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Jury Duty - Does this seam reasonable?

Spring Flower

Are my kids too young?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Are my kids too young?

    • Yes
    • No

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I've been called to jury duty and I'm wondering if it is okay to leave my kids (11, 9, 5) home alone. I have a friend that can check check on them a couple of times during the day but can't watch them all day. My husband works close to our house and can come home if there is an emergency. My 11 year old has completed the Red Cross babysitting course and all 3 kids are very well behaved. We've left them home alone many times before and have never had an issue. I have no family in the area and I'm not sure if I'll be able to find a full day babysitter. Honestly I'd rather just leave them home. Are they too young?

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It totally depends on the kids.  Mine would have been fine at those ages, especially if they had unlimited screen time.  My sister's son would not be okay all day with an 11 year old.  I mean, some states have laws about how old they have to be.  You might be able to get a waiver because of the five year old, though.  All day is a long time, and that would make me a bit uneasy, but if someone can check on them a few times, it would probably be okay, if you think they're all right.

Edited by Terabith
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It would not have worked with our DC, but they were completely different than what you describe.

If you don't feel comfortable leaving them alone, is there a fellow homeschooler you could swap childcare with -- your kids stay with her for the day, and some other day you watch her kids for the day? A church friend or neighbor or retired (non-working) friend you could hire? Or is there a babysitting service or agency in your area that you could contact?

In case it helps, here's Child Welfare info from the US Government about leaving children home alone. On page 2, it says that 3 states DO have minimum age requirements for leaving an individual child alone:
- MD = 8 yo
- OR = 10 yo
- IL = 14yo

Tibbie in her post above makes a good point about there may be other restrictions about how young the oldest child can be for watching siblings all day.

Here's a website with "family friendly jury duty info" listed by state. That might help you at least know how lenient or stringent your court system might be.

BEST of luck in finding a solution that works and that you are comfortable with! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Good news!

I have a 13 year old who could have been left with 2 younger kids at age 11 - but I have a 10 year old who cannot even be left by himself, much less with other kids to be responsible for.  Maybe for 15 minutes.  Maybe not.  

So I voted yes, because you think it would work for your kids and I trust your judgment as their parents.

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13 hours ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

You need to check if there's a law with an age restriction. In some places, you may not leave the 5yo with a carer younger than 12. 

Here it is illegal to leave kids with anyone under 14.  Or leave any kid younger than 14 without reasonable supervision which twice a day does not seem to be.  I would write and ask to be excused.

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You may feel your kids are ready, and maybe they are in terms of maturity.

But it really depends on the local laws and customs.  You could have the most responsible kids on the planet and still get reported for leaving kids of that age "home alone" for several hours at a time.  Where I live, I would not risk it.

Can you beg off jury duty due to being your kids' sole caregiver during the day?

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