When a parent decides that a child is able to stay home alone or babysit they should begin with short periods of time and slowly lengthen the time as they become more confident in the child’s competence. The decision to leave a child home or allow them to babysit should be solely based on the parents’ personal feelings and experience with their child.
It is suggested that you look up information for whatever state you live in to see if there’s any law on what age a child has to be in order to be left alone or babysit. In general, children under the age of 10 should not be left on their own or to be responsible for babysitting. Most people would say the perfect age to start doing both is around 11-13 years old since they are no longer considered babies and are now consider Middle Schoolers. Start gradual with leaving them for an hour here and there and gradually leaving them home for longer with and without their sibling. This will beneficial for you by decreasing stress and you might actually be able to get out for a quiet, night out with your spouse, friends or even a kid free shopping outing. Do not feel bad because you’re fostering a sense of responsibility and at that age they want and need that.
There comes a time when your children have to contribute something so why not save some money by eliminating aftercare such as babysitting, after school program and so on. Also be sure to make your child aware of the rules and what to do in case of an emergency.
Written by: Cynthia L., Staff Writer, Modern Domestic