No Babysitter Required

This page is part of our School Newsletter Inserts section.
Use these short articles in your school newsletters throughout the school year.

It is a milestone – both you and your child are comfortable with the thought of him or her being at home alone, no babysitter required. Setting rules or guidelines can help make this transition a positive one. However, setting rules can sometimes be difficult as youth in this age group begin to test limits and strive for independence.

‘Family decision making’ is a great place to start. Hold a family meeting and ask for your child’s opinion:

  • Speak politely. It encourages mutual respect.
  • Decide on two or three simple rules stated in a positive way. “Lock the door when you come home,” instead of “don’t leave the house unlocked.”
  • Keep a positive attitude and reward good behaviour. This will help ensure the good behaviour will happen again.
  • Change the rules as he or she becomes more responsible or if more direction is required.
  • Spend time with your child; take interest in their day. This will help to evaluate your child’s home alone experience.

Halton Children’s Aid Society strongly recommends that a child under the age of 10 should not be left home alone.

Check out local Safety Courses for Youth and resources like the At Home Alone - Family Handbook (PDF file) to help you and your child assess if they are ready to be home alone, learn about safety, organize your home, negotiate the terms or rules and evaluate how well being at home alone is going.