Leaving a baby at home is, of course, not a good idea, but when it comes to older children, the question is quite natural. As a rule, it occurs more often when a child is over six years old, it seems that he is quite capable of taking care of himself for at least twenty minutes. But what does the law tell us? And what age is really considered safe for such independence?
At what age can a child be left alone at home according to the law
The law tells us that a child cannot be left alone on the street after ten o’clock in the evening until the age of 16, and if you look at the payment of benefits for the loss of a breadwinner, which the mother also receives, then benefits are paid to the parent until the age of 14.
As for the law that answers the question – when can you leave a child alone, everything is simple here – there is no such thing in our country. Abroad, for example in the USA, there is a similar ban, since the age for it varies greatly from state to state, let’s take the minimum – it is impossible up to 12 years.
Based on the data obtained, an independent child should be considered at 12-14 years old and not earlier. Unfortunately, the reality is that most parents work, and not everyone has grandparents, and you can talk endlessly on this topic – families are not complete, situations are completely different.
At the same time, the blame is always on the side of adults, they are responsible regardless of how old the child was left alone.
The most suitable age
According to successful parents with two or more children, eight years old is an appropriate age when a child can be left alone without much concern, but with one condition – every action is controlled via email or telephone.
Some adults apply a rule of thumb – if he walks near the house without constant supervision, then the child is classified as an independent group. However, there is no perfect solution, because everything depends on the level of development.
To determine if your child can be left alone, it is enough to answer a few questions:
1. Is the child familiar with the norms of behavior?
2. Able to keep busy without an adult?
3. Does it play on its own for 20 minutes?
4. Does he make himself a sandwich without adults?
5. Does he clean up his toys?
All of these questions affect such concepts as independence, responsibility, understanding of the connection “action – consequence” and it is desirable that the answers be positive. Circumstances also play a role here.
For example, if you live in a sparsely populated area, leaving your baby is not recommended, as the risk of theft and accidents in such places increases significantly. It will be good when there is an opportunity to agree with the neighbors on a rare check or ask the older child to return from school faster.
Start with a workout
Is there no other way out? First of all, develop independence gradually. Create such moments first from a few minutes, gradually increasing the time and watch the reaction – tears, a sign that your pupil is not ready for such changes in his life.
In this case, try to leave him with the phone in his hands, communicate with the child during the entire period of absence. This is not very convenient, but prepares for independence.
The second option is to get acquainted with the clock. Ask the child to follow the arrow for 5-10 minutes and explain that exactly how long it will take you to go to the store, try to keep the promise, otherwise the next time the baby will not let you go.
Enter a reward, but not in the form of sweets or toys, but hugs and proper praise (example of praise: how big you have become, thanks to your patience / understanding / obedience, I can go grocery shopping, which will facilitate the work / employment of our daddy).
How long can a child be left alone
It depends on how comfortable your pupil feels. The recommendations given in the table below will help determine exactly how long a child can stand without the presence of adults.
There is a feeling that the child is ready for this earlier? Ask him beforehand what he thinks about it. Does he find your idea exciting? If in doubt, we advise you to wait a bit.
If positive, make sure the child knows who to open the door to, phone numbers of relatives, fire and emergency medical services, and also knows the neighbors whom he will turn to for help in an emergency.
Also, do not forget to check the availability of keys in the house, if there are no spare keys, do not close the front door, otherwise the homebody will not be able to go outside, which is very dangerous. Without spare keys, we recommend not to leave the house unattended at all.
Before leaving, turn off all electrical appliances to reduce the risk of short circuits and subsequent fire. Hide matches, lighters, candles, sharp objects if the child is under 12 years old.