At what age do you think is appropriate to leave a child home alone and for how long?
When it is legal in the state you live in.
11/12 for 3 hrs max unless they are mature for longer. Any longer and i would have a trusted adult check in on them.
My state does not have a legal age limit, the law just says "when they can safely be left alone."
I would not leave a child alone until they felt safe and comfortable being alone. Knew how to call for help and handle emergencies and had a mature, logical head.
I have met 7 year olds that I would consider mature enough to leave home (but never actually did!), and I have had a 14 year old in my care that I would think twice about walking to the mail box without taking him with me.
Maturity aside, I think 11 or 12 would be the youngest I would actually do it.
I looked this up. There are only 2, maybe 3 states who have age laws on the books. Illinois I think is one of them.
I was just talking to my mother in law (who was in social services for over 30 years) and she seems to think my kids are okay to leave alone for several hours. They are 9 and 12 years old now.
Quoting diaperstodating:When it is legal in the state you live in.
I live in Maryland where eight year olds can stay home alone.
Yes I think that is young to stay home alone. My older boys didn't stay home alone for hours at a time until around 10/11. My eight year old doesn't stay home alone for hours, when he is home with no adults one or two older brothers are home to.
Thanks everyone! I have a 10 year old stepson and I'm not sure whether he's old enough to stay home, I haven't yet! I think starting to prepare him is a good idea though on what to do if situations arise!
Most states do not have laws on the books regarding this. You need to first check with your local police to see if your local municipality or county have laws on the books, many do. Then you need to assess the maturity of your child, their ability to handle emergencies, and your location into that mix. I wouldn't ever leave a child alone any younger than the laws for your area, that is just asking for trouble.
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