When our children grow up a little and become more sensible and independent, it may be that you feel more comfortable with leaving them home alone. Perhaps you and your partner may wish to go for a weekend getaway to celebrate your anniversary, or perhaps they’re old enough to not want to come along on a family vacation.
Whatever the reason, if you feel comfortable with this and know you can trust them, then that’s great. The first time you do this, however, it can be worthwhile to make a few preparations and help them know what their responsibilities are. It can also be worthwhile to leave a few contact numbers with a neighbor, such as an A-1 Locksmith, or an emergency family contact should they need it.
It’s also important to write down everything you require of them or to remember. Of course, leaving a little money behind they can use, stocking the refrigerator, and making it absolutely clear that parties are not acceptable is a good place to start. But how can we move on and leave a mature child at home alone for the first time with complete confidence? Let’s consider that below:
Go Over The Security/Safety Measures
It’s important to make sure that you talk to your child about the security and safety measures you expect them to keep up with. Making sure all windows and doors are locked, for instance, and that slightly open upstairs windows are closed by the evening or locked on their ventilation mode, is key. Never answer the door if it’s knocked, unless expecting a visitor, can keep them safe too. If leaving a dog with them, then showing them how to watch over your pet and to keep the back gate locked so they don’t run off is key.
Let Them Know Who To Contact
Of course, showing the emergency contact numbers they can use if necessary is important too. It might be that every second day, your trusted neighbor will come over for a cup of coffee and to check on them. Perhaps you have nearby family who can be contacted should an issue arise, too. Don’t leave your child feeling alone, enable them to know they have support, and the exact time of your return.
Remind Them Of Household Management Tasks
There are a few tasks that your child will no doubt need to keep up on where appropriate, be that doing their laundry, or making sure that the heating system is properly cared for. Or, perhaps they need to be shown how to feed your pets, or any outside animals you may have (such as keeping chickens in the garden, feeding them, and making sure they are locked in their pens at night). Household management tasks of this nature can be written down in a procedural fashion, allowing for foolproof maintenance.
This, coupled with a few ground rules (such as NO parties!) can help your child learn a little independence in a secure, safe environment.