What Age Can I Leave My Child Home Alone?
The law isn’t 100% clear when it comes to leaving your child home alone; it essentially comes down to your judgement and your child’s maturity. With some careful planning and clear-cut rules, both you and your youngster can feel more prepared and comfortable with this huge new milestone. A private senior school in Hertfordshire explores in more detail below.
Preparing to leave your child at home alone
To know whether or not your child is ready to be left at home alone, you need to think about their ability to solve problems. What’s more, are they capable of safely preparing food and drink without supervision? If not, you should consider preparing their meals in advance for them.
It’s also important to ask them directly how they feel about being left at home alone. Discuss their feelings and address any concerns they might have. It’s wise to trial leaving your child home alone a few times for short bursts of time to get them used to the idea. For example, if you nip to the shop for some milk, let your child stay at home without you. Once you all know how the experience feels it will start to get easier. Check-in with your child once your back and find out how it was and whether or not they were faced with any challenges.
Only you can decide if your child is ready. When the time comes, make sure they are equipped with some emergency contact numbers (as well as yours) in case they need some help with anything. Talk through what they’re going to be doing whilst you’re gone so that you can establish whether or not they need anything. If they’re going to be using the internet, make sure you have talked them through cyber safety.
To put both your mind’s at ease, give your child a call every once in a while to see how they’re getting on. If this isn’t possible, perhaps ask a neighbour or a friend to pop in to check that they’re ok.