10 year old being left Home alone.

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  • #8035 Report



    I am posting this in the hope that I can get some advice and different opinions on an issue I am having.

    I am a single dad and share custody of my son who is 10. We both work full time and my son is currently in after school club during the week till 5:30.  His mum has changed her job and will now be doing shifts that vary between starting at 07:30am and finishing at 21:00.

    She has advised me that when on an early shift she is planning on leaving him in the mornings before school from 6:30 and he will have to make his own breakfast and make his own way to school, and when on a late she is planning on leaving him to stay home alone till 22:00 when she get home from work.  Her argument is that he will be in secondary school from September and he will need to grow up and just get used to it!!! , I think hes too young to be left alone for this length of time, he doesn’t want to be left but she is not accepting his concerns.

    I’m not happy about this at all, I know there is no Law to state at what age children can be left alone.

    Am I making a big deal out of it or Am I right to voice my concerns for my son. any advice  on how I approach it would be great.

    #8041 Report


    She doesn’t start the job until April and she’s does t know anything about her shift pattern other than the working hours , it includes weekends to. She is very hostile when I’ve asked her questions about timings, she would normally be telling everyone who’d listen about it but she knows this is not a good move for a single mum how should be putting her child before a job. In my opinion.

    He will be walking home , I get home at 5:30 so regardless of where he is he will be spending some time home , which is fine. It’s just the length of time in the evenings that is a concern .

    She was not flexible when in the last I’ve needed to change days because of work so I stopped asking and changed my working hours.  She hasn’t spoken to me at all about the logistics of who things will need to change .

    I will have my son when ever I need to so I know he is ok, it’s hard to accept that she just expects everyone to change their life around to fit in with her. Without any inclusion or warning that this was coming.

    She he should be looking for a job that is based around core hours, like most single parents would do and I would if it came to it.

    The person who will be affected most is our son , she owes him the respect to at least ask what he thinks.


    #8043 Report


    Thanks for the advice. I am actually in the process of typing a letter up now and I will included the points you listed.  I will suggest Childminder or after school clubs and hopefully she will agree .

    The current arrangement has been in place for 8 years with dates and time not changing at all which is why some notice would have been nice.

    I am hoping that it wont get to Mediation/court but ultimately I will do what is needed to safeguard my son.

    Again thanks for your thoughts its good to get an outside view.

    #8062 Report


    Hi there. There is no minimum age but neglect kicks in should something happen to the child when unsupervised .

    I’m sure that the NSPCC has some really good advice on line,

    I wish you all the very best


    #8070 Report

    Not sure an after school club or childminder will take a 10 year old child.  It’s a bit of a no man’s land.  Seemingly too young to be left alone but also too old for after school clubs.

    It’s tough.

    #8319 Report


    It is very difficult. First and foremost must come your sons health, safety and welfare, including emotional. Are there any other parents who you may be able to approach eg. friends parents, who would be happy perhaps to help out? Or neighbours. Or, perhaps any youth clubs, sports clubs he could attend any days of the week?

    #8408 Report


    That’ a very long time to be leaving a year 7 (soon to be) child. Apart from wether he can manage it practically what about his emotional well being. That will hard going for him. My eldest is year 8 and there’ no way I’d leave him for that length of time. Childminders can be quite flexible if there are no friends and family options.

    #8409 Report


    I would add that I tend to agree with michjon’s comment on that’s long and emotional wellbeing. I find my son tries to appear a lot more in control than he in reality is. Key question is, is the child feeling safe, loved, secure, happy, healthy and independent. Does the child know who to approach quickly in the event of an emergency.



    #8442 Report


    My friends mum used to leave her home alone whilst she worked shifts as a nurse.  When she was about 12, someone said something and she was taken into foster care.

    #8498 Report


    I would be worried but everyone parenting skills is different as we have to go to work whether we like it or not

    . In September I will wait for my child to get on school bus then make my way to work.  In the evening the child minder will let herself in to my homewait .for my daughter and give her a sandwich wait with her until I get home. I’m lucky to. Have understand boss but it’s hard working and Bringing up kids on your own. .good luck

    #8539 Report


    My son is twelve, and although it’s no help to you, I wouldn’t feel happy about him getting up on his own making his own food night and morning, and being left alone for so long. No Way!

    My son is a sensible lad, but he still needs support. I think your ex needs to think long and hard about her priorities, and what’s really important.


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