Preparing Your Kids to Stay Home Alone
No parent wants to leave their child home alone, but sometimes it’s necessary. Whether you’re going to work or running errands, or planning a surprise for their birthday, it’s important to prepare your child for this experience so that they know what to do and how to stay safe. There's a lot to consider throughout this process. Is your child old enough to stay home alone? How do you prepare them? Are there home alone classes online available? We're going to cover all of this and more!
The 3 Main Questions to Ask Yourself
Is Your Child Old Enough to Stay Home Alone?
Before you make the final plunge and decide to leave your child home alone, it is vital to consider their age. Owing to a long list of safety concerns, most of the experts agree that it is not a good idea to leave children below 10 years old at home all by themselves. While every child is different, children older than 10 years old may have the adequate skills and maturity level to respond to drastic circumstances or emergencies. Therefore, if your child is 10 or older, he or she is more likely to be safe to stay alone. However, more important than their age is their maturity.
Are They Mature Enough to Stay Home by Themselves?
Perhaps, the most important thing that determines whether your kid is ready to stay at home alone or not is their maturity. Sometimes, a 10 year old is mature enough to look after their siblings and manage other tasks on their own. However, other times your kids may take some time to mature since every child is different. They may need to be older to be left alone to manage and attend home chores without your supervision. Determining your child’s maturity level is a key factor here.
Is Your Home Secured?
Another vital aspect when letting your child stay at home alone is ensuring your home is safe and secure. You should make sure all the locks on the doors and windows work to eliminate the entry chances of burglars. In addition to this, you should also ensure there are no cracks or other foundation concerns that could pose risks for your child's safety while you are away for work. Whether your child follows the rules or not, it is essential to childproof your home and keep the things you don’t want your child to have access to, hidden.
How to Tell if Your Child is Ready to Stay Home Alone
It may be tricky to tell if your child is ready to take on this new responsibility of staying home alone. It comes down to your judgement about your child. So here are some questions to think about to help you decide if your kid is ready to stay home alone or may need some more time or may benefit from attending home alone classes online.
They make phone calls comfortably
You can feel more confident about your child's stay at home if your child learns basic skills like making important phone calls in case of emergency without any fear or hesitation. They should feel comfortable doing so and this includes knowing the numbers to call and what to say when on the phone to specific numbers. However, it’s equally as important to teach your child to never answer unknown calls or make any phone calls that are not approved by you when they area home alone.
How do they feel about answering the door or phone when home alone?
Before you leave them alone, talk to your child and see how they feel about answering the door or phone when they are home alone. Children should be aware of “stranger danger” and understand that when they are home alone, that essentially means nobody is home to the outside world. So if someone knocks on the door, they shouldn’t be answering it unless they have your permission to do so.
Do they have access to a list of important phone numbers?
Make a contact information diary that contains phone numbers of people in your community that your child can trust or they can trust for his help in any worse-case scenario. The list should have contact numbers of your close friends, family members, neighbors, doctors, police, even fire department!
Can they make their own food and do they know cooking safety?
If your child knows how to prepare his own meal, make sure he follows cooking safety guidelines. Every parent has different rules for these scenarios. Make sure they know kitchen safety and what is and is not expected or allowed for them.
Are they aware of fire safety and first aid?
You can feel more confident when your child is away if they have a solid grip on fire safety rules and know how to give first aid in case of any minor accident. Having them attend home alone classes online is beneficial here as these classes always include lessons on these skills!
Do they need to take care of any siblings and are they capable of such?
If your child has younger siblings, it is important to understand your child needs to play a bigger role in taking care of himself and his sibling. Make sure your child understands his/her duties and is capable of fulfilling them. If not, they might have a greater risk of landing in troubles or accidents.
Do they know the rules for staying home alone and are they mature enough to follow them?
It is also vital to consider if your children are fully aware of all the ground rules of staying at home. If they aren't mature enough to follow them, it won't be a good idea to take risks and put this new responsibility on their shoulders.
Do They Still Need Some Guidance?
We understand that managing work and running important errands while leaving your kid at home could be challenging. With proper training and practice, your child can easily manage home alone days!
Enriching Kidz offer home alone classes online for kids called Kidz Home Alone that will teach your kids everything they need to know about being home alone, enhancing their skills and confidence. It's a 2 week course. Each week brings two classes that last for one hour and provides vital lessons for your child. We also offer in person classes in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus. Visit the website for full course details! We can’t wait to meet you and your kids!