We're totally not talking about for days or weeks on end, we're talking about even as little as 10 minutes.
The National SafeKids Campaign recommends that no child be left at home alone before the age of 12 — but some parents would disagree with this.
The one thing parents CAN agree on is to not tell anyone what you think is proper, unless you want the crap judged out of you.
Here's what one parent had to say:
We had an explosive argument about this at my house, when my husband left my 8 year old home alone for 10 minutes during a rainstorm to walk the dog around the block. He was never more than an 1/4 mile away at any point, but techinically my son was “home alone”. I realized that I didn’t feel unease at the thought of my son in the house alone, but rather what others would think if they found out.
We don't think this is unreasonable, but some may. What IS unreasonable is scaring parents into worrying about what others might think.
Like this response:
“A child’s mind is simply not developed or mature enough [before age 12] to cope with possible emergencies. An emergency can occur in any period of time – even a 10 min. trip to the store. Leaving a 10-year-old in charge of a 7-year-old is not only unwise, it is unsafe and irresponsible.”
Emergencies happen all the time, and CAN happen to the parent. What if the parent was the one incapacitated??
It's also more likely that something bad could happen to your kids while you're driving them around, than say, while they're watching TV at home for 10 minutes.
What we're trying to say is, using definitive words like "unsafe" and "irresponsible" is not cool, unless it's wildly that — like leaving your 12 year old to watch your 7 and 5 year old in the Broken Glass And Sharp Knives store.
Kids begin to need responsibility, and it's up to the parent on how to ease them into that.
We don't think there's an official age, we think it depends on the kid, location, and duration — and who the parents are.
What do U think?
[Image via WENN.]