Getting started

"Our sixth grader had been begging us to leave her home alone. Now we finally felt she was ready for this responsibility." a boston father

Once you've decided your child is ready to begin staying home alone, you will want to ease into this change gradually. Like any big step, the easiest way for your child to get used to this one is to adjust to it slowly.

Start by leaving your child home for brief periods— 15 minutes perhaps, while you run out to take the sitter home or pick up a loaf of bread. These "test runs" will get longer as your child becomes more comfortable staying home alone. Gradually, and with practice, many children are able to handle bigger blocks of time home alone.

Keep up a running dialogue with your child. In the beginning, each time you return home ask your child, "How was your time alone?" "What did you do?"

"Did you feel comfortable being alone?" Listen carefully to your child's responses. And give him a chance to admit to any hidden fears or anxieties he may have. Maybe he's afraid of a dark cellar stairway, a moody bus driver, or a group of older kids who hang out at the corner of your street. Take these fears seriously, no matter how small they may seem to you, and help your child find ways to deal with them.

Check in while you're away. As you increase the amount of time you are gone, make it a point to check in regularly throughout the period your child is home alone. This holds true at the beginning, as well as after your child has more experience being alone.

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

Joy Of Modern Parenting Collection

This is a collection of parenting guides. Within this collection you will find the following titles: Issues, rule and discipline, self esteem and tips plus more.

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