Can children be home alone

When Can Children Be Left Home Alone?

Can children be home alone

Parenting is rarely an easy task at the best of times. When times get tough, like they have recently, parenting can get even tougher. With schools shut down all over the country, many parents have suddenly been reminded of just how tough parenting is. This is only made worse when some parents are still working, meaning their kids have to be left home alone.

Parents of younger kids can be left in a very tough spot. They need to work, but they also need to keep an eye on their children at home. They worry that their children may not be old enough to be left home alone. Then they wonder at what age a child can legally be left home alone in California.

It Depends on the Child

Deciding to leave a child home alone is not an easy decision to make. Most parents spend hours agonizing over that decision the first time. They may search online for answers, but unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The one nice thing is that there is no law here in the state of California that states when a child can be left home alone.

When it comes to leaving a child home alone, things vary from kid to kid. This is one of the main reasons why the state doesn’t set an age limit to when a child can be left home alone. Some kids mature faster than others, and so an 8-year-old may be ready to take care of herself for an hour or two while a 9-year-old may still need constant supervision. The state can’t make exact guidelines for this kind of thing and so refer to the parent’s expertise on their child.

To help parents make a truly informed and well thought out decision, the state does provide parents with a list of questions to ask themselves regarding their child on the California Department of Education’s website. These questions include:

  • Can he creatively solve problems?
  • Do you live in an isolated area without close neighbors?
  • Does he always let you know where he is going and when he will return?
  • Does your child become bored easily?
  • Is a neighbor home to help if needed?
  • Is he easily frightened?
  • Is she responsible?
  • Is your neighborhood safe?
  • Will you or another adult always be available to your child in case of an emergency?
  • Would caring for the younger sibling restrict the older child’s activities?
  • Would she be at home with an older brother or sister? Do siblings get along?
  • Would she spend her time responsibly?
  • Would the older sibling resent caring for the younger one?
  • Would your child rather stay home than go to a child care or after-school program?

A parent should carefully consider all of these before coming to a conclusion about what they should do with their child. Some parents may find that after considering these points, their child isn’t ready to be left on their own. Others may determine that child is ready to handle the extra responsibility that comes with being home alone.

If a parent decides that they can leave their child home alone for a few hours, the California Department of Education recommends creating some rules for the child. Some of the rules they recommend are:

  • Are they allowed to leave the house or go outside?
  • How she can reach you.
  • The foods she may eat, preferably nothing involving the stove.
  • What appliances and devices can be used.
  • What TV shows can be watched.
  • Which friends are allowed to come over.

These simple rules can help keep a child safe while they are on their own.

It’s the Parent’s Decision

No one ever said that raising kids would be easy, and that was when things were generally right in the world. With schools shut down now, parents who are stuck going to work are being forced to face the dilemma of whether or not their child is mature and responsible enough to be staying home alone.

Luckily, there is no direct law stating when a child can be left on their own for a little while. This means the act of leaving a child home alone itself is not illegal. However, a parent can run into complications if by leaving the child alone, the child stood a more than likely chance of getting hurt. In those instances, a parent could be charged with neglect. If taken to court, the judge would likely default to the parent’s reasoning and thoughts on the matter. After all, parents are the best experts on how responsible and mature their children are.

What do you think of California’s lack of laws surrounding when a child can be left home alone? Should there be a law regulating this, or is it best to leave the decision up to the parents? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.


Stimulus check

Don’t Get Scammed out of Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus check

As the world practically shuts down in response to the spreading COVID-19 Pandemic, many people are now finding themselves stuck at home. For some, this time away from work can be very welcome. For others, however, not making any money is very stressful. Millions of people across the country have either had their jobs shutdown and are receiving no paycheck, or were laid off entirely. This is a pretty big deal for those who were living paycheck to paycheck.

To counteract the lack of income, and to keep the economy from crashing entirely, the US government agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus plan. All of this money would go to places it was needed most, such as the pockets of American citizens trying to pay their bills.

As great as this plan sounds for many Americans, it sounded even better for a shady group of people. Scammers heard news of the stimulus plan being approved and immediately began creating schemes. There has been a very noticeable uptick in scams revolving around the stimulus checks that will soon be going out to people.

What Is the Stimulus Plan?

The approved stimulus plan will be issuing checks of up to $1,200 to eligible Americans across the country. People who are eligible for these checks include:

  • People making less than $75,000 a year.
  • Couples making less than $150,000 a year.
  • Disabled veterans.
  • People who receive social security.

The money will be delivered to individuals based on how they receive their tax returns. If people chose to have their tax returns deposited directly into their bank account, then that is what will happen with their stimulus money. If people selected to have their tax return check mailed to them, then their stimulus check will be mailed to the same address.

For people who do not have to file taxes each year, such as low-income taxpayers, they will need to fill out a simple tax form. More information on that can be found on the official IRS website.

The money is slated to start going out in the next few weeks, but it will likely take several months for everyone to get their money.

Scammers Are Surfacing

Scammers love when people are scared or in a panic. In this state, people are easier to trick since they aren’t paying as much attention to details as they normally are. This is why scammers always try to scare their victims. However, with all of this fear from the pandemic, they don’t have to instill that fear, they can go straight to feeding off of it.

If a person receives any form of communication regarding their stimulus money, they should ignore it. There will be no fees that need to be paid before funds can be issued. There will be no need to give personal information over the phone or through email.

The IRS states that people on social security and those that file their taxes will not have to do anything to get their stimulus checks. The system will figure out who’s getting money and how/where to send it based on previous tax information. Chances are, the IRS, or any other government agency, will not be contacting people about their checks, so there is no reason to respond to any communications about the subject.

If a person suspects that a communication is legit, then they still should not respond through the presented method. Instead, a person should go to the official IRS website and contact someone through the methods presented there. The site can be identified by having .gov at the end of the site address instead of the usual .com.

Don’t Panic

Everyone can understand how money is a bit tight right now for a lot of people. Shutting down entire industries means that millions of people are without work and likely without pay. This is why the government enacted this stimulus package. They want to ensure that people get the money they need to stay in their homes until this pandemic has come to an end.

During this tough and confusing time, it is important for people not to panic. Doing so could cause them to fall victim to any number of scams. The best thing for everyone is to stay calm and to never give personal information to anyone who contacted them first.