Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Family matters/health  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 24.09.2007, 20:57
Lou's Avatar
Lou Lou is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Zurich
Posts: 3,778
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 3,227 Times in 1,474 Posts
Lou has a reputation beyond reputeLou has a reputation beyond reputeLou has a reputation beyond reputeLou has a reputation beyond reputeLou has a reputation beyond reputeLou has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Lou for this useful post:
  #22  
Old 24.03.2008, 14:38
zulu's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lutry, VD
Posts: 71
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts
zulu has no particular reputation at present
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)?????
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 24.03.2008, 14:46
Oldhand's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 4,015
Groaned at 18 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 6,837 Times in 2,059 Posts
Oldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond reputeOldhand has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Oldhand for this useful post:
  #24  
Old 24.03.2008, 15:02
pumpkinpie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bern
Posts: 48
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
pumpkinpie has no particular reputation at present
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.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 24.03.2008, 15:15
5AVeci
 
Posts: n/a
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
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).
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 24.03.2008, 15:54
pumpkinpie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bern
Posts: 48
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
pumpkinpie has no particular reputation at present
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.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 24.03.2008, 18:33
Sutter's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Thurgau
Posts: 5,799
Groaned at 68 Times in 48 Posts
Thanked 2,824 Times in 1,605 Posts
Sutter has a reputation beyond reputeSutter has a reputation beyond reputeSutter has a reputation beyond reputeSutter has a reputation beyond reputeSutter has a reputation beyond reputeSutter has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 24.03.2008, 18:52
5AVeci
 
Posts: n/a
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 30.06.2009, 11:40
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
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)
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
  #30  
Old 30.06.2009, 17:13
pumpkinpie's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bern
Posts: 48
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
pumpkinpie has no particular reputation at present
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.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 30.06.2009, 19:34
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
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.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 30.06.2009, 19:43
vwild1
 
Posts: n/a
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 12.01.2022, 15:02
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Vaud
Posts: 862
Groaned at 163 Times in 111 Posts
Thanked 1,376 Times in 572 Posts
MattyRedSox has a reputation beyond reputeMattyRedSox has a reputation beyond reputeMattyRedSox has a reputation beyond reputeMattyRedSox has a reputation beyond reputeMattyRedSox has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Reviving an old thread:
Have the laws changed? Or the local feelings? My kid is a pretty responsible nine year old. We have a house phone which she can use - it has our numbers in it, the neighbors, the police, ambulance, and fire department. I’m often in our garden, basement, or elsewhere in the property when she gets home, and she knows to call me if she doesn’t see me at lunch.
When we were in Japan, our house was next door to a market, and she didn’t need to join us there, and occasionally she’d run over to it and get me eggs or vegetables. She’s fairly capable.
If it’s daylight and I want to walk into town or pick my wife up at the station, we just let her know, and she’s fine for the ten minutes to an hour.
Just under the impression that she’s fine, and learning to be independent. I met another parent (European, not Swiss) recently, who was fretting that she could never do anything without bundling her kid into the car. I was surprised. Her son is a year older than our kid.
Just wondering others experiences and thoughts.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank MattyRedSox for this useful post:
  #34  
Old 12.01.2022, 15:34
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: lugano
Posts: 927
Groaned at 160 Times in 81 Posts
Thanked 861 Times in 463 Posts
DL21 has earned the respect of manyDL21 has earned the respect of manyDL21 has earned the respect of many
Re: children left home alone

does she speak the same language as the neighbours/police/ambulance?

