Leaving the kids at home

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Big Kids, Health & Safety: Babies, Childcare

I was on my way home from work Monday night when I suddenly lost control of the car. The steering became sluggish and unresponsive and it was all I could do to wrestle the vehicle off the freeway and into a nearby shopping mall parking lot. I'm no mechanic, but it seemed to me that the power steering failed for some reason. The tow truck driver suggested it might have been the serpentine belt that failed; it connects the power steering pump to the engine, among other things.

Whatever the diagnosis, it left us with only one working car. Rachel and I both needed to be able to get to work and Jared needed to be able to get to school. We decided that I would take Rachel to her school then keep the Land Rover to get Jared to school. I would work from home so that I could have the other car towed to the repair shop.

So, in the middle of the night (it seemed), I had to get up to drive Rachel to work. We had to take the kids with us, of course, since there was no one around that early to watch them. As I lay in bed getting ready to drag my lifeless carcass back into the world of the living, I pondered having to get the kids up and into the car. Did I really have to get them up? Couldn't they just stay in bed while I ran Rachel to school?

It only takes Rachel about 5-7 minutes to get there, so it would be less than 15 minutes that we would be gone, and they would be asleep the whole time, so why couldn't we just leave them home? Of course, at five and three years old, they're too young to be left home alone, no matter what the circumstances. But it did get me wondering.

How old do kids need to be to be left home alone? Does it matter if it's just for a few minutes while they're asleep or if it's for an entire afternoon once school's out? Would you have been tempted to leave the kids home?

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 2)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.