Knowing whether or not the time is right to start leaving your child at home without adult supervision is tricky for parents, especially as the legalities around it are quite vague. It would almost be easier if the law stated a specific age that you are allowed to leave your child at home alone, but as all children mature at different rates it would be impossible to select a suitable age. I have teamed up with a prep school in Hampstead to explore further.
This is a collaborative post
Use Your Best Judgement
You know your child better than anyone, so only you can determine if you think they’d be able to handle being left at home alone. Consider what they’d be like if something unusual were to happen, like a stranger knocking on the door or if they were to break something. Do they tend to remain level-headed in the face of a challenge? Are they able to prepare simple food and drink without too much support from you? Do they actually feel comfortable with being home alone?
Prepare For Various Scenarios When Leaving Your Child At Home Alone
If you think you might have to start leaving your child at home unattended from time to time, it’s a good idea to practise in short bursts first to prepare them. Just go and sit in the car for ten minutes or take a walk around your local area so that you are close enough to dash back into the house if you need to. Leaving them alone for small periods of time will help them become more comfortable with it.
You should also try and prepare them for various different scenarios, like what to do if there’s an emergency. Make sure they have your contact number, as well as a couple of other numbers of people you trust so that there’s a backup if you can’t get to your phone. Leaving your child at home alone can feel like a big step. Good luck!
If your children are already older and you’re wondering at what age they can legally babysit siblings overnight, read this post by Emma and 3.
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