Many parents assume that California has a law that states when a child is old enough to be left home alone, but that`s not the case. At this point, California lawmakers leave the decision to parents. The problem is that the absence of a fixed age does not exempt parents from being charged with criminal negligence if something happens to the child while he or she was home alone. The crucial point is that every child is different and everyone reaches the independence phase at different ages. This is one of the reasons why child psychologist Lisa Whitfield recommends promoting independence in children. This could include leaving her alone for short periods of time, starting at age 6 and gradually increasing the duration as she ages, but she cautions against expecting routine self-care. It`s also worth noting that there`s a big difference between leaving a ten-year-old house alone by rushing to the store and leaving them alone while you spend the night with friends. “Being able to stay home alone and take care of yourself is a healthy part of a child`s development and builds confidence in children,” she said. California is one of many states that do not have a law that determines the age at which a child can be left alone.

But that doesn`t mean it couldn`t be a crime if you do it when he`s too young. The court will decide on a case-by-case basis, and your child`s maturity level is usually the deciding factor. A 10-year-old might be able to fend for himself, while a rebellious 12-year-old might not. Keep in mind that if your child is in trouble because you left them home alone, the law could hold you criminally and civilly liable for their actions. Social expectations also play a role. Cardwell, Discovery Bay`s mother, remembers the neighbors` reaction when they learned that a 5-year-old girl had been left home alone. Although the child seemed satisfied with the arrangement, many neighbors felt compelled to keep an eye on her. California lawmakers believe it should be up to parents to decide at what age their child is responsible enough to take care of themselves when home alone. States that have laws have set this age at 10 to 12 years. Child care experts are quick to point out that it should be determined from one child to another.

Provided you do not leave and leave your child defenseless without instruction and food, and is reasonably mature, you are unlikely to be charged with criminal negligence for leaving him alone at reasonable intervals. However, this may depend to some extent on the opinions of outsiders. For Cook, the confidence of being home alone taught him to rely on himself early on. He believes it has given him an edge in life. In addition to making sure your child has demonstrated that they can take care of themselves alone at home, investigators will also look to determine if you have provided them with the means to take care of themselves while you are away. This includes providing them with enough food, entering the house and giving them a list of numbers to turn to if they need help. The California Department of Education offers a checklist of factors parents should consider when assessing whether their child is ready to be left home alone: Finally, leave a fully charged cell phone with the child so you can call or text them to check in. Related Articles Lifestyle | Bay Area Parents: Summer Daycare Can you afford to | Lifestyle: A theatre critic`s dream becomes a lifestyle | in “The Lion King” Trampled Underfoot A Mother`s Confession: Toddlers Aren`t the Only Ones Suffering from Separation Anxiety What should they do with their little ones all day? If grandparents are not an option, if both parents work crazy hours and money is tight, the norm in this country of astronomical housing costs, it can be a real stumbling block.

Summer camp is the usual route, but it can cost you a package. The average day camp costs about $304 per week, according to the American Camp Association, while an overnight camp costs about $700 per week on average, and specialized camps are even higher. In the age of helicopter parenting, it can be hard to know when to let go.