Thursday, January 22, 2009

Leaving Kids Alone

The sign at the library says not to leave kids under age 7 alone but it happens all the time. That’s okay if you are 5 feet away, but across the entire huge library? If I can’t see my kids, I’m in panic mode. Call me overprotective or call me a good mom. I don’t care. It’s just who I am.

Often the parents are at a computer playing video games while their kid runs wild or bugs the librarian. Hey, if you’re gonna use the library as a babysitter, why don’t you drop your kid off, go work a part-time job and buy your very own LAPTOP to play games on!!!!!

I was 11 when my parents left me home alone in the summer, but that was because I got kicked out of the babysitting situation I was in. I was kind of a smartass, apparently, and the woman who was babysitting was kind of a jerk (Sharon Harter, thanks for nothing). And my mom was about 2 miles away AND called all the time AND was only gone a few hours a day.

These days I hear about kids as young as 8 or 9 being left at home all day in the summer or even for a few hours after school AND taking care of younger siblings. Dear God! Back in my day that would warrant a call to Child Protective Services, but apparently these days nobody gives a crap. I realize it’s not grounds for taking a child out of the home, and I wouldn’t want that anyway for a family, but can’t some alternate situation be found so kids aren’t potentially burning down the house or inviting pedophiles over?

At what age did you start leaving your kids home alone? If you aren’t quite there yet, what age do you plan to start? I’m thinking age 25 will work for my kids.