Leaving your youngster home alone for the time is enough to make any parent a little apprehensive, but it’s something we all have to do eventually. In fact, it’s important that our kids experience being left alone from time to time (once they’ve reached an appropriate age and maturity level) so that they learn to become more independent. Here are some tips for worried parents from an independent college in London.
First of all, you need to evaluate if your child is actually ready to be left alone. Just because they’ve reached a certain age, it doesn’t mean they’re emotionally mature enough to stay at home without you. Only you can decide if your child is mature enough to take care of themselves, avoid trouble and solve problems. Their feelings on the matter are also important; don’t leave them alone of they express an obvious aversion to the plan.
It’s a great idea to trial leaving your child home alone in short bursts, like a quick trip to the shop for some milk. This will help them get used to the idea of being without you in the house. Talk to them after about how they felt while you were gone and if they experienced any challenges. Ask them what they got up to whilst you were gone and make sure they know what types of activities are off limits without your supervision.
It’s also important to make sure your child knows how to safely use all of the appliances in your home, like the microwave and kettle. If you are worried that they won’t manage, then make sure you have prepared them some meals or snacks in advance so that they don’t feel the need to operate the appliances.
Discuss any potential emergencies with your child in advance so that they are prepared for the worst should it happen. For instance, explain to them what they should do if there’s a fire or a stranger knocking at the door. Make sure they have both your contact details and the details of another responsible adult who can help them in an emergency. When you do eventually leave your tween home alone, give them a call every so often to check in and see how they’re getting on without you.