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Babysitter Blues

Posted by Patience on September 1, 2009 at 7:33 AM
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It feels like lately there are 100 exciting night events that require us to find babysitting. The problem is, we have one reliable lovely babysitter, who also has a life of her own. Not to mention paying someone to watch 4 kids can break the bank real quick. We are still a ways off, but I started wondering when we will be able to leave our kids for this and other things.

Let's have an informal poll, shall we?

When do you think it is okay to leave kids home alone? in the day? at night?
Do you ever leave kids in the car to run in the 7-11, or pay for gas, into a store real quick?
At what age do you think it okay to leave kids in the car for these short errands?

Tell us in the comments.


Thien-Kim writes...

I confess I've left my kid in the car before. Usually it's because I've forgotten something inside my apartment. Thankfully I'm on the first floor, I can run in and out in less than 5 mins.

When I was younger, my mom left us in the car all the time for a quick trip to the grocery store.

De in D.C. writes...

I guess my son was about 4 or 5 when I started leaving him in the car if I could keep an eye on him (ie, at the ATM). When he was 7 I'd leave him for a quick run-in; run-out errand. Now at 9, I don't have a problem leaving him out of my sight for 10mins or so. He usually has a book with him and I'll lock the doors. I think it all comes down to knowing your kid and how they'd behave. My son is quiet and wouldn't be jumping around in the car if left alone. He has friends though that are far too rambunctious to leave alone for a minute.

Free Range Kids had an interesting post on this last week:

Karen writes...

I live in northern VA, and there is a law in my county that a child has to be at least 12 to be left at home alone, but after that I think it very much depends on the child's maturity level, and if they can handle the responsibility of being home alone.

I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable leaving my child in the car alone, even for a few minutes, though.

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