Dad Life

This Mom Created A Helpful Chart To Decide When Kids Can Be Left Home Alone

Leaving your kids home alone for the first time? Consult this chart to make sure it’s a good idea.


Leaving a child home alone for the first time fills every parent with tremendous anxiety.

What if something happens? What if there’s an emergency and the kid doesn’t know what to do? What if the kid finds my stash of smokeable medicine?!?!

At some point, every kid has to be left home alone. If you’re not sure what age is acceptable, Mique (pronounced Mickey) over at Thirty Handmade Days created this helpful chart.

She points out that age is important to consider, but there are other factors involved include specific state laws, the maturity of the child, how long the child will be alone and the general safety of the neighborhood.

Mique uses her kids as an example, explaining “One of my kids will never be able to stay home alone, and yet another who is young is the most responsible of the three.”

She compiled the chart and guidelines using this article as a guide and by consulting state-mandated age restrictions from this website.

Here are Mique’s suggestions, and remember, these are ONLY SUGGESTIONS.

Guidelines For Leaving Kids Home Alone


Up until the kids are ten years old, they “should not be left alone for more than an hour and only during daylight and early evening hours,” she suggests.

The amount of time doubles once the child hits 11, and by age 13, she feels kids can be left alone for even longer but not overnight.

Once the child hits 16, they can be left alone for up to two nights in a row or long enough to throw an insane party that you don’t find out about until they’re 30.

The mom of three also suggests going over the basic rules with a kid, posting an emergency list, teaching the child how to lock and unlock all of the doors and windows, where to go in case of emergency and which shoebox hid deep in your closet THEY’RE TO NEVER, EVER TOUCH!

If you can’t read the chart, Mique offers a downloadable version on her website.

Do you remember the first time your parents left you home alone?

I stayed home alone for the first time in the fourth grade. I would come home from school every day, around 3 pm, and stayed by myself until 5 pm when my dad got home from work.

It was my favorite part of the day. I could do whatever I wanted. WHATEVER I wanted.

I usually just watched TV.

Yup, living life on the edge since day one.

At what age did you let your kids stay home alone? Did it go well? Did it backfire? Let me know in the comments.


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