The first time I left my daughters at home alone it was for about 6 minutes – maybe 7. The time it took to quickly pick up the mail and come home.
I prepared them. They had a task to do while I was gone and I expected it to be done when I got home. They kept the doors locked and knew not to answer the door or the phone. I think I called them at least three times. Those were a nerve wracking 7 minutes – for me. They were fine and wondered why I was back so soon. They hadn’t even had a chance to complete the task I’d given them!
Here are a few things that made that initial home alone experience a success.
- A Plan – the girls were asked to complete a task while I was gone.
- Rules – they knew to keep the doors locked and not to answer the phone – unless it was me calling.
- Self Managed – they weren’t babysitting each other. Because they were responsible for themselves and each had a task to complete there was less opportunity for sibling rivalry.
If your kids are ready to take that step towards independence, take it slow, create a plan and set the boundaries. Go ahead, give it a try… start with 7 minutes!