Does the thought of leaving your teen or tween home alone have you worried? For many parents, the idea does. Many parents worry about their children staying up all night, hosting parties and leaving the house a total disaster. While trusting your teens and tweens in the Texas home, alone, may have you feared. The question really boils down to “Is is really acceptable?” Moreover, at what age does a child no longer need a sitter?
It really comes down to the maturity of your children. Some tweens and teens show responsibility and quick-thinking, while others do not. While there is no defined answer, you can access your individual children by answering a few simple questions.
Is Your Tween Ready? A Maturity Checklist
While, most states don’t have a specific law regarding a child’s age and being left home alone, do check before you do. If your state doesn’t, the choice is purely yours. Obviously, you don’t want to leave a 5-year-old home alone, but what about an 11-year-old or a 13-year-old?
Many experts agree that by age 10, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave the child home alone for a short time. At 10 the child should be left home alone for about a half hour and only during the day. It’s best to wait until age 13 or so, before leaving for longer periods of time or overnight.
Before leaving your children home alone, review these questions:
- What area do you live in? Living in a rural area or a neighborhood with a low crime rate may make you feel more comforted. If you do live in a busy area, ensure that you can trust your neighbors.
- Does your home have alarm system? An alarm system is a great way to ensure your children are protected. Many have live-streaming videos and updates, which alert you should an emergency happen. However, before leaving your child home alone be sure they know how to use it.
- Does your child follow the rules? Typical rules include locking the doors and windows. They also include; not opening doors for strangers, not having visitors over, etc. Ensure your child understands the importance of these rules, and will actually follow them.
- Do you have trusted neighbors? Many Texas parents feel comforted by having a trusted neighbor check on the children. This works well for extra confidence and in emergency situations.
- Has your child shown signs of responsibility? Examples may be always finishing their homework on time, without being asked. Doing chores around the house, as told or without being asked. Going to bed at the appropriate time, etc.
- Is your tween okay with the idea? Sometimes a child may not be ready to stay at home alone yet. Be sure to have the conversation with your child, include what will be expected of them and how to reach you.
House Rules for Teens from Austin to Houston
If you’ve decided that your child is responsible enough, it may be time to leave your child home alone. However, before you do so it’s important you enforce the house rules. Cover a variety of scenarios to ensure your child knows what to do and how. Examples include: not opening doors to strangers, answering the phone, whether friends are allowed over, limits on the TV and computer.
While it is acceptable to hire a Texas babysitter for your teen or tween, it’s not necessary. However, the choice is entirely up to you. If you’ve decided it’s time to cut the strings, do a trial run first. Ask the neighbors to keep a watchful eye and check-in on them. Take this time to gauge the responsibility and trust of your child, before going on long or overnight trips. If you require a Sitter just enter your Zip Code at the top of the page for any State. Your will find plenty of fantastic Babysitters from Texas to Florida and all over.