Thursday, January 27, 2011

Leaving kids home alone a matter of responsibility

Leaving kids home alone a matter of responsibility
Published January 27, 2011 in the Commercial Appeal

Last summer, I took my 6- and 8-year-old sons to see "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" at the Orpheum. The part that stood out the most for my 8-year-old is when Elliott, who is probably about 8 himself, pretends to be sick. "His mom let him stay home by himself!" my son said in wild-eyed amazement. He was awed by the fact that he might someday get to stay home by himself. He might not even have to be sick!

At what age is it legal to leave your kids home alone in Tennessee? 12? 14? What would you guess? I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there isn't actually a law in most states. I found the following guideline for Tennessee: "There is no legal age for children to stay at home alone. Parents are advised to use their best judgment, keeping the child's maturity level and safety issues in mind." (Read more)

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