There have been a couple instances when I was not sure if I would get home in time to get my oldest child off the bus, which got me wondering: is she old enough to let herself in for a few minutes until we get home from the doctor? My gut tells me that she would be okay, but with all the media coverage about parents getting in trouble with CPS and the Police, how can I be sure?
In a day and age when I am more afraid of a “Good Samaritan” judging and reporting my parenting decisions to the authorities, than I am of anything bad actually happening to my kids – the answer is not black and white. Our state does not have a legal age identified stating when it's okay to leave your kids alone. And, as a matter of fact, most don't! So how do we know?
It has much less to do with the age of the child, and much more to do with the maturity of the child, what the child wants, and the knowledge and skills the child has acquired.
I recently discovered a great way to ensure that they have the skills, and the knowledge, to stay home alone! HomeAloneClass.com is an amazing digital resource that includes a FREE webinar for parents (about 30 minutes) plus offers a full course for children to learn the ins-and-outs of staying home alone. The course helps fills in the gaps that parents may miss such as:
- What to do in a power outage
- What to do if a “trusted adult” (police, neighbor, etc.) knocks on the door
- How to handle nose bleeds, burns, etc.
Home Alone Class is recommended for kids ages 7-14. It is important to recognize that taking the class does not mean the child is automatically ready to be home alone for any period of time, but the class will help prepare the kids (and parents!) for the unique situations they may encounter when they are home alone.
The age range of 7-14 was chosen based on a variety of factors, including the age at which most kids “age out” of the town playground camps, the legislation in place in a few states that have minimum ages, and the age at which kids can begin enrolling in the babysitting courses.HomeAloneClass.com is a great resource for emergency planning... Click To Tweet
It is also perfectly acceptable for a child to take the home alone class more than once, and even if you have no intention of leaving your child alone quite yet – the knowledge will serve them well in the case of an emergency.