leaving their children alone. You could suggest a babysitter at 9.-chf the hour (red cross rates)?????
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  #23  
Old 24.03.2008, 15:46
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Re: children left home alone

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I just called the local Police to see if there was a minimum age to leave children alone. He said there was not, it was a matter of common sense. If the child was capable of locking themselves in a bathroom and not being able to follow instructions to open the door from inside. That would mean they would have to call a locksmith to break lock. Then the child was too young to be left alone. Then they would have to pay for the locksmith intervention and the police. He spoke about knives in a kitchen and the danger, but still there is not a minimum age... So talking to the parents is a good idea. You will find if they are Swiss they will keep on leaving their children alone. You could suggest a babysitter at 9.-chf the hour (red cross rates)?????
Zulu, maybe you should check the dates of the posts your answering, if they are old ones, it's a bit like talking to yourself. No sarcasm intended you'll just get more feedback from current threads.
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  #24  
Old 24.03.2008, 16:02
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Re: children left home alone

I have noticed that some of the Swiss mothers in our village leave their children home alone sleeping or playing in a room or crib as young as 18 months. It is for about half an hour or 45 minutes while they run to the train station where the bus drops of the older sibling from school.

I was astonished by this but no one else blinks an eye. A lot can happen in 5 minutes let alone more.

One of our neighbors lets their two and a half year old play outside during the day unsupervised.

One of my concerns is that I would like to go back to work but am finding that many daycares in this area do not take children after five years of age. I think that is too young to stay home alone!

We are looking into moving to a larger city because of there are daycares available up to 12 years of age. However, I am not sure how long the waiting lists are.

I think the lack of daycare availability is ridiculous in this day and age and perhaps that may be a part of the issue?

However, it is unexcusable to leave a two year old in the care of a seven year old.
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  #25  
Old 24.03.2008, 16:15
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Re: children left home alone

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What are the laws here for leaving children home alone?

Little smilerbaker has wednesday afternoons off, so one of his friends who lives next door came over to play, his mum had gone to work (and left him home alone) he is 7. Anyway little smilerbaker has a golf lesson at 3pm so I told mrs smilerbaker to take his friend with him as I don't want him being home alone, She asked him and shockingly he said he couldn't as his 2yr old sister is in the house alone as she normally sleeps at this time!!!!!!

They live in a 2nd floor flat!!

We are going to have a word with the parents, but if that fails who should we report it to?
For some it's normal, for others not. It depends whether you came from 'child-obsessed' UK/US or other more common-sense parts of the world. If we are speaking about 'developed countries' - then I think that Japan is on the other edge...
7 year old is pretty responsible, when I was 7 I had to go to school myself (1.5km) (by foot or bike), do some shopping and minor cleaning at home. And I had to look after pets (parrots, dog).
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  #26  
Old 24.03.2008, 16:54
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Re: children left home alone

I am an American and I am not child obessed. I think I am like most Americans and we do use our common sense in regard to our children rather than worrying about saving money on daycare.

I don't think that it is common sense to leave a two year old in the care of a six year old. That is just stupid.

I do think that it depends on the maturity of the children if they should be left alone or not. I, also, think that the amount of time left alone is important. All day during the summer is not ok for six or seven years old no matter how mature the kid is.

And, no matter what a six year old should not have to babysit a two year old.

In Strasbourg, I saw a kid about 10 watching his three siblings during the day in the summer. I think it was unfair to him. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide childcare and it is unfair for a 10 year old boy to spend his entire summer watching THREE kids. I have three kids and it is a lot for me to keep up with.

Whatever happened to having a childhood????

When my brother was six and I was seven my mother left us home alone for half an hour to an hour after school. We were latch key kids. We knew what was allowed and what wasn't allowed. We were fine.

My French husband grew up in Strasbourg, France and his parents left his brother at the age of five and my husband at the age of six home unsupervised all day long during the summer. His brother made a fire in the parking lot of their apartment building and the boys watched it being put out by the firefighters from a window in their apartment.

What is funny is that my French inlaws and my mother think I shouldn't let my girls ages 4 and 5 play outside our apartment building with me checking on them. We live in a very quiet area with no problems except for boys that spit on them or hit them. They know how to watch for cars which we rarely have and they know to come inside when these boys start bulling them.

I let my oldest daughter walk to the store two blocks away from our apartment in Strasbourg at eight and a half...by herself. I did it all the time when I grew up in the US at her age. However, my mother threw a fit when my daughter bragged that she walked by herself to the store.

So, I think it is interesting that our parents (French and American) did the same thing and now as grandparents they don't agree with it.
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Old 24.03.2008, 19:33
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Re: children left home alone

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For some it's normal, for others not. It depends whether you came from 'child-obsessed' UK/US or other more common-sense parts of the world. If we are speaking about 'developed countries' - then I think that Japan is on the other edge...
7 year old is pretty responsible, when I was 7 I had to go to school myself (1.5km) (by foot or bike), do some shopping and minor cleaning at home. And I had to look after pets (parrots, dog).
Sorry do not want to sound rude i do not know your age, but my dad had to walk miles (on his own) to go to school when he was also a young boy, but that was a different time (alot safer) now a days it is not the same. M brother`s school was about 10 minutes to walk from our house, and my parents still drove him to, and from school.
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  #28  
Old 24.03.2008, 19:52
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Re: children left home alone

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but that was a different time (alot safer)
Paranoia created by the media? Pedophile/kidnapper around each corner? I don't think that the number of threats increased. It is the media, who like to create the climate of threat and sensation. And thanks to that childhood is no longer the same as it was in the past - due to paranoia of parents, law officials, etc.


BTW. It was about 20 years ago.
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  #29  
Old 30.06.2009, 12:40
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Re: children left home alone

I got taught walking to Kindergarten at the age of 4, my mum would join us for the first days, together with my 5 year old friend.
It was but a 10 minutes walk, but as kids are it often took us 20 minutes or more. I spent the day at Kindergarten, would sometimes go home for lunch and otherwise play on the road with all the other kids aged 3-10. And that's the way I would like my kids to grow up too; certainly not as little Americans or Italians, spoilt dependant brats..

(no offense meant to those Merkins who grew up fine ofc)
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  #30  
Old 30.06.2009, 18:13
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Re: children left home alone

I live in a tiny village in the Jura. The mothers (Swiss and foreign) here do walk their children to and from the train station (where the bus is to take the kids to school) until the children are about six and a half...certainly not at four. Not even the Swiss moms.

So, I am not so sure it has to do with nationality.
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  #31  
Old 30.06.2009, 20:34
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Re: children left home alone

@ pumpkinpie: It's a bit different everywhere, french-speaking part of Switzerland is slightly more french --> less independant kids, but the tendency for kids to go to school and Kindergarten alone is certainly there.
Where I grew up, central Switzerland, it was completely normal for most if not all kids to walk to Kindergarten alone. It was a village of roughly 6-7k pax, and the kids had to cross 2 busy roads, but they all learnt how to safely cross a road so no problem.
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  #32  
Old 30.06.2009, 20:43
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Re: children left home alone

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Where I grew up, central Switzerland, it was completely normal for most if not all kids to walk to Kindergarten alone. It was a village of roughly 6-7k pax, and the kids had to cross 2 busy roads, but they all learnt how to safely cross a road so no problem.
It's when they become teenagers and un-learn how to cross a street that you really have to worry about..!

Almost lost my daughter last night.
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