How young is too young to leave your child unattended?

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A case of a mother leaving her nine-year-old daughter unattended at a park while she went to work has caused a storm of people coming out nationally on both sides of the issue. While some parents say they would never leave their kids alone, others say the mom was doing what she had to do to support her family.

Reports indicate the South Carolina mom in question was arrested for unlawful conduct toward a child. If she's found guilty she could face up to 10 years behind bars.

This situation is now bringing to light to question of how young is too young to leave your kid unattended.

Mom of four Julie Harvey said this incident is a hard one to judge. She was a single mom for a while and understands finding daycare while you work isn't an easy thing to do especially if you can't afford it.

When it comes to leaving her kids unattended for long periods of time she says there are a few things she considers. She just had a situation with one of her daughters where they caught a peeping-tom spying on her, so she says gender is one factor in her decision to let her kids be independent, but that's not the only thing that stops her from letting her kids roam around alone.

"The maturity level with the kids my son would've been ok at nine to be left alone because he's a lot more mature at his age but my daughter i probably would have never left her alone," Harvey.

Since Harvey is a stay at home mom there are only a few times where her kids are left unattended, but if they are she has taught them what to be aware of when they're alone.

She says her 14-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter both know to stay away from strangers and not listen to anyone they don't know unless otherwise told by their parents.


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