Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: What age is the right age to leave your kids home alone? And we mean alone--no mom, no dad, no babysitter, no daycare. Just the kid and the keys to the house. Did you guess 8? Or 9? Or 10? Well, you're right--unless you're wrong, that is.
It turns out, there is no correct answer. Moms, you are on your own on this one. Few states have laws on the books about the correct age to leave your kids unsupervised, according to the New York Times. And unless an unspeakable tragedy happens when you're off the clock, officials look the other way when they see a 7-year-old hanging out on the front porch with his own set of house keys and a glass of lemonade.
Moms have been leaving their kids on their own for years--can anyone say Latchkey Kid? And this generation of moms has a whole new set of tools (cell phones, e-mail, Web cams) to help them keep tabs on their brood. But a wealth of ways to call every 10 minutes doesn't make it any easier for a mom to decide when it's okay to leave the keys with the kid.
For an expert's opinion on how to keep kids safe when mom's not around, go to page 2.