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How to know when your child is ready to stay home alone — 2 Comments

  1. This is such an interesting topic to me. When I was 9 years old, I took care of my siblings, ages 7 and 4, several days a week after school, and usually on Friday nights. I personally felt that my mom could have dispatched with the babysitter a year or so earlier. I was always comfortable home alone, with or without my siblings. My mother forced me to take babysitting jobs (with actual babies) when I was 11.

    So, from experience I can attest that some children can safely stay home alone at the age of 9. Now, my stepkids are 12 and 9, and I wouldn’t leave them for more than an hour. It has nothing to do with their age and everything to do with their mother raising them to be dependent and fearful. If you treat your children like they are capable of taking care of themselves, they will learn to take care of themselves. Personally, I find point 2 hilarious. I was also cooking without supervision at the age of 9. My mother taught me to cook from the time I could reliably stand on a chair without falling off, and therefore never needed to provide a special warning that hot things could burn. I sort of feel like parents today abdicate all responsibility for raising their kids and instead put all their efforts into protecting them. I was told that the 12-year-old was too young to ride a bus or walk to a bus stop, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be the only college freshman whose mommy chauffeurs him to classes. Teach your kids how to take care of themselves, force them to take responsibility starting from a young age, and help them grow up and launch.

  2. As far as I can remember, I was alone starting in the summer before 8th grade. I really can’t remember how we transitioned to that. I just remember I wasn’t allowed to go out. After school I was to go straight home and stay there. I think I had to call my mother when I got home. She worked 2nd shift.