As a busy mother, no matter how much you might wish to, you aren’t going to be able to stay by your children’s sides every hour of the day. Be it for grocery shopping, work, or taking time out for yourself, there will be moments when you have to be away from your little ones. Although leaving your kids alone at home might not be your first choice, it may be your only one. It’s only natural for you to worry when you do this, but as long as your children are old enough and prepared, they should be just fine. With that in mind, here are seven vital tips for leaving your kids home alone.
Lay Out Some Ground Rules
Before leaving your children by themselves, you need to lay out rules for them to follow. These should include guidelines regarding preparing food, having friends over, answering the door, and playing outside. Most parents ask that their kids remain indoors while they’re away so that they always know where they are. This eliminates the risk of them being locked out too. Only let your children use appliances if you’re certain they won’t get hurt and tell them never to open the door.
Schedule Times To Call
As much as you should trust your kids, you will want to check in on them while they’re home alone. This is why you should set up a schedule for calls. Some parents ask their kids to call as soon as they return home from school, while others allow them an hour or two to settle down before checking in. Make sure that your children understand when you’re available so that you don’t miss your call from them. If you’re busy, you can have them check in with a trusted relative.
Child-Proof The House
Regardless of how well your kids follow the rules, your house could still pose a threat to them. Without you there to keep an eye on things, you must make sure that your home is child-proof. Make sure that you keep any medicines, chemicals, knives, and other dangerous items away from your kids, especially very young ones, by locking them away. You should also use safety plugs in power outlets, secure electrical cords, clear walkways, and fence off outdoor play areas.
Make An Emergency Plan
You will feel much more confident about leaving your little ones alone if they learn basic skills that might come in handy in an emergency, like first aid and CPR. It’s also crucial that you have a plan for what to do in the event of an emergency. A medical alert system can be a great help, so look into these dependable devices at affordable prices. A lot of people panic in an emergency, especially young children, so being able to push just a single button for help is ideal.
Stock Up On Necessities
The worst time to run out of toilet paper, bread, or juice is when you’re not there to buy any more. If you’re planning on leaving your children by themselves, then you must make sure that your home is stocked up. As well as food, toiletries, and similar essentials, you should fully stock your first aid box. You should also check that you have working flashlights and batteries in case of a power cut. You might be happy to walk around with candles, but you won’t want your kids to.
Pick A Few Activities
Idle hands can very easily find their way into mischief. Even if your kids are usually well-behaved, they might break a rule or two if they find themselves bored. This is why you should give them something constructive to do while you’re out. You could assign them a routine of chores to do, for example. This will promote responsibility and take the pressure off you. Alternatively, you could encourage them to work on their homework assignments or focus on their hobbies.
Have A Practice Run
Different kids can be left alone for different periods of time. While many places have no rules regarding the age at which children can be left alone, it’s rarely a good idea to leave kids younger than ten by themselves. Even once they reach this age, you shouldn’t be out of the house longer than an hour or two. Rather than throw your kids in at the deep end and leave them for this long, you should have a practice run. Start by being out of the house for around fifteen minutes only.
Leaving your kids home alone can definitely be nerve-wracking, but, with these tips, you can be confident that they are safe and happy.