‘We’re just mollycoddling children’ Eamonn Holmes hits back at expert who says kids under 14 should not be left at home alone

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  • Eamonn Holmes has questioned the views of child behavioural expert Lorrine Marer, who said that children shouldn’t be left home alone under the age of 14.

    The debate centred around a poll conducted by Good Morning Britain, which found that 45% of parents would leave their child under 14 at home, without supervision.

    However the NSPCC recently warned parents that they needed to think carefully before leaving their children home alone over the summer holidays.

    Even though there is no law, the NSPCC’s guidelines say that: ‘Children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency and should not be left at home alone for a long period of time’ and ‘Children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight.’

    Eamonn, 58, who is stepping in for Piers Morgan on the ITV show whilst he’s away, argued: ‘We’re just mollycoddling children, wrapping them up in too much cotton wool.

    ‘You’re shaving at 14, a lot of them are parents are 14, they’re all watching Love Island at 14.

    ‘At ten I would have been all day watching Scooby Doo and eating Sugar Puffs, doing what I wanted, and been very happy no one was there to bother me.’

    Lorrine, however, responded: ‘The NSPCC guidelines say you shouldn’t leave a child under 14.

    ‘My belief is a child’s brain hasn’t matured sufficiently to be able to make conscious decisions about safety.’

    ‘It may be wrong, but that’s life,’ Eammonn admitted. ‘What kind of world do you live in?’

    Mum Kerry Davies, who was also on the programme, said she leaves her 10-year-old son, Gabriel, at home on his own for over eight hours a day.

    She said: ‘Each child is different. By putting a law in place you’re actually taking parental responsibility away from parents. It’s my judgement call as a parent.

    ‘Although my 10-year-old son is alone, he’s not really because his grandparents are round the corner, I’m on the phone to him all the time, I have CCTV on my phone so I can check him on at any point in the day and there’s Skype and FaceTime.’

    ‘The problem with instilling a law is that there are some 14-year-olds out there who aren’t responsible enough. It does come down to the child. I am teaching my son to be responsible and I’m teaching him to be independent.’

    When do you think is the right age for kids to be left on their own at home? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!