Now that I’m able to run to the store for a few items without buckling all my babies into car seats and lugging them in and out of the car – I feel like I’ve been handed a lovely little gift. It’s really quite nice to be able to holler at my boys, “I’m running to the post office – Asa’s in charge!”
It’s really, really, really nice to have this lovely perk. After so many years of “kid lugging” – I still haven’t gotten over the joy of how nice and easy it is to simply grab my purse and run out the door for a few minutes. If you are still in the “take your kids everywhere you go” phase – take heart! Some day, you too will be able to run to the library to return books without buckling in anyone but yourself.
They look like they can hold their own – don’t you think?
It’s not that I don’t like being with my kids. I love taking them places. It’s just that when they were babies – hooking in car seats, bundling up babies, making sure everyone is pottied and fed – took longer than the actual trip to the store in the first place. Sometimes it’s nice just to be able to run in, run out and call it done.
It was with quite a bit of hesitation that we first began to leave our kids home alone for a few minutes. I did quite a bit of research to find out how old the “legal” age was to leave kids home alone. And how old should they be before they should be left in charge of other kids?
Turns out, there is no legal age – at least none that I could find. It’s really up to you.
I think the answer to this question is dependent on many factors:
- How responsible is your child?
- How old are the other kids that will be in his/her care?
- Will the other kids respect and listen to the authority of the child in charge?
- How large and safe is your town/city?
- How comfortable does your child feel being left alone?
- Have you prepared your kids to know how to handle phone calls and knocks on the door while you’re gone?
- How long will you be gone?
- How far are you going?
- Does your child have a way to get in touch with you while you’re gone?
We seem to be a little bit later than many people around here – waiting until our boys are around 11 to be left alone, and even then, it’s only for a very short time. I think they could probably handle it before age 11 – they just haven’t seemed comfortable with the idea, so we haven’t pushed it.
Please share! At what age do you feel like it’s okay for your kids to stay home by themselves? When do you think it’s okay for a child to babysit or be in charge of other kids?