Although no parent wants to leave his or her child at home unsupervised, the fact is many parents have no choice but to leave the kids home alone. Some are left for 30 minutes while Mom runs to the supermarket. But many are left for longer periods -- usually the hours between the end of school and a parent's return from work.
Parents may feel backed into a corner when their child is too old to have a babysitter but lacks the "home-alone" experience. So how do you know if your child is ready to be left "in charge?" And what about parental concerns like child abductions, Internet predators, and experimentation with drugs and alcohol?
Read on for tips to help you decide if your youngster is ready to be left alone. Also, learn how to prepare him for this big step so that he'll be safe and sound when you walk through the door at night.