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South Carolina schools in both Hory County and Georgetown County will be back in session in LESS THEN ONE MONTH and if you are a parent of school-aged children, pre-teens or teenagers after-school care solutions is what’s on your mind right now, are we right?
If you’ve researched after school programs, babysitters and clubs, you know that choices are limited and enrollment is expensive.
You might be ready to try the ‘free’ route aka allow your child to be home alone after school!
The question ‘At what age can a child be left home alone after school’ is one we hear quite frequently. As parents ourselves, we’ve had that same question years ago!
There is a two-part answer to this question.
What does this mean?
It’s up to you as a parent; use your common sense and available resources!
In a previous article, we gave some advice on how to find out if your child is ready to be left home alone.
That included looking at the following criteria
One way to measure maturity is that they either bring it up themselves or that they are excited about the opportunity.
Preparation is key for a child to be ready to be home alone after school.
Rules are important!
From that previously mentioned article, we learn to
- Schedule set times for parental contact during the time spent home alone.
- Discuss telephone ettiquette and what information is ok to share and not share.
- Establish a code word in case there is a need to communicate with the child through a third party.
- Discuss before hand who should be allowed in the house, and who should not be.
- Make a list of rules. Is it ok to play with neighborhood kids or play outside? Which activities are not allowed?
- Again, a prepared person (including a child) is someone with confidence!
These rules are rules kids should know regardless of being home alone, or with a parent!
Kids are rehearsing for emergencies at school; why not rehearse them at home once per month as well?
For those among you who are excited at the prospect of being able to allow your child the freedom of being home alone after school, but are still worried, we have several options for you; all of those will ease your mind!
As parents to three kids, as small business owners and as security company owners, we know a thing or two about safety and security! We also know that as parents of teens, you can not be with them at all times, everywhere. Kids go off with their friends, or are left home alone to do homework (and chores, maybe?).
You just can not be with your child or teen 24/7.
So as your child ages and gets older, s/he should have more responsibilities around the house, and around town.
This responsibility comes with added anxiety for parents, right?!
The best way to combat this anxiety is to be informed and to teach our children well!
In previous articles, we’ve touched on several kid-related safety and security issues.
Check out the following articles for great tips and information!
So what can you do today to reduce your stress over your child gaining more independence and them being alone more?
Don’t wait – it’s never a perfect or convenient time to do it, but if you can’t make the time today, at least make the time to schedule a family safety meeting this weekend!
Let us know if we can help you in anyway!