Tuesday, August 27, 2013

At What Age?

I was going through my Drafts when I came across this draft post from June 2010. It was started because I read someone's blog post asking if parents would leaving kids in a hotel room alone. Here is my response. I'm going to give an update at the bottom....

Personally, no, I would not leave my kids alone in a hotel room. I don't like leaving my stuff in a hotel room, much less my babies!! My kids are 7 and 4 though. When they are 12 and 9, I'm sure I would be okay going to the pool or something for less than an hour while they sleep. I know some hotels we've been to offer babysitting services. I'm sure it's fine but to me, it seems like asking someone to molest my kids.

At Home
A handful of times, I have left the kids in the condo while I ran down the 4 stories to the parking garage to bring up the rest of the groceries or to throw out some trash. Usually this was because Mini Me had fallen asleep and it was that or let my frozen foods thaw for 2 hours.

Ultimately, depending upon what state we are in would determine what age I leave my kids alone for an extended period of time. I have no fear that my kids won't be mature enough to be alone and not get into anything crazy or kill each other. They are good kids and we teach them to be independent whenever possible.

I've been training the kids to be independent. Motor Mouth likes to run up the stairs to try to beat us in the elevator. That is a step in the direction of independence. It's little baby steps that I will help them take to ensure they are ready when the time comes.

While a lot has changed in the children's sense of independence, not much has changed about leaving them home alone in three years. Motor Mouth is 10 now. Mini Me is 7. Both Motor Mouth and Mini Me would race us up the stairs at the condo building. I became more comfortable with the kids being in the loft while I ran down to the car or to the mailbox. I started letting the kids go down to meet friends coming to the building.

I checked our state laws. Motor Mouth can stay home with Mini Me alone for short periods of time. So if I needed to run out for less than 20 minutes to drop J at work at 5:30 am so we could have the car or pick J up from the L station at 11:30 pm. The kids have iPods now so they could text us if there is a problem. In fact, we are in regular contact when they are home with a babysitter. There were times I gave a neighbor the baby monitor to listen for the kids if they woke up when J and I were out past their bedtime. Usually, when the kids had a babysitter or a neighbor on monitor, we had the kids sleep in the same bedroom. You can't be too safe.

Never have I ever left the kids home alone to fend for themselves for more than 30 minutes. Nor will I any time soon. We will see what happens in 1-2 years. But for right now, I am with our kids 24/7. Literally - I still work at their school.  And for the record, I'm not a helicopter parent. I just feel that their safety is our priority and we do what we feel will keep our kids as safe as possible.

No comments: