As your children grow up and earn enough trust to ensure they will not be throwing any house parties whilst you’re away, there comes a time where they are able to take on extra responsibilities. This includes being left home alone or babysitting younger siblings. If this is the first time you have felt comfortable leaving your child, you may have your reserves and worries about doing so. However, if they are of an appropriate age (16 or over / whatever age you believe to be suitable) and are already doing washing, cooking, cleaning – able to take full care of themselves – it may be time to let go of the reins a little. Here are some top tips on how you can leave the house knowing it is good hands, after best preparing your children for their first time being home alone.
Reinforce Teachings Before You Leave
Your children may have heard “don’t open the door to strangers” and “keep the back door locked” countless times, but it is a proven fact that if you hear something multiple times, you are more likely to remember it. Going over a few things before you walk out the door will just remind your children of all the essential house rules, and help you to relax knowing that they will be safe. You can also remind them of the consequences if they do step out of line – just in case.
Always Leave Numbers By The Phone Just In Case
Just in case, leaving a list of phone numbers by the house phone is a good idea. Leaving the next door neighbors, a close relative, yours and your partners etc. will cover all bases if your child needs to get hold of someone, but their first choice doesn’t pick up. Yes, we live in the age of mobiles, however, if there is an emergency, then your child may not think straight and just head directly to the house phone. Having everything prepared for them will not only help them to feel at ease but keep their stress levels down if anything does go wrong. You can even look into wireless security system that ensures even if WiFi or phone lines go down, they are backed up for use in an emergency.
Have A Trial Day
If you are still feeling hesitant, you could trial a day with your children have a home alone experience. You can have a duvet day, so you’re available if you’re needed but the aim of the day is to get through without needing assistance. This will not only reassure you but also your children – that they are ok to be in the house for a few hours unsupervised. This is especially useful if your child is babysitting younger siblings for the first time – they can write down any questions they had throughout the day ready, so they feel prepared for the real thing.
Hopefully, this has given you a few tips and tricks on how you can best prepare your child for that first “home alone” experience, and how you can help to put your mind at ease in the process.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.