Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 10 and 12
Problem: I'm not sure this qualifies as a problem. My children are 10 and 12 years old and I am hesitant to leave them home alone when they are sleeping. My husband feels it would be alright to leave them for a few hours as long as we told them we would be gone and that we made sure we were not gone long. They are perfectly capable of staying home during the day without an adult for short periods of time. They are mature and responsible for their ages and they feel fine about being alone. I just feel they are sooo vulnerable when they are asleep. When they are awake they can run away or call for help if there was a problem. What age is it appropriate to leave your children home alone at night? What do other parents do? Please help.
Editor's Note: As this is a common problem for parents with preteens, this happens have been one of our poll questions. Please check our Past Polls page to read people's comments.
Solution submitted by Kathy: Hi, I teach a home alone course in my city. I feel that children at this age group feel very uncomfortable being left in this position. They are still scared of the dark and the unknown. Most children I talk to admit that they would rather not be left alone, especially at night. Children that are woken from a sleep will not be able to react properly in a emergency, and may panic and may not be able to get help for themselves. I don't see anything wrong with your children being home alone earlier in the evening, but they would be much happier if you were home to tuck them safely into their beds. I know even being a adult, there's nothing else like the security of having another adult with me at night time. If you leave them alone sleeping, I would make sure that they have a phone next to the bed with a illuminated key pad.