But kids develop at different rates. Parents should consider each child individually.
Answer the following questions before making this decision:
- How long will I be gone? Children can get depressed when they spend long periods of time alone.
- Does my child have good judgment? Are you confident he can follow directions for answering the phone and door? Will he follow rules about homework, computer use, letting friends come over?
- How long has my child spent alone before? You’ll want to start small. Has your child been alone while you run errands? If not, he’s probably not ready to be alone after school until you get home from work.
- Is my child emotionally ready? He isn’t if he’s afraid of being left alone.
- Can my child handle emergencies? Does he know when and who to call? Can he operate a fire extinguisher? Follow your family’s fire escape plan?
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