On the fast-pace world we are all living in, it seems harder for parents to set an age on kids in which they are mature enough to be left home alone. With all the hazards and risks that our kids are exposed to when there are no adults around them, it’s almost impossible to find a right age to do so.
It’s funny to point out that the law doesn’t set an age either, as it only states that they should never be left alone if they’ll be at risk, but what does this “risk” mean? According to recent studies and polls, kids can be at risk at any time, being the internet one of the most dangerous, yet common threats. Even when there are parents around, kids could end up as victims of grooming and other online persecutions, which means loneliness is not really a reason, as it is an excuse.
If you want to find out if your child is old enough to be left home alone, answer the following questions:
- How would your child react to the fact of being left home alone? Do you think they could cope with it? Or would they be scared?
- Do they know how to use a mobile or land phone to make a call in case of an emergency?
- Do they know who they are able to speak to in case someone came by the door?
- Is your child mature enough to cope with an extraordinary event? (a flood, power cut, etc.)
- Can they fix something to eat for themselves?
If you answered positively to most of the questions above, then it probably is time for your kids to start being left home alone. Our recommendation is to try it out for short periods of time, let’s say for 30 mins to an hour. Depending on how they behave during this time, you could gradually increase the amount of time, as they also grow older, of course.