[Analysis] Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?

[Analysis] Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?
August 26 08:33 2016

Some simple decisions can be the most difficult to make. Many will even say deciding whether or not to leave your child at home is not at all an easy decision. I can understand the reason for such consideration as the risks are high. You wouldn’t want to leave a child at home when in fact the child cannot handle himself without supervision. This could exposed the child to the risk of physical or psychological trauma.


 The General Rule About Leaving a Kid Home Alone

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether your kid is ready to stay home alone or not. However, if you would like a general rule, you should note that on the average a kid would not be ready to stay without supervision for a considerable long period of time until he/she is 11/12 years old. Although there are a few important exceptions to this general rule, it is generally accepted by child care experts.


Exceptions to the Home Alone Rule

 We have already mentioned that it is best not to leave a child less than 11 years old home alone and that a child above that age should be able to handle himself. However, we also need to consider the different rate of maturity of kids of the same age, and the difference in personality of such children. Here are a few reasons why a 12 year old might not be old enough to be left unsupervised and why you might be able to leave a 9 or 10 year old home alone with little risk. In summary, a ten year old might be more matured than a 15 year old.


10 Questions to Ask in considering if your kid can stay home alone.

  1. Do you think your child will be able to take care of himself and stay safe for a few hours? In addition to this, you have to consider if your child would know what to do in the case of an emergency. For instance, if there is a fire, do you think he will run out or is he more likely to freeze from the shock or waste time trying to save the cat or his toys? Or do you think he will sit down to cry if he cut himself with a sharp object.
  2. Is your child able to entertain himself for long hours on his own? It is not news that some children are more social than others. Some love to have others to play with and communicate with while others can entertain themselves for hours on end, enjoying their own company. If your child is the one who mostly just stays on his own playing video games all day even when you are home, chances are that he may not miss your absence for a while.
  1. Is your kid the little rebel? You would be setting some ground rules if you have to leave a child at home alone. It is thus important to consider if your child is the type to follow such rules or is he more likely to use the opportunity to do all the things you haven’t allowed him to do?
  2. Has he ever been on his own? I guess nothing shows ability in such a scenerio than experience. If your child has handled himself well in the past when you were absent for short periods, then he may be ready to stay alone for a bit longer.
  3. Does he know how to use the phone and fix a little snack: The reason for this is clear; you need to be sure they won’t go hungry and your little one can call you if something goes wrong?
  4. Will he do his homework? This is also clear I believe. If not, you might have to consider how to handle this before you leave or when you get back.
  5. How about his problem solving skills? Does he usually ask you to solve every little problem for him or does he usually fix most little problems on his own. You need you need to consider if you could describe a solution to little problems to him on the phone and he would be able to carry them out.
  6. Does he really want you to stay? Well, let just say some kids can chose to intentionally cause issues if they really didn’t want you to go in the first place, even if they otherwise would have handled themselves properly.


Legal Concerns

It is vital that you consider the laws and regulation in your community relating to leaving a child alone at home as some laws specify specific ages when you can leave a child alone. Therefore doing something contrary might get you into problem. Thus you might want to find out from the child welfare department if any such regulation exists in your locality.

I believe you now know a few questions to consider when deciding if leaving your young one home alone is best. In addition, you also need to consider the security situation in your neighborhood and if there has been any instances of burglary in your locality recently. Also, you might feel less scared if you know there is a close by neighbor that your child could go to if there is any specific need to do that. That way you should be able to concentrate at work without being unnecessarily scared.



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