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When Is A Child Old Enough To Be Left At Home Alone?
Posted By Ron On August 3, 2010 @ 1:53 AM In Parenting,Relationships | Comments Disabled
When most parents ask this question, it’s because they think there’s a legal requirement, but in most states, there is no hard and fast age for leaving a child at home alone. And there’s a very good reason why.
Children mature at different rates and some children may have special needs so, the decision can’t be defined by age alone. Your eleven year old may be okay to leave at home for a quick trip to the grocery store while my 14 year old may only get in trouble if left home alone. If you’re considering allowing your child to fly solo at the house, you’ll need to consider several factors, including your child’s maturity level, his or her emotional and physical needs, the overall environment, and your child’s ability to handle responsibility.
With today’s economic environment, in many cases, the decision to leave a child at home alone for a short while comes down to a financial decision. It’s a tough call. Though many parents long for the day they won’t have to pay for a babysitter, giving any child such a new and large responsibility should only come when they are ready.
And remember: even IF a child has the maturity to care for themselves, that doesn’t always mean they’re ready to care for other children. In fact, very rarely is one child ready to care for another.