There has been a lot in the lot news and various parent sites about leaving your children home alone. Would you, should you, how old exactly should they be before you even contemplate it?
Before writing this I thought I would have a little look and see if there is actually any laws or guidelines on this subject and do you know what? There isn’t any actual laws at all the NSPCC has some guidelines however.
You would think there there would be something in place wouldn’t you? If we as parent could be so easily prosecuted for neglect or abandonment then surely there should be a law in place to help us as parents judge this grey area because lets face it not all of us parents are going to agree are we!
I think I can actually see why as well. I mean each child is unique, some mature quicker than others. Each parent raises their child(ren) differently so who can realistically say what would be right for one would be right for another?
When I was 11 I used to babysit a family friends children. We both lived on the same road and my mum was always home when I was there. To me I felt like I was responsible enough for this as the children weren’t babies, the baby was with my mum, and usually they would all be in bed. However this came to an abrupt end when one night the police knocked on the door and asked for my mum. This is when I found out that I was too young to babysit but in 3 months time when I was 12 then that would be perfectly fine. This situation happened again when I was indeed 12 the same neighbour ‘concerned’ that the children were at risk but they left quite happy that there was no danger and I was mature enough to handle any situation with various phone numbers available to me as contacts and my mum a few doors down.
It’s enough to make you wonder, I do now, was I actually responsible enough at that age and would I ever do that to Olivia? At 8 years old she is far to young to be left in that situation or to be left home alone isn’t she! I feel that she is still too young to be able to look after herself should she be on her own and I don’t trust her to be able to feed herself past snacks and sandwiches. Saying this, I have on occasion nipped to the shop with her staying in the house. Usually at her request I should add. You can see the shop from my front door it takes me less than a minute to get there and back. I take my keys so she doesn’t have to open the door to anyone, I turn the fire off if it is on and the cooker too and Olivia is usually either sitting on the sofa or in her room. She is a sensible girl and I know she won’t try anything she shouldn’t in the whole 3-4 minutes I am gone except turn the sky over to the disney channel!
This is the extent of my trust though, she is absolutely not old enough to left alone any longer than that and especially not overnight but some more definitive guidelines or laws would be handy to help us out don’t you think?
What do you think? I would some other parents views on this subject!