Friday, 23 November 2007

Leave the kids alone at home

I have a problem. Well, it's more like a moral dilemma. My kids want to be alone at home and not go with me when I work or have to run errands. So far I haven't left them alone at home for more than 5 or 10 minutes in a row because when my kids are involved I prefer to think "better safe than sorry".

But now I have serious doubts. My kids are 8 and 10 years old. When I was that age most of my friends went home from school alone and spent several hours alone until their parents got home from work. And they were perfectly fine. They even cooked their own meals.

On one hand I think my kids are too small to be alone. At the same time I know I have to start to let go. It's part of them growing up. I know. But it's so difficult to let go.

The other day I talked to a relative and she told me that she began to leave her daughter alone at home when she was 3 years old and now that she's 4 she sometimes leaves her alone for several hours. I don't know. I don't think I could do that. Could you?

I think I'll give it a try tomorrow morning. But only for an hour or so. And I'll be close by and I'll call them a couple of times. Yes, I think I could do that.

It would be interesting to know your opinion on this matter and your experiences. Leaving/not leaving the kids alone at home seems to be a cultural thing.


ANawtyMouser said...

I think that three or four is a bit young to leave a child alone at home. I don't think that one that young would be able to have the where-with-all to be able to make a decision if faced with an emergency.
A child of eight and/or nine, depending upon their maturity, is more mentally equipped to handle such a situation.
If you are really concerned, give them a list of tasks to complete that will take about the time that you will be gone to complete. This will keep their inquisitive minds and bodies occupied. In your time reduce the tasks and increase the time to add more free-trust time.
Go over all emergency procedures with them until they can recite back to you without hesitation. This too will ease your mind. Come up with senerios to allow them practice. Walk through the procedures as well as talk through them.
You will be fine. Ask God and He will guide you through this. PAX

Mayogi said...

Hi there!

Thanks for your comment. I think you're right, I will eventually be fine. It's all a matter of letting them grow up. And since they are asking for it I think that's because they are ready.

I guess it will be harder on me than on them. *lol*

God bless.

Amy said...

I think leaving a 3 or 4 year old alone could get you arrested here in the states.

8 or 10, though... probably OK for a brief stay. I think it will be hard for me, too, when mine get to be that old, but they should be mature enough to be on their own for short periods.

I don't think my parents left us alone until we were around 12.