Leaving Children Alone While At Work

Dear Sara,

I have two boys ages nine and eleven. We are having major financial problems. I have found a job(thank goodness). My Mom is here during the summer but she has to go home in September. I won’t be home until 6:00PM which means the boys will have to be on their own for a couple of hours when school starts. Can I safely leave them for this amount of time? I feel guilty but I don’t feel I have any options right now.

Dear Joanie,

Some kids are mature enough and others might now be, so you need to the judge of that. Kids can think up all kinds of things to get into so if you decide to leave them on their own make sure that you have a set of rules that they are supposed to follow (like no lighting candles or cooking on the stove). Give them a reward at the end of the week for following the rules. Maybe you could find a neighbor who would be willing to be there for them if they have a problem. Give them a call in the afternoon and check up on them. If you feel things aren’t going well then you may have to hire a neighborhood teen to stay with them.


  1. Give them responsibilities to keep them busy. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
    Showing faith in their ability to complete said tasks, will help them feel more mature and responsible as well.

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