How Old Does Your Kid Need to Be to Be Left Home Alone?

Many of us parents are busy with work responsibilities and the hectic schedules of our daily lives. Babysitters and day care programs can be expensive. So it can be exciting when your children get old enough to be home by themselves. You can save a little money, and you can be away from the house without having to worry.

So how old is old enough? There is a lot to consider when you are thinking about whether or not your children are old enough to stay home by themselves. You may have a lot of questions, a lot of doubts, and a lot of concerns when you are contemplating this.

First of all, there are many state laws which actually indicate how old your child should be before he or she can be left home alone legally. Make sure you check with your state to see what laws are involved and what the laws say about how old your child should be before you let him or her stay home alone.

If your child is legally old enough to be home alone, you may first want to consider older siblings or family members who may be able to watch your child when you are unable to be there with him or her. There also may be other families in your neighborhood that are able to help you out one day if you can help them out the next day.

If there are no friends or family who are available and if your child is legally old enough to be home alone, the next thing to think about is the child’s independence. Do they have the understanding and the wherewithal to make the decisions that need to be made? Can they understand basic safety rules? Will they know what to do in the case of an emergency? These are much more important things to consider than your child’s actual age.

When the time is right for your child to be left home alone, you will know. The most important thing is that you do whatever is right for your child and your family whenever it is right.

How to Survive Having Teenage Children

Parenting is hard. Having an infant has its own set of challenges. Having a toddler is even more difficult. And just when you’ve gotten the hang of your child, bam! You have a teenager. It can be enough to send you into a world of panic and worry. But it doesn’t have to.

The teen years are a time of confusion and upheaval for everyone involved. It’s a time of intense emotional, mental, and physical growth. The years in which your child comes of age can be some of the most difficult years that you’ve had so far as a parent. But you can get through it if you keep your head on.

Teenagers can be idealistic and optimistic. Teenagers are full of possibilities. For teenagers, anything could happen, and they look forward to getting out into the world and becoming adults. As parents, we get the opportunity to guide our children into adulthood with the support and love they need to become responsible and unique individuals.

It’s important to be prepared for all of the changes that lie ahead when you have a child who is entering adolescence. You can expect physical changes with puberty such as menstrual periods and breasts for girls as well as lower voices and facial hair for boys. You can also expect changes in behavior as teenagers want to become more independent. You can expect your teenagers to act negatively and to rebel against you. This is normal.

The best way to survive your children’s teen years is to educate yourself. Read books about being a teenager. Remember what your own teen years were like. Did you keep a journal? Go back and read it. Reconnect with your teenage self. Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes.

Another tip that is crucial to remember is that you must communicate with your teen. Have a talk with him or her explaining sexuality, masturbation, wet dreams, the physical changes their bodies will go through. This may seem embarrassing but it will be much better for them to hear about these changes from you before they experience them.

The teen years can be full of turmoil for both you and your children. Make sure you take the time to really understand where they are coming from and to reach out to them with good communication skills.  

Talking to Your Teenager About Drugs and Alcohol

So your son is 16 now. It’s finally time for him to get his driver’s license. Soon he will be a junior in high school. Where does the time go? Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday you were watching him play little league baseball? And now before you know it, it will be time to have “the talk” with your kid. No, not that talk. Chances are you’ve already had that talk with your son.

No, I’m talking about the alcohol and drug talk. By this point, I’m sure they will have seen the cool kids drinking at a party or the stoner guys hanging out with a joint in their mouths. It’s at this point that you should talk to your kid about drugs and alcohol.

First of all, it’s okay if it’s awkward. It’s going to be awkward, especially if they have started drinking or abusing drugs. But the thing is that you don’t want your kids to become chronic relapsers. While it can be difficult to get your children to follow your rules, you have got to try.

Start by being honest with your kids. Have you ever known anyone who had a problem with drugs and alcohol? Have you yourself ever had a problem with drugs or alcohol? How did you overcome that? Try to make the consequences of drinking and doing drugs well known so that your children can have all of the information to stand up to peer pressure when necessary.

You might also want to talk to them about some of their heroes who do not do drugs or drink alcohol. There are plenty of celebrities who are constantly talking about being sober, like Russel Brand. If you can find someone “cool” who is cool without using drugs or alcohol, that can really help.

Another thing is that you definitely want to give your children all of the information. They deserve to know the truth. There are a lot of great resources for talking to your kids about drugs. One such example is the Partnership for a Drug Free America (

If you do know kids who have already had serious problems with drugs or alcohol or if perhaps your kids are having this problem, it’s important that they understand their options. Try talking to them about rehabilitation facilities specific to teens like The Next Generation Village at The Recovery Village (

The most important thing about this conversation is that you aren’t shying away from talking to your teenager about the hard stuff. It may not always be easy, but in the long run, your teenager will appreciate openness and honesty much more than deception.