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  #21  
Old 05.02.2019, 13:47
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

As a data point: the "Beobachter" (a fairly mainstream source) mentions leaving a 9yo home alone for up to an hour as something that might be considered reasonable and non-negligent. They are also quick to say it depends on the individual child and the level of preparation you've done with them.

That's for simple "home alone". Charge of a younger sibling is definitely another story. But then again so is the presence of a nearby neighbor....

Ultimately it's your call, you know your kids best. A couple alternate suggestions if you're not quite comfortable:

1) can they come with you and have their technology coma outside in the school hallway?
2) would the neighbor be open to letting them have said coma sitting on her couch instead of yours? If it were me I'd do that for you in a heartbeat; to me that's actually *less* of an ask than being "on call" and having to keep my ears tuned the whole time for a crash next door.
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  #22  
Old 05.02.2019, 14:07
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

You know there are babysitter. Teens which will watch after younger kids (not only babies) for some money.
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  #23  
Old 05.02.2019, 15:50
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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You know there are babysitter. Teens which will watch after younger kids (not only babies) for some money.
I don't know any teenagers in Switzerland. Only families with kids my kids' ages or younger.
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Old 05.02.2019, 15:56
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I don't know any teenagers in Switzerland. Only families with kids my kids' ages or younger.
https://www.redcross.ch/de/die-rotkr...er-vermittlung

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content...abysitting.pdf

https://www.sitly.ch/
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Old 06.02.2019, 09:20
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

I wish you were in ZH and I would have happily taken in your kids and my junior would have enjoyed some company.

Why not drop them to a freinds place locally or if your neighbor can let them in her home if she is not ready to cross the borders?

If I were you and had no other option, I would take my kids along and let them wait outside the meeting room. No, the school authorities cannot force you to leave them behind or hire a babysitter, rather they should be accomodating.
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  #26  
Old 06.02.2019, 10:38
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I wish you were in ZH and I would have happily taken in your kids and my junior would have enjoyed some company.

Why not drop them to a freinds place locally or if your neighbor can let them in her home if she is not ready to cross the borders?

If I were you and had no other option, I would take my kids along and let them wait outside the meeting room. No, the school authorities cannot force you to leave them behind or hire a babysitter, rather they should be accomodating.
That's kind of you. All my friends have young kids so will be sorting dinner and bed time. My neighbour will definitely be home then, I spoke to her yesterday and she would be willing to pop her head round the door every 20 mins or so.

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That's for simple "home alone". Charge of a younger sibling is definitely another story. But then again so is the presence of a nearby neighbor....
I wouldn't be leaving the older one "in charge" I expect them both to behave and look out for each other. Both know the neighbour, how to call my and husband's phone. Both have been left together before for up to 30 minutes when I've had to sort stuff in the cellar. I've been leaving them since around 4 when I go down to the washroom, so they know it's a privilege to be left alone.

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Ultimately it's your call, you know your kids best. A couple alternate suggestions if you're not quite comfortable:

1) can they come with you and have their technology coma outside in the school hallway?
They kicked up a stink about how inappropriate it was when I had a meeting with the teachers at 745 am. But conceded as a one off because it was urgent and my mother-in-law cannot get to us that early. But I don't know what would happen if I just turned up with them, besides starting the meeting off on the wrong foot.

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2) would the neighbor be open to letting them have said coma sitting on her couch instead of yours? If it were me I'd do that for you in a heartbeat; to me that's actually *less* of an ask than being "on call" and having to keep my ears tuned the whole time for a crash next door.
No, she'd rather they are in our place.

Husband would never allow a stranger met over the internet to come to our flat! Red Cross have nothing in our region, but thanks for the links. He also doesn't see an issue leaving them (but he is Swiss).
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  #27  
Old 06.02.2019, 11:59
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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For parent's evening ? Crazy. I'm very sorry the situation is so difficult. Do they expect only one parent to go? Or for single parents to have to choose between going or leaving their kids?

