Do you remember Home Alone, a movie about a family accidentally leaving their kid at home while going on a holiday? A true classic, where the kid stood his ground against two fumbling robbers, and also managed his everyday life until the parents got back home. Although the movie handled the situation as a hilarious catastrophe, real parents find it a common occurrence to leave their kids at home for a brief amount of time. Where’s the line between letting the kid be on his/her own, and being briefly alone without adult supervision?
How Old Is “Old Enough”?
Dwelling on the question isn’t really that necessary, since the U.S. legislated a child protection law, where they clearly set the boundaries for such occasions. A child below 7 years should never be left alone. Kids between 8-10 years can remain unsupervised for half an hour in daylight. 12-year olds kids can double the alone time under the same conditions.
The 15th year marks the age when they are old enough to be left unsupervised overnight, while juveniles above 16 can be left at home for 3 days. Still, these are just bare numbers, and as we know, every child is different. Their maturity level, their willingness to follow directions, the neighborhood’s safety level and the number of other children in the house should be considered before making such a vital decision.
Leaving the kid at home doesn’t sound such big deal now as it was in the past. Now every kid knows how to use a smartphone, or use the Internet to gather information. Teaching them how to use electronic devices isn’t even necessary anymore; most kids are even better in this than their parents. Showing them the ins and outs of a modern smart home feels like an adventure, rather than a serious task. Clever kids remember the safety entry codes for opening the door and disabling the alarm, so they can enter the house without having a pair of keys to take care of.
Silently Keeping an Eye on Them
Modern technology works in your favor, even if you don’t trust your kids with such big responsibilities. Parents who are forced to leave their kids at home on a regular basis should consider opting for a home security company that offers remote cameras. This allows you to access the video feed from your tablet and smartphone, allowing you to keep an eye on your cubs while working. The cameras show when they arrive from school, whether they are doing their homework, plus it registers compromising evidence on the mysterious candy jar heist. When things turn serious, and a sensor picks up environmental or personal danger, the monitoring personnel of the alarm company contacts you immediately, so you can call your kids to instruct them to safety.
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