What’s a Good age to Leave Kids Home Alone?

Every parent has this dilemma with their school aged children.  Many states laws have a very thin line on when children can be left home alone.  A lot of states do not state a specific age, but state it depends on the maturity of the child.

There have been many news stories about this topic.  I remember one from a few years back.  Parents left their responsible teenager home while they went out to the store, and while they were out the house caught on fire.  Their teen made it out safely, but they were arrested for leaving their responsible teenager home alone.

My 14 year old is very mature for her age.  She is also very responsible.  She has always been.for a long time.  We have been allowing her to remain home since she was 10.  We have also allowed her to babysit her siblings.  We set it up where a good, neighbor whom we were very close with would know when my husband and I were leaving.  My daughter had this neighbors phone number, just in case.  My daughter would also babysit for that neighbors children while myself or my husband was at home, just in case.  My preteen was another story.  She is 11 now.  At the beginning of the last school year I would take her to her friends house in the morning before I went to work, so she could get on the school bus at their house.  My 5 year old I would take to day care, which is really expensive.  When we moved to the house we are currently living in, the kids had to change schools, unfortunately.  We found a new day care that was much cheaper than the last that I would take the 5 year old to before work..  However, my husbands job had decreased hours, so we were tight on funds.  My 14 year old would leave for school at 7:20 and my 11 year old didn’t have to leave until 7:50.  I was a complete nervous wreck!  We made her a house key, and told her that before she leave she needs to text me, and she needs to text me when she gets on the bus before turning her phone off for the school day.  She proved to be very responsible.  She and the 5 year old argue a lot, so we never allow her to babysit the youngest.

What brings me onto this topic today is a news story I saw on my Facebook from ABC News.  I don’t feel like they gave enough information for my to form an opinion on this specific case.  What are your thoughts on this topic?  Do you leave your kids, preteens, or teens home alone?  What age did  you start to leave them home or what do you think is a good age to start?  I would love to hear from you! Mom Faces Felony Charge for Letting Girl Play in Park


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