1. Parenting

Video:When Are Kids Ready to Stay Home Alone?

with David Knupp

Knowing when your child is ready to stay home alone is not always marked by a certain age. The child has to be responsible and prepared to be home without adult supervision. Learn how to gauge the right time for kids to stay home alone.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Parenting Videos
  • Single Parents Videos

Transcript:When Are Kids Ready to Stay Home Alone?

Hey everyone, David Knupp here for about.com. Most parents will eventually have to face the question, “Is my child ready to stay home alone?”. It’s one of the most difficult decisions a parent can make. So today I’m going to discuss some common guidelines that parents can use to help them decide if their child is ready to stay home alone.

Is Your Child Responsible Enough to Stay Home Alone?

One of the first things that you should think about when making this decision, is how well your child follows your instructions, regardless if you are there them or not. If your child has shown that they are capable and willing to follow your instructions, such as doing household chores, this can indicate that they will follow your instructions when you are not present.

Discuss the Rules for Being Home Alone

Another question to ask yourself is, does your child feel confident enough to stay home alone? Talking with your child about how they feel about staying home alone is very important. If your child does not feel capable of being alone, problems will arise if they are left alone. However, if they are confident about being left alone, they might be ready for a test run. You should also consider if your child knows the rules they must follow and what is expected of them when you are not at home. Discussing what is expected of your child beforehand is one of the best ways of assuring they know how to behave. Another good way to help them remember, is having the rules written down for them to see.

Prepare the Child for Any Emergency While Home Alone

Another thing to look for, is can your child explain can your child give you explicit detail of what to do in case of an emergency? Making sure your child knows what to do in case of a fire or medical emergency is very important thing to consider. You should always make sure that your child aware of emergency numbers when considering leaving them home alone.

Another good thing to test out if your child can handle staying by themselves, is to do practice runs, by letting them stay by themselves for short periods of time. But remember, at first it’s only good to leave them for between 10 to 20 minutes during a practice run. This will also allow you to see how they behave by themselves, even if it’s a relatively short amount of time. Thanks for watching everyone, for more information visit us on the web at About.com.
About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.