One of the questions I often hear parents ask is at what age should you leave your child at home alone? There are many reasons parents may consider leaving their child home alone, whether there is a need for afterschool care or the parents simply need to go somewhere without children. Some parents are left with no option but to let their kids stay home alone.
It’s a big step to decide when your child should be left at home alone, a decision that comes with many questions, concerns, and doubts. There are a few broad guidelines, and some legal requirements in some areas, that will need to be taken into consideration. Some state laws regulate when children can be left at home legally based on their age. It is always important to understand the laws before making a decision. This post is brought to you by our sponsors at http://www.junkremovalsmyrna.com/
Even if your child can be left home alone legally, you may first want to consider leaving them with an older sibling or family member. Many times, there are options available with the neighborhoods, or another family that may be facing the same situation. Switching off childcare with another family can be a great way to ensure your child stay safe if you are uncertain of their ability to stay home alone.
If you can legally leave your child home alone, and of the above options are available, your child needs to have a clear plan of what to do to stay safe. The ability for your child to make good sound choices is much more important than their physical age. You need to understand how well they can follow rules and stay safe when no one is home to monitor them. Are they able to read and understand a simple plan, then follow through with it? If something happens while you are away, do they know what to do?
If you decide to leave your child at home alone, lay out your expectations clearly. Also discuss any fears your child may have about staying home alone. Try a few test runs for short period of time initially, then slowly increase the amount of time you leave them at home. This will help you to monitor if they are ready to handle the responsibility and help build their confidence.