My son recently had a birthday. And with every age, we reassess his maturity level and what new responsibilities he can handle.
Side note: I know that maturity levels are not attached to age and that I should review levels with him every few months, but time moves way faster with children than I expected...so we are sticking with birthdays.
For his most recent birthday, we reassessed his car seat situation according to our state laws (which have changed since his birth) and the child protection laws in our state. And that is when we realized that we could start experimenting with leaving him alone for a short period of a time.
So, after a review of the rules, my husband and I went to the store, and our son stayed home. We were a little nervous, but our son was ecstatic. Like...crazy ecstatic. When we came home, he was actually somewhat disappointed to see us so soon.
We will continue to experiment and see how that goes.
I imagine that most parents go through this transition with varying degrees of nerves. The first step is knowing what your state laws are. So, it is interesting to learn that Utah is the first state that has a free-range child law on its books. In other words: Way to go, Utah!
I know that every parent has a love/hate relationship with their child's independence. It's nice to see that parents who are trying to encourage their child's ability to be on their own are starting to get some protection.
How old was your child when they first stayed in the house alone for a few hours? Tell me in the comments.