Is it ever okay? Mum sparks debate about leaving children home alone

One mum has sparked quite the major discussion online about whether it is okay to leave children alone in a house.

She explained to Mumsnet that her nine-year-old son went to a friend’s house last week. The mum is unsure about her son’s friendship with the 10-year-old boy, mainly because she doesn’t know his family all too well.

The mum was stunned to hear that one day when her son was visiting his friend, the two boys had been left alone in the house.

She said the boy’s mum said she was popping into town for five minutes, however, when her husband arrived to collect their boy he believed she was gone for longer.

The mum wrote: “My son said the boy's mam told them to stay there that she was heading up the town for 5 minutes. He said she was gone a few minutes when my husband arrived, my husband said he was there over 5 mins trying to get our son out the door and no sign of the mam nor did he meet her when he drove through the town.”

She asked was she being unreasonable to leave kids this age home alone, especially not a child that isn’t hers that she didn’t have permission to leave alone.

She admitted: “I don't know whether my desire to discourage the friendship is clouding my judgment.”

The mum added that there are six houses in the estate where they live beside the busy main road into the village. Next houses are across that road.

One user wrote: “She was being very unreasonable doing that with someone else's child and not asking permission from the parents.”

“That is dreadful behaviour on behalf of the mother. We used to live in a cul de sac and there was a playground opposite our house. Our daughter was allowed to go and play there on her own from the age of 8. If she had friends over I would always check with the parents if they were happy for their children to go out and play there without an adult,” another wrote.

One argued: “I leave my 9 year old DS quite confidently and happily, he never causes any trouble and knows what to do if a random emergency should occur. I wouldn’t leave someone else’s child though, not at all.”

“I would not EVER allow one of their friends to be in my home if I wasn't there as that would be my decision and my liability if any harm came to them. I would be annoyed at the mother in that situation,” said another.

What do you think?

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