Thursday 24 November 2022

Is my child old enough to be left at home alone?

The question of leaving your child home alone and what age is acceptable to do so has been an argument that has been ongoing for a very long time. As children get older and calmer there are many decisions that have to be made about how much independence to give them. One of these is deciding when they are mature enough to be left at home alone for the first time on their own. 

It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer in this situation and that each child will develop and gain maturity at different rates.

 Here are some top tips from an independent school in London on if your child is ready to be left at home alone. 

Question how mature your child is. When it comes to this situation age is much less important than maturity. You should question certain things such as, do you trust your child to do anything potentially dangerous whilst you leave them alone? 

  • Do they know what to do in case of an emergency? 
  • Are there any hazards in the house that could put them at potential risk? 
It is sensible to show your child how to be independent before you leave them home alone. 
Once you notice that your child is confident enough to be home alone and be safe, then take this chance to leave them at home in short bursts, to begin with.

Ensure that they have ground rules set in place before you leave them alone. 

This will depend on your child, but you might discuss what they will do while you are out, what they will do if someone knocks on the door, where they would go in case of an emergency, who and how they will contact an adult and what they know to stay away from whilst you are gone.

Remember, this is not set in stone, so if you find that your child struggles the first time you leave them on their own, take a step back and wait until they are a little bit older.

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