Is My Child Old Enough to Be Left at Home Alone?

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Left at home

As your child grows older you may be wondering when is the perfect time for your child to be left at home alone for a little while. For some parents it can be eased over time, or there could be an emergency you have to attend to and you need to put your child in charge for a short period of time.

In this guide from one of the best boarding schools in the UK, we look at the key things to keep in mind when you decide when to leave your child alone.

Your child’s age

For starters, your child should be around the age of a teenager to be left at home alone. There are legal guidelines to adhere to when leaving your child alone for an extended period of time that you will need to keep in mind.

Your child’s level of responsibility

If your child is of the right age to be left at home alone then it’s time to consider their level of responsibility. Do they help around the home, or pick up chores where they can? Do they think about things independently and offer their own opinions on things freely?

Most importantly, does your child know how to handle themselves? These are the things you will have to think about when considering when to leave your child alone. A good test of their skills is by leaving them alone for an hour at a time, then slowly increasing this time.

Your child’s level of maturity

Being mature is something most of us learn to manage naturally as we age, but for children it’s important that they’re aware of what they’ll need to do if they are left at home alone. A child that isn’t mature enough means they will struggle with handling what’s been asked of them easily. Maturity can be developed by giving your child plenty of tasks they have to handle on their own, like chores or other tasks like walking the dog alone.

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