Doing these things will help keep you in control and your children safe:
- Discuss what you expect from your child. Cover what she is to do and when, as well as what she can’t do.
- Have a practice run before you leave your child alone the first time. Let your child rehearse the routine one afternoon while you’re at a friend’s house. He can call you if he runs into a snag.
- Tell your child you trust her and that letting her stay home alone is helping her become more responsible.
- Warn your child—if he can’t follow the rules, he will lose the privilege of caring for himself after school.
- Post rules on the refrigerator door.
Here are some good rules to include on your list.
- When you get off the bus, go directly home and lock the door.
- Call me at work as soon as you get home.
- Help yourself to a snack, but absolutely no cooking.
- Do homework first.
- Watch no more than one hour of TV.
- You can call friends, but no one can visit.
- You may not leave the house.
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