How Old is Old Enough For Home Alone?

18 Jun

How old were you when you first stayed home alone? My kids think it’s great. I think it’s a terrible idea, imaging every kind of disaster possible. So, of course, I wrote about it. Here’s the link:

Do you remember staying home alone? How old were you? I had an old sister and younger brother so was seldom home alone. Maybe that’s why I love being alone now. Hm….yes! Let’s blame it on the siblings!

4 Responses to “How Old is Old Enough For Home Alone?”

  1. twistingthreads June 19, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    My parents almost never let me be home alone for more than an hour or two. Like you, I had older siblings, but my parents were home bodies as well. In middle school I would have loved to be left alone, and in those years and the ones following I begged for the rare opportunity. On the occasions it was granted, my parents gave the usual recitation: I wasn’t allowed to have people over, leave the house, answer the phone, answer the door, use anything sharp or potentially hazardous, or turn on any heat source (no grilled cheese, soup, or anything hot, sigh…) lest I forget to turn something off and burn down the house as a result. My parents are cautious, but on the other hand I suppose that as a result I’ve fought that much harder to prove that I’m responsible (other high schoolers, placed with restrictions like those, would probably have rebelled). My gut instinct is that the decision to leave kids home alone should probably be based on a minimum age level, maturity, their recent behavior, and the time of day they’ll be left alone, as well as how long they’ll be left home alone. Perhaps, when all parties are feeling more secure with the idea, you might consider giving your daughter a small amount of time home alone, and then gradually increasing the time to see how she handles herself in your absence. You might feel more comfortable if you eased into the transition, and everyone would have a better idea what to expect. I don’t have children, though, and even if I did, they’d probably differ in some ways, so I’m guessing.

    • jmlindy422 June 19, 2012 at 6:55 am #

      I think I might try leaving her home while I run to drop her brother off somewhere. That’s a good idea. Don’t have to have kids to have good ideas on raising them. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Mary Rayis June 19, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Thanks for the tip on the readiness checklist. I plan to see how ready my ten-year-old really is. That said, I do occasionally leave her home while I am running an errand in town or nearby. There’s no hard and fast rule about these things. You have to know your child. Even my husband and I don’t always agree sometimes. He lets her sit in the front seat of his car, and I never do unless I am driving her and three of her friends. But if I’m ever feeling too permissive or neglectful, I just read “The Glass Castle” and feel much better!

    • jmlindy422 June 19, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      I don’t know “The Glass Castle.” Tell! BTW, I would never let my daughter sit in the front right now. She’s still able to fit into 5T clothes and she’ll be 10 in August! She wears the dresses as tunics. They are very cute on her and much more modest (like her) than the stuff in the girls section. She’s only 52 lbs. I’m gonna have to look up how big they have to be to sit in front.

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