Depending on how old your children are, chances are they are asking, “Why can’t we come home from school even if you’re not here?” or “Why can’t we stay home alone while you grocery shop?” It’s normal and natural for your children to want to assert their independence just as it’s normal and natural for you to want to put the brakes on that happening!
Only you know if your child is responsible enough to be left home alone, but even when you’re convinced he or she will be all right for a little while, it doesn’t completely take away your anxiety, right? Even if you have cell phones you may worry that in an emergency your child would panic or might not be able to quickly remember your number. You can invest in the LifeFone Family Guard™ which provides your family the benefits of its Mobile Alert™. In other words, you can have a “personal panic button” that your children can use and one that can monitor, in real time, the locations of your family members. This device is ideal for families whose children are latch-key kids and who need peace of mind.
The app can be customized to your unique family needs and each family member can have his or her own panic button on the smart phone app. You will be rest assured that with this device your children will be safe at home!
Even with access to a mobile alert device there are still some items to consider before leaving your child home alone and they include:
- Is your child really ready? Only you can know that for sure. Remember that some states have laws that will determine the age at which a child can lawfully be left home alone.
- Have you told him or her what to do if the phone rings? Should they answer it? What should they say so that the caller doesn’t know they are home alone? What should they do if someone comes to the door? These are items you need to discuss so they know how to react.
- Make sure they have a safe place to carry the house key and have a back up plan in case they lose the key. Where will they go? What will they do?
- Make certain they call you as soon as they get home from school and are safely in the house – this is an added layer of peace of mind for you.
- Have a snack ready for them that they don’t have to climb up to reach. Don’t have a snack that requires the use of a knife or a stove or microwave. Cut up fruit or cheese that’s prepared and on a plate in the refrigerator which is a great snack as are pretzels and dip – anything that you can prepare in advance.
Your children shouldn’t announce to their friends or on the school bus that they will be home alone, even though they will probably want to! Tell them that if you’re trusting them to be home alone that you’re also trusting them to not let other people know – not because you don’t trust their friends, but because you don’t know who else may be listening in.