This is a question for many parents as they have to figure out ways to support their family while still making it worth paying daycare costs. It seems the cost of everything has gone up and many families are found leaving kids home alone at earlier ages than in my years of growing up. Mind you, I do recall being home alone around age 12 with my little sister who is four years younger than me. We did just fine but we often were left to tend to ourselves from what my memory recalls and while we fought a lot as siblings, we both worked well being home alone for the most part.
This is a different day in age we all live in, you never know who your neighbors are and many kids have not been taught through parenting what stranger danger is and what safety precautions to take when being home alone. I am one of those Moms who always tries to be proactive with anything in life, that includes teaching my kids about stranger dangers, 911 and that even the nicest of people cannot always be trusted. There is a time though when my kids will be old enough to be left home alone for periods of time and whatever age that is, I will be nervous, reluctant and have all sorts of emotions behind my decision to let them stay home alone. As would any parent.
Here is the deal though, in NH you are allowed to leave a child home alone at any age but it is noted that under age 16 years old you are not to leave them home alone over night. Basically as long as your child isn’t sleeping they can be home alone for periods of time without you having any legal problems arise. With that being said, the level of maturity is also something to factor in when making the choice to leave a kid home alone. I would probably be comfortable with my oldest being home alone for longer periods of time by the age of 12, but that’s not to say I would leave her with her brother(s) nor would I feel comfortable probably leaving her brothers home alone by the time they are 12.
Each child is different, even siblings. Everything to do with parenting and making decisions for your children stems from what you are comfortable with, what is legally accepted and how mature your children are. After asking this question on my Facebook Page, I was able to determine that most parents are comfortable leaving kids home alone by the time they are age 12. At age 12 a child can be legally able to babysit another kid so why would they not be capable of being home alone?
A local hospital offers a babysitting certification course around age 11 or 12, this means my daughter could possibly be certified to babysit in the next year so why would I not give her a little lead way on staying home alone for periods of time? The biggest thing that allowing a child to stay home alone before adulthood can bring is the trait of being trusted, responsible and mature. By leaving your kid home alone for a period of time, they are learning that you trust them and that they will have to step up with some responsibility too. Both trust and responsibility are things you want your child to learn while you are still there to help them cope with it and have consequences with their actions.
I am a huge promoter in giving a little to get a little in life, this theory can also be included in the act of parenting your child. This means that sometimes, you the parent, have to allow some freedom for your child to grow. If your child learns to grow with your guidance then they will be better off as adults, I believe this 100%.