Some parents leave their children at home as young as 7 years old! The actual age when it is ok to let a child supervise themselves will depend upon the child and their level of responsibility or understanding of what to do in different situations. For instance, what do you do if a stranger s at the door? How to you handle it if you hear someone breaking in? If there is a fire how do you handle that? Even then there is such of a thing as too young, even in this new era.
Some mothers say that leaving a 7 year old at home for 45 minutes to an hour is no problem. Other moms think that is ludicrous. Modern day parents believe that it adds to their independence and confidence. Some state laws are in place enforcing an age limit for leaving children unsupervised in the home. You may want to check in your state first if you are considering this new age parenting trend. You can go online to childwelfare.gov and see what applies to you.
Just because the law says 12 or 13 does not mean your child is personally ready, and if you have a child that is younger than state law mandates it is not ok to leave them alone whether you feel they are ready or not. With a legal aged child start with short timeframes on a trial basis, and do not leave them alone a lot. Do not immediately leave them in charge of younger siblings. Try not to become predictable in the times your child will be home alone.
If you are clear by law to give it a shot here are some tips to know whether or not your child is ready.
- He or she confidently knows all safety plans for fire, injury, choking, strangers and poisoning and when to dial 911
- Do some role playing
- Make sure all of the rules are crystal clear
- Go over safety plans periodically, including break ins and weather emergencies
- Check in often, and take time to discuss the alone times with your child
- Consider nanny cams or streaming security video that you can view in real time from your cell.
- Make a neighbor or close friend aware that your child is there and ask them to keep an eye out if acceptable.
Eventually all parents will face the question “how young is too young?”
Your children will eventually reach out for that independence if it is not freely offered by the parent. Leaving your child at home alone when it is age and responsibility appropriate is a great way to make your child confident, independent and self-sufficient providing it is not abused by leaving them alone excessively.
Aside of the laws in your area, it is the maturity level and not the age of the child that truly needs to be considered. The child in question must be able to analyze process and react appropriately in emergencies. Role paying and actin out scenarios helps your child become familiar with routine and you will have the peace of mind in knowing and not just hoping they know what to do.
If you are leaving your child at home alone do not become predictable. Never post about it on social media and watch your neighborhood for anything out of the ordinary. Predators are cunning and always on the prowl these days.
Keeping your child safe id your responsibility, so do not advertise that they are alone or make it easy to figure out. Check in and pop in often. Make sure there is a cordless phone available to your child in several locations throughout the home as well as a cell in case the lines are cut. Never think it cannot happen to you.
Kids younger than 10 Years old are at higher risk of injury or death when left home alone
A lot of states do not have a minimum age limit, but that does not mean your child is ready. Child abandonment is one of several charges that can be obtained if you make a bad call and something should happen. This is because children die every year in house fires or in an unexpected event while being left to fend for one another. Since it is too hard to tell who is legit and who is not all parents making irresponsible parenting decisions will be held equally responsible. When a child is less than 10 years old, those charges can become even more severe.
Criminal abandonment is a serious charge, and it is never recommended to leave a child alone under 20 no matter how responsible they seem to be and despite the circumstances. Waiting until the time is right for your child can be a healthy growing experience and milestone, and it should never be done solely because of personal connivance.