Have you asked the school why it is child free? I would have thought having the child present at a discussion about them would be beneficial all round. It's certainly always been my preferred route.
As a single mum I have this exact problem. Some parents evenings are information for all the parents evenings rather than one on one talk with a parent. Kids are generally excluded from the former. I have missed some and I have begged for babysitters for others.
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Old 06.02.2019, 17:28
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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As a single mum I have this exact problem. Some parents evenings are information for all the parents evenings rather than one on one talk with a parent. Kids are generally excluded from the former. I have missed some and I have begged for babysitters for others.
Surely it would benefit everyone if then the school could have a "creche " for that evening. Makes it rather difficult otherwise.
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  #29  
Old 06.02.2019, 17:51
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Well, I know I can, but technically should I? There have been a few threads, mainly about older kids in the evening or for longer periods, but nothing particularly recent.

We need to go to parents evening, school is 2 minutes away by foot. I was planning to leave my two watching tv, and letting one of the neighbours (block of flats) know that the kids are home alone. I imagine it will be 45 minutes max.

They know my phone number, it's written on the front door.
I leave them to go to the cellar, washing room etc. I leave the eldest if I need to go and pick DD up from a friends house max. 30 minutes.
I've left them once before in the same situation but something someone (not Swiss!) said it's not allowed. Having said that, I know of two (Swiss) parents who leave their 4 year olds alone at home for up to half an hour.
Never left them if I have to go somewhere in the car.
No problem. You can always install a cam to watch them
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  #30  
Old 06.02.2019, 20:34
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

My kids are 12, 7 and 4, and my husband work at night. I sing in a choir once a week, and we decided that we wouldn’t get a babysitter anymore. I put the two youngest to bed before leaving, and let my oldest in charge. I can be back home in 10 minutes, they know how to contact the neighbors and can call me at anytime.

My eldest regularly goes fetch his siblings at daycare if I’ve been slightly delayed by a meeting, and occasionally I let my youngest two at home for up to 30min if I have to run a quick errant.

My kids are pretty responsible, and we speak a lot about what could happen and how to deal with various scenarios. They’re happy and proud that I trust them enough to leave them for a while.

Even though I’m scared at times about all the what ifs and things that could go wrong, I think it’s very important to teach autonomy and independence to children - with safety nets obviously!
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  #31  
Old 06.02.2019, 21:39
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

From previous posts, I gained the impression that one of the children has special needs. I wonder whether that could/would/should be a factor in deciding upon the wisdom of leaving the two children without adult supervision, at home, at night.
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  #32  
Old 06.02.2019, 22:07
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

Yes, but no, not really. What would be most disastrous would be a change in routine. Like taking him in the dark to the playground (I wouldn't leave him 30 mins unattended on a playground anyway) or trying to get him into the school building when he 'should be at home'. He knows the rules of staying home alone in the flat, and is allowed an hour of tv before dinner so that would be what he is used to. I would certainly not be leaving them at night, just in the evening.
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  #33  
Old 06.02.2019, 22:24
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

I used to be on the primary school Elternrat (parents' council) in the integration group and sometimes the school asked our group for volunteers to babysit during teacher meetings. The children would play under supervision in a nearby room whilst the parents met the teacher. Maybe your school could set something up like this?
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  #34  
Old 06.02.2019, 23:09
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I would leave the flat door unlocked and they know they are not allowed to answer the doorbell. Neighbour knows not to ring, but just to go in when she checks on them.

This just doesn't sound right.

On one hand you want to leave the door unlocked in case they need to leave the flat? On the other you're considering leaving the door unlocked, with two young children alone at home? The world is not a safe place. I'd worry more about strangers than anything else.


A baby sitter is only about 15 CHF an hour.

Try here: https://www.redcross.ch/de/srk-diens...iAAEgKyAfD_BwE


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When my kids were 10 and 12, I would regularly leave them for up to a week alone!
Tom
You're not serious are you?
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  #35  
Old 07.02.2019, 00:16
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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On one hand you want to leave the door unlocked in case they need to leave the flat? On the other you're considering leaving the door unlocked, with two young children alone at home? The world is not a safe place. I'd worry more about strangers than anything else.
The door to the flat will be unlocked, the door to the building is locked. We know everybody in the building so no, I'm not worried about strangers coming in.
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  #36  
Old 07.02.2019, 05:49
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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My thought would be if you have the slightest doubt, don't leave them, whether it is allowed or not
I agree with this.

