Work at Home Job Search       Find The Perfect Home Business! Free Match Up Service
150 Home Biz Opps Got a Blog? List it for Free! Free Fax Covers
WAHM Directory  ||  Promote Your Business ||  Links  ||  Freebies  ||  Kid Stuff  ||  Recipes  ||  Work at Home Blog  ||  Contact  ||  Advertise

Get Our Articles
On Your Website
Click Here

Moms Network Articles 
Back To School
Beauty and Fashion for Moms
Computer and Technology
Family & Kid Crafts
Frugal Living
Health and Fitness
Home and Garden
How To's
Life Coaching
Money, Taxes & Small Business
Organizing Life, Home and Work
Parent & Child
Problems With Solutions
Product Reviews
Psychology for Moms
Snippets of Success
Success Stories
Taking Care of You
Working @ Home
Working Your Business

Parent & Child
Home Alone this Summer
By Courtesy of ARA Content 
Jun 6, 2006, 10:18

Email this article
 Printer friendly page


(ARA) - Here comes summer and if you're the parent of a pre-teen, you can bet this question is coming, too: "Why can't I stay home by myself this summer?"

How do you know when they're ready to be on their own at home while you're at work? "Part of successful parenting lies in the ability to accurately assess your child's level of maturity," says Dr. James Longhurst, a licensed psychologist for Starr Commonwealth, a child and family services organization founded nearly a century ago. "The foundation for how they will handle themselves was established at day one. If you've been in tune with your child over the years, you'll know when they're ready."

Certainly you'll want to check to see if there are state regulations governing at what age a child can stay home alone, says Longhurst, but your best indicator will be that little voice inside. "If you have concerns, it means you probably should have concerns," he says. "One of a child's developmental stages involves responsibility. Sensitivity to where your child is on the developmental continuum can help you make wise accommodations."

One child may need no guidance at all about using the oven on her own, for example, while another may be safer just making sandwiches for himself at lunch. A child who will end up in front of the television all day needs more direction than one who's more productive with his time.

The point is exhaustive lists of dos and don'ts aren't nearly as helpful as rules that take a child's particular situation into account. "Situational parenting means you offer more or less direction, depending on the situation," says Longhurst. "This kind of flexibility shows your child that you understand who he is and that, in turn, builds confidence and trust."

Emergency procedures, whether or not to allow friends in the house when you're gone, household tasks that need to be accomplished - these are just a few of the issues you and your child should discuss and settle together. Longhurst's highly successful work with troubled youth at Starr Commonwealth has shown him that when kids have an opportunity to help set the rules for their own behavior they end up embracing those rules and living up to the trust placed in them. "Identify the areas up for discussion and then really discuss them. Let kids know you want them to be part of the process," he says.

Longhurst suggests other activities that can help your child have a summer "alone" that helps build family bonds and personal confidence:

* Check with your child's school to find out what subject areas they'll be studying in the coming year. Then, get creative. Rent movies that pertain to the subject, for example. "Make activities like watching TV productive rather than consumptive," says Longhurst.

* Help them discover a new hobby. If your child is interested, photography can be a good choice. There's plenty of subject matter around the house or in the neighborhood. A simple camera, even a disposable one, allows them to see the familiar with new eyes. "Many communities have classes or camps with a focus on a particular hobby," says Longhurst. "This can help break up the summer a bit and offer some new opportunities for your child."

* Love tomatoes? Enjoy flowers? Plant a small garden together and let your child tend it during the week. It's a great family activity, too, one you can enjoy together in the evenings or on the weekends.

* Look for volunteer opportunities in your community. There are plenty of activities a child can do for a favorite organization without leaving the house. Charities always need people to address envelopes, design flyers, even bake items for bake sales. "Service learning is important to healthy development," says Longhurst. "It teaches us that we're a part of something bigger than just ourselves."

For more information about Starr Commonwealth and Montcalm Schools, Starr's private residential treatment program for girls and boys ages 12 to 18, call (866) 289-9201 or visit their Web sites at or

Courtesy of ARA Content

© Copyright 2003 - 2011 by

Top of Page

Submit Articles
Parent & Child
Latest Headlines
Anxious Kids: 6 Tips for Alleviating Their Stress
The Classroom of Life: Six Essential Lessons to Teach Your Children
Are You Preparing Your Kids Emotionally for College
Is Your Teen Driving Yet?: Humorist Describes How To REALLY Test Your Teen’s Driving Skills
Get Educated Now About Preventing Child Abductions and Molestations
Top 12 Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe This Summer
12 GOING ON 30: Young Girls Wearing Too Much Make-up
Summer Brings More Pressure to Drink among Teens: Leading NYC Psychologist and Addiction Expert Offers a Refresher for Parents on Talking to Their Teens About Drinking
Parents, Are You Listening or Lecturing to Your Kids? Five Tips to Help You Listen
Planning a Dora Birthday Party
How to Plan a Spiderrman Birthday Party Theme
Curious Toddlers Can't Resist the Potentially Dangerous Goodies in Grandma's Purse
4 Blocks to Building a Lifelong Relationship with Your Daughter
Raising Multilingual Children: The First 5 Steos To Success


Free Content for Websites   Free Fax Covers   Direct Sales Opportunities   Home Business Profiles   Message Boards
How to Choose a Home Based Business   100 Home Party Games   Work at Home Tips  Guide to Direct Sales Success  
Partners In Success   Free Online Business Card   Webring   Coloring Pages  Crafts   Recipes   Family Links Guide

©Copyright 1997 - 2013 Moms Network Exchange (MNE) No content from the MNE site can be used without written permission.
Moms Network  P.O. Box 238  Rosemount, MN  55068 (phone) 651-423-4036  (fax) 651-322-1702