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Letting Your Pre-Teen Stay Home Alone for the Summer Branson MO

One child may need no guidance at all about using the oven on her own, for example, while another may be safer just making sandwiches for himself at lunch. A child who will end up in front of the television all day needs more direction than one who's more productive with his time.

Lutz, William James Dr.
(417) 334-2502
202 South Boxcar Willie Drive
Branson, MO
Cristin Martinez
(417) 546-6003
Forsyth, MO
Practice Areas
Childhood & Adolescence, Couples & Family, Depression/Grief/Chronically or Terminally Ill, Mental Health/Agency Counseling
National Certified Counselor
Language Proficiencies

Community Christian Counseling Center
(417) 339-2535
2404 State Hwy 248 Ste 1
Branson, MO
Branson Counseling Center Llc
(417) 337-7300
574 State Highway 248
Branson, MO
Ms. Patti Bitter
Tapestry Couneling, LLC
(314) 965-7494
10820 Sunset Office Dr. Suite 204
Sunset Hills, MO
Credentials: MSW, LCSW, CASAC
Licensed in Missouri
23 Years of Experience
Problems Served
Addictions/Substance, Couple or Marital Issues, Family Dysfunction, Grief/Loss, Interpersonal Relationships, Parenting Issues, Stress, Education/Personal Development, Life Transitions, Women's Issues
Populations Served
ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), Children of Divorce, Alzheimer's, Caregivers
Membership Organizations
Age Groups Served
Young Adults (18-25), Adults (26-59), Seniors (60 +)

Data Provided by:
National Institute of Marriage
(417) 335-5882
250 Lakewood Drive Building 7-FORTH Floor
Hollister, MO
Big Brothers Big Sisters Of The Ozark Inc
(417) 337-7531
118 N 3rd St Ste 1/2
Branson, MO
Alliance Counseling Association
(417) 332-2771
154 Wintergreen Rd
Branson, MO
Branson Senior Center
(417) 335-4801
201 Compton Dr
Branson, MO
Ms. Lennis Marvel
Counseling Services, LLC
(816) 224-6500
1924 NW Copper Oaks Circle
Blue Springs, MO
Credentials: LCSW
Licensed in Missouri
18 Years of Experience
Problems Served
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Behavioral Problems, Couple or Marital Issues, Depression, Family Dysfunction, Interpersonal Relationships, Parenting Issues, Stress
Populations Served
ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics)
Membership Organizations
Age Groups Served
Children (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Adults (26-59)

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Letting Your Pre-Teen Stay Home Alone for the Summer

Provided By: 

Parent & Child

Home Alone this Summer
By Courtesy of ARA Content 
Jun 6, 2006, 10:18


(ARA) - Here comes summer and if you're the parent of a pre-teen, you can bet this question is coming, too: "Why can't I stay home by myself this summer?"

How do you know when they're ready to be on their own at home while you're at work? "Part of successful parenting lies in the ability to accurately assess your child's level of maturity," says Dr. James Longhurst, a licensed psychologist for Starr Commonwealth, a child and family services organization founded nearly a century ago. "The foundation for how they will handle themselves was established at day one. If you've been in tune with your child over the years, you'll know when they're ready."

Certainly you'll want to check to see if there are state regulations governing at what age a child can stay home alone, says Longhurst, but your best indicator will be that little voice inside. "If you have concerns, it means you probably should have concerns," he says. "One of a child's developmental stages involves responsibility. Sensitivity to where your child is on the developmental continuum can help you make wise accommodations."

One child may need no guidance at all about using the oven on her own, for example, while another may be safer just making sandwiches for himself at lunch. A child who will end up in front of the television all day needs more direction than one who's more productive with his time.

The point is exhaustive lists of dos and don'ts aren't nearly as helpful as rules that take a child's particular situation into account. "Situational parenting means you offer more or less direction, depending on the situation," says Longhurst. "This kind of flexibility shows your child that you understand who he is and that, in turn, builds confidence and trust."

Emergency procedures, whether or not to allow friends in the house when you're gone, household tasks that need to be accomplished - these are just a few of the issues you and your child should discuss and settle together. Longhurst's highly successful work with troubled youth at Starr Commonwealth has shown him that when kids have an opportunity to help set the rules for their own behavior they end up embracing those rules and living up to the trust placed in them. "Identify the areas up for discussion and then really discuss them. Let kids know you want them to be part of the process," he says.

Longhurst suggests other activities that can help your child have a summer "alone" that helps build family bonds and personal confidence:

∗ Check with your child's school to find out what subject areas they'll be studying in the coming year. Then, get creative. Rent movies that pertain to the subject, for example. "Make activities like watching TV productive rather than consumptive," says Longhurst.

∗ Help them discover a new hobby. If your child is in...

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