How To Know If Your Child Is Ready To Be A Latchkey Kid

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The Florida Department of Children and Families recommends parents weigh their decision to let their child stay home alone with the answers to these questions:

  • Is my child comfortable, confident and willing to stay home alone?
  • Does my child consistently follow my rules and guidelines?
  • Has my child demonstrated good independent judgment and problem-solving skills in the past?
  • Is my child able to stay calm and not panic when confronted with unexpected events?
  • Have I brainstormed with my child about what unexpected situations could possibly come up while he or she is alone, and how to handle them?
  • Is my child consistently truthful with me? Does he or she readily come to me with problems and concerns?
  • Does my child understand the importance of safety and know basic safety procedures?
  • Will my child make decisions to stay safe, even at the risk of seeming rude or overly cautious to other children or adults?
  • Does my child have the ability to calmly provide his/her name, address, phone number and directions to our home in an emergency?
  • Can my child lock and unlock the doors and windows of our home?
  • Can my child tell time?
  • Is my child able to work independently on homework?
  • Have my child and I established a clearly structured routine for when he or she is home alone, with defined responsibilities and privileges?
  • If I have more than one child staying home, have the children demonstrated the ability to get along well and solve conflicts without physical fighting or adult intervention?
  • Have my child and I had some “dry runs” to allow him or her to practice self-care skills while I am at home, but purposefully “not available”?
  • Is our neighborhood safe?
  • Do we have neighbors that my child and I know and trust?

Answering these questions can help determine if you’re ready to leave your child home alone, but you’ll still need peace of mind. A monitored home security system is one of the most effective ways to keep your family safe during any emergency, whether you’re home or not. With home automation and home video surveillance, you can know when your child enters and leaves the home, and even check in to see firsthand how things are going around the house.

Scott Alarm has helped keep Jacksonville-area families safe for nearly 50 years. Contact us today to learn how we can help secure your home and family.

image via Creative Commons