When do you leave your kids home alone? That is a tough question and I just researched it from a grandparents’ point of view which as it turns out is the same as a parents. So, at what age do you leave your kids home?
There are two ways of looking at it. Do the kids want to stay home? Are they afraid of staying home alone or are they bugging you to let them be home alone? Finally, do you need the “freedom” from them every once in awhile; do you need a “built-in” babysitter?
My wife and I had three sons. They ran the gamut in staying home alone. Of course we had a bad experience with youngsters.
When our oldest son was very small we had two nieces babysit so my wife and I could have a “date night” and spend the evening at a hotel. As usual I forgot something so we had to run by home. We pulled up just as a number of boys were let in the house smoking cigars no less. Of course we dismissed the girls and although we laugh about it now at the time it soured us on juvenile responsibility.
Of our three sons, only one, the oldest was interested in staying home alone at around fourteen. The other two never really wanted to stay home alone despite the fact they were mature and capable.
We had more variation when it came to staying overnight somewhere else. Our oldest and youngest sons loved to stay somewhere else while our middle son liked it at home and to a large degree still does.
Our concerns have come more in this area. We worried about the influence of other kids when one of our boys spent the night. Certainly we had our share of phone calls of problems to varying degrees.
All of this begs the question; “When is it alright to let kids stay home alone?
The answer given is somewhat disappointing. It is a totally individual thing. When a kid is comfortable staying home alone and when they have exhibited behavior that leads you to trust them then they are ready to stay alone. It is basically intuition on the parents’ part. Our reference article suggests that mothers have the edge when it comes to knowing how a child is going to do home alone.
It is a tough decision but the more experience you get as a parent or grandparent the easier it becomes.
Grandparents.com, Lori Marshall, “Are Your Grandkids Ready to Stay Home Alone?”