I wouldn't leave children of that age alone at home, with the door unlocked, without an adult present, when it is dark and cold outside.

Given your circumstances,.here are some of the reasons that occur to me, in.addition to the cold and dark and no adult in the actual home.

You are going to a meeting with staff members of the school with whom you have an ongoing conflict (amongst other things about each other's views on what constitutes responsible behaviour towards children) who may ask you and your husband where the children are right then.
- Oh, home alone.
- You didn't get a babysitter?
- No, we'd never let a stranger into our home. We'd just rather leave the door unlocked (since the children haven't yet learnt to deal with keys) and tell them that from time to time someone will be popping in unannounced (so they shouldn't be alarmed if there's suddenly an adult in the room).
- But Frau Dragoneiric, did you even try to get help with this?
- Yes, I published my thoughts about perhaps leaving my children at home in an unlocked flat, on a fully public forum.

Last edited by doropfiz; 07.02.2019 at 06:25.
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Old 07.02.2019, 06:46
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I wouldn't leave children of that age alone at home, with the door unlocked, without an adult present, when it is dark and cold outside.
.
Does this mean I shouldn't leave them alone in the morning/evening whilst I do the washing in the cellar?

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We'd just rather leave the door unlocked (since the children haven't yet learnt to deal with keys)
Not true, they can both use keys. We don't lock the door when we're at home.

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tell them that from time to time someone will be popping in unannounced (so they shouldn't be alarmed if there's suddenly an adult in the room).
Telling them "an adult will be popping in unannounced" sounds quite different to "Sandrine is next door if you need anything and she'll pop her head round the door a couple of times to check you're alright"


As for having the slightest doubt, I didn't really until a British person said otherwise. I don't know any Swiss person who would have an issue with this, not my in-laws, nor friends, nor neighbours. 'Twas why I wanted to canvas opinions of people with experience of both cultures.

Last edited by dragoneiric; 07.02.2019 at 07:06. Reason: Attempts to quote
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  #38  
Old 07.02.2019, 06:56
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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When my kids were 10 and 12, I would regularly leave them for up to a week alone!

Tom
And let me guess... you left home at 9?
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  #39  
Old 07.02.2019, 08:25
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Given your circumstances,.here are some of the reasons that occur to me, in.addition to the cold and dark and no adult in the actual home.

You are going to a meeting with staff members of the school with whom you have an ongoing conflict (amongst other things about each other's views on what constitutes responsible behaviour towards children) who may ask you and your husband where the children are right then.
- Oh, home alone.
- You didn't get a babysitter?
- No, we'd never let a stranger into our home. We'd just rather leave the door unlocked (since the children haven't yet learnt to deal with keys) and tell them that from time to time someone will be popping in unannounced (so they shouldn't be alarmed if there's suddenly an adult in the room).
- But Frau Dragoneiric, did you even try to get help with this?
- Yes, I published my thoughts about perhaps leaving my children at home in an unlocked flat, on a fully public forum.
With all due respect this is none of their business and I would be very surprised if they even asked. Even if they do ask the OP could perfectly well say that the children are at home under the care of the neighbour.
The schools arrange parent teacher meetings where children are not allowed to be present all the time and don’t concern themselves with the logistics of it. It is up to the parents to find childcare solutions.

With one exception, which was at the end of school and the kids were playing in the playground, I went to all the parent teacher meetings alone. In the case of the OP the teachers want to speak to both parents so an alternative solution must be found.

As a Brit leaving the kids alone with the neighbour nearby was not something I would have ever thought of before we lived in Germany. In the village we lived in there it was a very normal thing to do and nobody batted an eyelid.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 07.02.2019 at 09:01.
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  #40  
Old 07.02.2019, 09:12
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

OP, do you trust your kids could be left alone for less than an hour? It basically boils down to that. They're not that young, at least the eldest one is not. But I understand your reluctance. Can you ask one of their friends' mom to take them for an hour? This is habitually done here (and not only here, of course). I've been offered my voluntary "services" since my eldest one was old enough to socialise because I knew I might need other people's help too. Seriously, ask around. I am 100% sure you will find someone willing to take them for an hour, not necessarily to come over your place.
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