When you have kids, the most important thing to you instantly becomes their safety and comfort. Once they get old enough, you may want to start leaving them alone for brief lengths of time to tend to other activities. Here are five tips that will help you make this transition from always being with them to leaving them home alone.
Secure Your Home
Security, as mentioned at the start, is the most important thing for your child. Before you start leaving kids at home by themselves, make sure that your home is completely secured. Invest in strong locks, and don’t give the spare keys to people who don’t live in the household or who don’t need access to your house. Make sure that all windows are secure and can’t be opened easily from the outside. With almost 15% of the wall space in your home taken up by windows, it’s especially important to make sure that the windows can be easily opened from the inside but not from the outside.
When the time comes that you feel you are ready to start leaving your kids at home alone, make a few practice runs if possible. This will enable them to feel it out and have a go at putting to use some of the rules and responsibilities you discuss with them in advance. A good way to practice is to leave them alone for brief periods, about 30 minutes max, and don’t go too far away. When you get back, talk with them to see if they’re ready for a longer amount of time.
Talk About Emergency Situations
While no one wants to think of an emergency coming with their child all alone at home, things happen, and that is why it’s important to make sure your kids are prepared. Things like tornadoes are something you should prepare your child mentally for without scaring them, as America leads the list of absolute tornado counts with an average of more than 1,000 tornadoes recorded every year. Canada, with only about 100 annually, comes second on this list. If your child is old enough to be left at home by themselves, they are also old enough to be taught what to do in an emergency event. Besides tornadoes, consider heavy rainstorms, strangers at the door, and other situations that warrant discussion.
Always Be Accessible
When you leave, make sure that your child knows your phone number by heart and where you are at all times. On your end, make sure that you have access to your phone all the time and you are where you said you would be. If there is a need to reach you for any reason, you should be easily accessible.
Consider Purchasing a Security System
A security system will add an extra layer of protection to your home, enabling you all to have some peace of mind when you leave your children by themselves. Research thoroughly to make sure that what you settle for has great reviews and works as it should. This should ideally enable you to monitor your home through the internet while you’re away, and at least have some emergency features like alarms and emergency calling capabilities inbuilt in case of an incident. With 94% of first website impressions being related to design, make sure you purchase a security system from a reputable and trustworthy business online.
When you are ready to start leaving your children at home alone, practice is key. With a few systems in place and some planning ahead, the experience will be smooth for everyone involved. Soon enough, they will become responsible enough to get some chores done or even watch a younger sibling while you’re away.