Whenever parents leave their kids home alone, nothing good ever came of it. But it can be a good experience for them. And we have a list of to do’s before leaving the kids home alone.
Don’t just say hey, I’m running to the store. I’ll be right back. So every mother hits that point where they have that three-year-old or two years old who just went down to 20 minutes nap, and they’re making something and realize they don’t have it. Gosh, he’s 10 or he’s 11, and you think it’s just a 20-minute trip. So you don’t want to just kind of throw that at them. You want to plan ahead. Kids can be left alone in certain states with requirements, but a lot of them don’t. And you can be prosecuted for neglect for leaving your children. So the more you train, the safer they are, the better off you’re going to be. Check what age is legal to leave them alone. Have a backup plan. Have a neighbor that can come over.
Make sure you have something listed on the fridge
Make sure that your children know how to use the phone. Make sure there are numbers for you, your husband, grandparents, and a neighbor who lives close by so that somebody can run over there quick if there’s a problem.
Review the rules
Have a heart to heart with your child about rules that you want to go over.
- Don’t open the door to anyone. Basic things that a child’s not going to necessarily think because they see you open the door to everybody, but it’s a different situation for them.
- Call 911
- Only answer calls from family.
- Never tell anyone you’re home alone.
- Never have people over.
The babysitter needs to know your rules
If your babysitting siblings, you’ve got to know the dynamic too. Do they get along? Do the younger ones respect the authority of the older one? Do you know they’re going to be obedient? A test run is a good idea.
That store example is a good test run. Inform your babysitter you’re going to do a test run.
Internet and TV safety
For older kids, ensure Internet and TV safety, because that is a great time to explore. Put a lock on certain websites. Don’t want to end up like Macaulay Culkin.