anyway - i think 9 is fine to be left alone for about an hour if they have the means the contact you. depends on the child though i suppose.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank DL21 for this useful post:
  #35  
Old 12.01.2022, 16:16
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bern
Posts: 2,353
Groaned at 442 Times in 285 Posts
Thanked 4,938 Times in 1,784 Posts
Susie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond reputeSusie-Q has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Considering I've seen children your daughter's age take the bus/tram alone to school or go to the shops, I think you are completely fine. This has always been a big topic of discussion among American expats as this is almost unheard of where we come from these days.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Susie-Q for this useful post:
  #36  
Old 12.01.2022, 16:23
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Up there over the fog
Posts: 3,744
Groaned at 462 Times in 336 Posts
Thanked 3,799 Times in 1,980 Posts
JackieH has a reputation beyond reputeJackieH has a reputation beyond reputeJackieH has a reputation beyond reputeJackieH has a reputation beyond reputeJackieH has a reputation beyond reputeJackieH has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
Reviving an old thread:
Have the laws changed? Or the local feelings? My kid is a pretty responsible nine year old. We have a house phone which she can use - it has our numbers in it, the neighbors, the police, ambulance, and fire department. I’m often in our garden, basement, or elsewhere in the property when she gets home, and she knows to call me if she doesn’t see me at lunch.
When we were in Japan, our house was next door to a market, and she didn’t need to join us there, and occasionally she’d run over to it and get me eggs or vegetables. She’s fairly capable.
If it’s daylight and I want to walk into town or pick my wife up at the station, we just let her know, and she’s fine for the ten minutes to an hour.
Just under the impression that she’s fine, and learning to be independent. I met another parent (European, not Swiss) recently, who was fretting that she could never do anything without bundling her kid into the car. I was surprised. Her son is a year older than our kid.
Just wondering others experiences and thoughts.
Attitudes to leaving children alone for short periods of time have always been VERY different in Switzerland, than in the UK, or USA. In the 50s, that was definitely the norm- parents would go out, and just say where they were, and we had the phone number of a couple of family friends (including our GP and the Surgeon at the Hospital, and police. It is not so much the norm now- but still very common in rural areas. My mum always worked a long way from home, left at 6.30 and returned about 6.30ish and we were latch-key kids, without any issue. We had a fire drill from time to time and escapes routes worked out. They often went to friends for dinner, or to the cinema, and left us alone- and that was indeed the norm, not just for them.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank JackieH for this useful post:
  #37  
Old 12.01.2022, 16:27
kri's Avatar
kri kri is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,566
Groaned at 54 Times in 40 Posts
Thanked 2,472 Times in 1,220 Posts
kri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
Reviving an old thread:
Have the laws changed? Or the local feelings? My kid is a pretty responsible nine year old. We have a house phone which she can use - it has our numbers in it, the neighbors, the police, ambulance, and fire department. I’m often in our garden, basement, or elsewhere in the property when she gets home, and she knows to call me if she doesn’t see me at lunch.
When we were in Japan, our house was next door to a market, and she didn’t need to join us there, and occasionally she’d run over to it and get me eggs or vegetables. She’s fairly capable.
If it’s daylight and I want to walk into town or pick my wife up at the station, we just let her know, and she’s fine for the ten minutes to an hour.
Just under the impression that she’s fine, and learning to be independent. I met another parent (European, not Swiss) recently, who was fretting that she could never do anything without bundling her kid into the car. I was surprised. Her son is a year older than our kid.
Just wondering others experiences and thoughts.
Totally normal. We have a 10 year old and we do this quite easily during the day and it has also happened that we went out for dinner. I think it depends to how reliable the child is, how good they know what to do for an emergency, how far away you are etc. For example if you live in a farm in the middle of nowhere I would be more reluctant than in the middle of a city (perhaps wrongly but it's how it feels).
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank kri for this useful post:
  #38  
Old 12.01.2022, 17:52
Mélusine's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lutry
Posts: 3,966
Groaned at 32 Times in 27 Posts
Thanked 5,699 Times in 2,275 Posts
Mélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond reputeMélusine has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
Reviving an old thread:
Have the laws changed? Or the local feelings? My kid is a pretty responsible nine year old. We have a house phone which she can use - it has our numbers in it, the neighbors, the police, ambulance, and fire department. I’m often in our garden, basement, or elsewhere in the property when she gets home, and she knows to call me if she doesn’t see me at lunch.
When we were in Japan, our house was next door to a market, and she didn’t need to join us there, and occasionally she’d run over to it and get me eggs or vegetables. She’s fairly capable.
If it’s daylight and I want to walk into town or pick my wife up at the station, we just let her know, and she’s fine for the ten minutes to an hour.
Just under the impression that she’s fine, and learning to be independent. I met another parent (European, not Swiss) recently, who was fretting that she could never do anything without bundling her kid into the car. I was surprised. Her son is a year older than our kid.
Just wondering others experiences and thoughts.
Seems totally normal and acceptable to me!

I leave at 6:45 every morning. My eldest (15) drops his brother (7) at UAPE on the way to Gymnase around 7:45. My daughter (10) leaves the place at 7:50 to go to school. They have emergency contact numbers in case something goes wrong.

My daughter eats alone at home twice during the week. She could go to school canteen, but she prefers having some quiet time at home. She doesn’t need to cook though, she has leftovers in the fridge.

I routinely leave my 7 and 10 yo at home if I have to go buy some groceries (1 hour). My daughter is very mature and responsible, which helps a lot. I don’t trust my youngest all that much as he tends to live in his own world, so I’m much more careful with him.

I think it’s important to teach kids how to be responsible and autonomous, but the child has to be ok with it. We also regularly talk about what if cases, and what they could do if they encounter this and that problems.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Mélusine for this useful post:
  #39  
Old 13.01.2022, 08:34
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,702
Groaned at 9 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 1,227 Times in 673 Posts
axman has a reputation beyond reputeaxman has a reputation beyond reputeaxman has a reputation beyond reputeaxman has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

I have one kid who could be left alone at home from age 7. No problem. She used the microwave to heat up food or used the kettle to boil some water to make instant noodles herself! In fact she's the one assuring us to go ahead as she will be allright.

The other daughter... probably from age 10 if I recall correctly. It was the other way round - she simply lacked the confidence and we had to wait until she is ready and we slowly got her used to the idea. In fact, reading the one of the postings above, she did in fact lock herself up in the bathroom once!

So it depends...
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank axman for this useful post:
  #40  
Old 13.01.2022, 08:51
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 13,990
Groaned at 1,361 Times in 904 Posts
Thanked 21,006 Times in 8,024 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: children left home alone

Quote:
View Post
I have one kid who could be left alone at home from age 7. No problem. She used the microwave to heat up food or used the kettle to boil some water to make instant noodles herself! In fact she's the one assuring us to go ahead as she will be allright.

The other daughter... probably from age 10 if I recall correctly. It was the other way round - she simply lacked the confidence and we had to wait until she is ready and we slowly got her used to the idea. In fact, reading the one of the postings above, she did in fact lock herself up in the bathroom once!

So it depends...
She never having had a problem is not the same as it still objectively being risky to leave a 7 year old home alone for extended periods of time, in the event they do have some kind of mishap or accident. They are still 7 year olds.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Chuff for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Insurance still going even though I have left?!!? locoamy Insurance 6 19.09.2007 18:47
I'm being deported; how do I notify the immigration police that I've left? joshuakaufman Permits/visas/government 9 18.02.2007 00:50
Buying left hand drive new, where? Felix Travel/day trips/free time 3 31.12.2006 13:30
[German] getting left behind... Guest Language corner 16 03.12.2006 10:51


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 15:26.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0