When to leave your kids at home alone for the first time is a much debated subject, and though there is no actual legal age limit, there are things that you need to take in to consideration before you decide to leave your child by themselves.
What to think about when making the decision
- Is your child mature enough to look after themselves?
- Do they want to be left home alone?
- Will they be left with older kids to help look after them?
- How long will you be out for?
- Will they make wise decisions?
- Are they close enough to neighbour to reach out to them for help?
If you are going to leave your kids home alone, remember to:
- Leave numbers for the kids to reach you by.
- Make another family member or friend a second point of contact for if your kids can’t reach you.
- Make sure your child knows not to answer the door.
- Explain to your child what they are to do in the event of an emergency.
- Make sure they know what they are and are not allowed to do when you are out i.e. switching the cooker on, running a bath etc.
- Make sure they know what time you will be home and don’t come home late.
It is up to you when you leave your kid at home for the first time. Usually people judge it by when each individual child is mature enough.
Trust your instinct. If you don’t think they’re ready, they’re probably not, and if it’s going to make you super worried the entire time you’re out, it’s probably not time.
Listen to your child too and what they think, maybe try leaving your kids at home gradually, starting with you leaving them to see a neighbour for a cuppa for a few minutes.
Though there is no legal age limit, you musk make sure your child is not at risk or you could face prosecution.
What you guys said…
- “My brother is nearly 15 and my mum will only leave him for a hour because she gets worried.”
- “I’d leave my kids at 14/15 depending on the maturity of the child.”