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  • Age:
  • 21
  • Ethnic:
  • Nigerian
  • My sexual orientation:
  • Hetero
  • Body features:
  • I'm chubby
  • Hobbies:
  • Driving a car

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At some point during the school years, parents begin to consider the possibility of having children care for themselves before or after school rather than being cared for by others. Self-care can be a rewarding experience for children who are ready for it.

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It can help them develop independence and responsibility and can give them confidence in their own abilities. However, if the child is not ready, self-care can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation. How can you tell if your child is ready? Unfortunately, there is no magic age at which children develop the maturity and good sense needed to stay alone.

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However, there are some s that show your child may be ready. Your child should:. Children who can get ready for school on time, solve problems on their own, complete homework and household chores with a minimum of supervision, remember to tell you where they are going and when they will be back are demonstrating some of the skills, they need to care for themselves.

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For many children these abilities begin to appear between the ages of 10 — If your child is showing such s, you may want to consider self-care. However, several other factors must also decision:.

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If your neighbor hood is unsafe, if there are no adults nearby to call in case of emergency or if your child must remain alone for a very long time, it is best to continue to use some form of child care even if your child seems ready to stay alone. Preparing Your Child to Stay Alone. If you and your child agree that self-care is appropriate, the next step is providing your child with the knowledge and training needed for this new responsibility.

Children who stay alone need to :. Know how to react in situations such as:. Know house rules about:. Children who stay alone need to have:. Good telephone skills:.

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Good personal safety skills:. Good home safety skills:.

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Providing your children with this knowledge gives them confidence in their abilities and will help them deal with any emergencies that may arise. When discussing the issues with your children, give information gradually rather than all at once.

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Too much information at a time is difficult to remember. Present your children with several situations and have them act out their responses. Establish a Trial Period. After you have helped your child acquire the skills and knowledge needed to stay alone, set up a trial period of self-care to see how your child adjusts to the situation. Initially presenting it as a temporary arrangement lets children know they can choose not to continue if they are uncomfortable staying alone and allow parents to end the arrangement more easily if they feel the child is unable to handle the situation.

Children who are mentally and emotionally ready to stay alone, who have been taught the skills and knowledge needed to deal with this new responsibility and who are able to talk easily with their parents about fears or concerns that may arise, can gain much from the opportunity to care for themselves. When is it legal to leave children alone? When thinking about leaving children alone, whether for a short time or long time, it is important for parents to consider all the risks involved.

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There are many potential risks to children that need to be considered. Part of caring for children is providing adequate supervision. Under some circumstances a parent can be charged with neglect for leaving children unattended.

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How long may be left alone? What is appropriate under certain circumstances may be considered child neglect in other circumstances. This is important, even if is left alone only occasionally or for short periods of time.

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When children are placed in situations of independence that they can handle successfully, it can help them learn responsibility. However, asking too much too soon can produce frightening and potentially dangerous consequences for both the child and the parent.

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Checklist for Self-Care. It covers many of the discussion items from above.

Leaving your child home alone

Important Phone s List. Phone List. Use the list to record your own emergency s and vital information needed to know when calling for help. Children who are easily frightened or express an unwillingness to stay alone are probably not ready for this responsibility. Good parent-child communication is needed to ensure that any fears or problems that arise because of staying alone can be quickly discussed and dealt with.

Establish a Trial Period After you have helped your child acquire the skills and knowledge needed to stay alone, set up a trial period of self-care to see how your child adjusts to the situation.

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