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Old 05.02.2019, 08:21
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Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:08
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

Can you? I don't know. Personally I wouldn't. Is there a reason they can't go with you ? I'd be very surprised if parent's evening was a child free affair. At the very least The school surely has a library/ quiet space they can stay in - take books, drawing stuff, snacks.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:12
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

Yes, it's child free. Library won't be open. Not allowed to sit outside in the corridor, I've asked before.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:14
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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.

Just think Portugal and Maddie McCann maybe .....


I think it is not legal under age of 12 or 13 although this maybe cantonale, plenty of people do it but this doesn't mean it's right.


Leaving the building for 45minutes is quite a long time if their is a problem, but as one of the kids is already 9 years old.


Why not get the neighbour to come in, or leave the kids and a bottle of wine with th neighbour ?
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:22
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I think it is not legal under age of 12 or 13 although this maybe cantonale, plenty of people do it but this doesn't mean it's right.


Leaving the building for 45minutes is quite a long time if their is a problem, but as one of the kids is already 9 years old.


Why not get the neighbour to come in, or leave the kids and a bottle of wine with th neighbour ?
Do you have a link because I can't find anything? I'm in Bern if that changes something.

My neighbour is happy to be there next door, but doesn't want to sit in with the kids. She says she was often left alone at the same age with a similar arrangement with the neighbours. So is happy to be available but not in our flat.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:30
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Yes, it's child free. Library won't be open. Not allowed to sit outside in the corridor, I've asked before.
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.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:32
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

I don't think it's a Problem at all and was certainly a very common Thing to do when I was Young. As Long as the Children know the neigbour and know that they have to go there if there is a Problem I don't know why not. Just don't close the door so they can actually go and see her if there is a Problem. But I think you will be gone for more than 45 minutes but Maybe check with the teacher. You can't take them with you. That is not possible. But you have a 9 year old so it should be fine.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:37
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

It's a strange one..

Mine are same age. I often leave them alone for short times, up to 30mins. However it tends to be when I'm in the cave, out at the car or something.. In summer they go off playing with friends for hours sometimes, that's also ok..

But for some reason I'm not sure i'd leave them deliberately while i was at a meeting or something. I dunno it just feels different.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:39
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Do they expect only one parent to go? Or for single parents to have to choose between going or leaving their kids?
No, they actively refuse to meet with just me In KG, it is expected that everyone has family nearby, I just assumed once kids were in school that they were left home alone in front of technology!

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.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:41
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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It's a strange one..

Mine are same age. I often leave them alone for short times, up to 30mins. However it tends to be when I'm in the cave, out at the car or something.. In summer they go off playing with friends for hours sometimes, that's also ok..

But for some reason I'm not sure i'd leave them deliberately while i was at a meeting or something. I dunno it just feels different.
Exactly!! But if you look at it logically, my neighbour would be closer to them that I would be if I was in the cellar or washroom!
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:52
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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.
Is your neighbour on the same floor (i.e. literally next door)? If that were me, I wouldn't have a problem leaving them home for that short time. It's pretty much baby-sitting except the baby sitter is just across the hall.

I guess she's going to pop in every 10 mins or so to make sure they're not swinging from the lampshades or got their faces parked in the biscuit tin and if they need her, they'll just go into her apartment, right?

Chances are they're not going to move from the TV / screens / computer or whatever and won't even notice you've gone.
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:54
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I think it is not legal under age of 12 or 13 although this maybe cantonale, plenty of people do it but this doesn't mean it's right.
When my kids were 10 and 12, I would regularly leave them for up to a week alone!

Tom
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Old 05.02.2019, 09:59
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

if you want to make sure, just tie them up in the cellar, that way they can't get up to any mischief.
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Old 05.02.2019, 10:06
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Exactly!! But if you look at it logically, my neighbour would be closer to them that I would be if I was in the cellar or washroom!
Of course..
Logically speaking.. sometimes my two get up in the morning two hours before us, they make their own breakfast and do their own thing.. Anything could happen!!

I've been to a parents night in the school before, no kids.. Ours played outside the school in the play ground


There's no right / wrong answer here, you know your own kids.
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Old 05.02.2019, 10:23
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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I've been to a parents night in the school before, no kids.. Ours played outside the school in the play ground
But it's dark and about -5 so I think there's more scope for them injuring themselves whilst on the playground than sat in the warm on the sofa in a technology coma!

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if you want to make sure, just tie them up in the cellar, that way they can't get up to any mischief.
Tempting....very tempting! But I'd still feel better saying "the neighbour's watching them" than "they're tied up in the cellar" if by any chance the teacher asks

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Is your neighbour on the same floor (i.e. literally next door)? If that were me, I wouldn't have a problem leaving them home for that short time. It's pretty much baby-sitting except the baby sitter is just across the hall.
...
Chances are they're not going to move from the TV / screens / computer or whatever and won't even notice you've gone.
Yes, on the same floor. Judging by the notice they take of me when I am in the flat and they are watching the tv, I'd say that's a pretty accurate guess.

Last edited by dragoneiric; 05.02.2019 at 10:33.
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Old 05.02.2019, 11:03
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

A few years back when my daughters were 5 and 9, one of their teacher had the policy of no kids during Gespräch meeting. My opinion: both parents should be present in this meeting and I'm not leaving my kids alone. So the only option for us was to bring the kids along and they both waited outside the classroom door (in the school hallway). The meeting usually lasts ~30min, so just within the limit before they start to make a mess. Fortunately, we did not have any issues with this setup. The meeting is usually just after school hours, no other kids to "disturb" mine and a few teachers closing up. We could have hired a sitter, but for a 30min meeting it wasn't worth it.
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Old 05.02.2019, 11:11
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

How the world has changed in the last 25 years if a 9 year old cannot take care of a smaller sibling alone at home for 45 min...
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Old 05.02.2019, 11:29
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

Add me to the camp that would be OK with leaving the kids at home for a short time.
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Old 05.02.2019, 12:34
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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Add me to the camp that would be OK with leaving the kids at home for a short time.

I'm also in this camp... heck, I came from a 3rd world country where there are no rules. But since it is my decision to migrate here, then I have to blend-in and follow the local rules/customs.
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Old 05.02.2019, 13:47
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Re: Can I leave a 6 and 9 year old alone?

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