Tuesday March 31, 2015see more by jen
How old should a child be to stay home alone? What do you think?
When I started this blog my daughter was two-years-old so it is tripping me out that instead of blogging about tantrums, I am blogging about how old kids should be before staying home by themselves!
My daughter will be 9 in June. She is very mature for her age in terms of responsibility; a total rule follower. Things are black-and-white and boundaries with rules are seldom crossed.
Recently she was home sick and I had to run and grab my youngest daughter from school. Total round trip time was only 20 minutes, and as I found myself schlepping her into the school for pick-up, I thought, she would have be TOTALLY fine to stay home alone for 20 minutes.
How Old Should a Child Be to Stay Home Alone?
Then I wondered, is there a law that states how old kids have to be? I Googled it and found out here that only three states have laws of a minimum age a child must be to stay home alone. California is not one of them.
It turns out that truly it is up to the parent’s discretion when their child is ready to be left home alone for short periods of time. Which makes sense since kids mature at such different rates.
In my gut, I had the feeling she would be completely fine for a very short amount of time. Again, for short errands or pick-ups, not for long lengths of time or for the responsibility of caring for her little sister.
I found this checklist to help you decide if your child is ready to stay home alone on the California Department of Education website.
I wanted to put the question out there to you all – how old was your child when you first left them home alone? How did you decide they were ready?