Saturday, January 1, 2011

How do I know when to leave my kids alone?

Ms. Dorothy,
At what age should I let my children start walking home from school alone? And along these same lines, at what age are most children old enough to be home, unsupervised?
- Mom of five

As long as you are making this decision based on your child's readiness (not your convenience), you should be able to ask them when they feel ready.

Start small; give them a way to contact you (and a back-up plan), a friend to walk with, and try it in stages.

Every child is different, as is every neighborhood and every family's comfort level. Don't do anything you, or they, are not comfortable with.

Some schools have policies about how old a child has to be to walk home with friends or siblings, and some cities have regulations about leaving a child home alone. Check with yours, and then do what feels right.

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