A couple of years ago, I watched a cartoon that stuck with me. I can’t remember the show’s name or even many vital details, but one phrase stuck out, you are safe now, my child.
Later that evening, I had a dream, and the following day I wrote a manuscript for a children’s book entitled, What Dreams Are Made Of.
The manuscript was about a little girl that was having nightmares, and her grandmother was comforting her. As I watch my children get older, I realize that there is so much I want to shield them from, but can’t.
And that I want to stop time from moving forward, even just for a little while. But I can’t do that, either. As parents, we all want to keep our children safe, but eventually, we need to allow them the freedom to grow up and branch out.
They need to be able to do things on their own. One big question that so many parents struggle with is when to leave a child home alone. Many parents will wait as long as possible to do this.
But some parents don’t have that luxury. Sometimes, a parent doesn’t have a choice but to leave the child on their own for a short time, whether they want to do this or not.
Did you know that there are guidelines put forth for every individual state?
You Are Safe Now My Child: The Appropriate Age For Kids Staying Home Alone
Children of various ages are allowed to stay home alone for different periods, unsupervised, depending on their lives. For example, a child that is eleven years old can stay home alone in the state of North Carolina for up to a few hours.
In Massachusetts, the age is ten years old, and in California, the age is twelve years old. So, the first thing you should do is look up the guidelines in your state.
Then, do your best to assess your situation and the maturity level of your child. Trust your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to that feeling, and don’t leave your child alone.
But, if you feel that your child is responsible enough to have a little bit of freedom in this regard and meet the age requirement set by your state, it might be time to let them spread their wings a bit.
There is no real answer to the question of when to leave a child home alone. It shouldn’t only be based on age, but also demographics, such as where you live and how safe the neighborhood is if the child has the capability of calling 911 if that’s necessary, and, of course, the child’s level of maturity.
This is a question that needs to be made individually by each parent, and the answer could vary from child to child within the same household if necessary.
I hope you can use some of the guidelines from this article to help you make this decision. But, remember, you are the parent, and you know your child better than anyone else. Use your judgment, trust yourself, and make the best decision that you can for your family.
Brittany started her writing career as a ghostwriter before independently publishing The Zion Series (a young adult trilogy), two books of poetry and several other short eBooks. Her novels are currently being translated into three other languages and one is being adapted into a screenplay.
Brittany has an Associate’s degree in Education, and prior to beginning her writing career, she worked as a preschool teacher, a Sunday School teacher, and as a private tutor for adults with intellectual disabilities.She lives in North Carolina with her two children.
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