How Old Does Your Child Have To Be To Legally Leave Them Home Alone In New Jersey?
I am not a mom - well...I'm a dog mom but that doesn't count for this post - and it is safe to say that I am pretty much clueless with everything being a parent entails.
Well not everything: I know you that feeding the baby and dressing the baby are some of the most basic demands of being a parent.
But raising an entire human being comes with a lot of other questions and grey areas that come along with the everyday task of parenting.
A question regarding parenting came up the other day and I had no idea what the answer is. So I decided to look into it because I can't be the only one.
A friend of mine and I were hoping to meet up for a quick glass of happy hour wine the other day when her partner -- aka the free babysitter -- needed to stay late at work.
We ended up cancelling because she was worried about leaving her 9-year-old daughter home alone.
It's a valid concern but could she really have gotten in trouble?
Let's find out:
How old does my child legally have to be to leave them home alone in New Jersey??
It's a fair question and it doesn't just apply when parents want to go be social. .
What if dad needs to run down the road to grab milk and bread?
What if mom's errand will take no more than 10 minutes?
What if neighbors nearby are home and are aware of the situation?
Plus, this topic resurfaces once a child's age hits double digits -- when can they legally start taking on baby sitting duties?
So I did some research and believe it or not, the laws regarding this topic in New Jersey are pretty vague.
"The State of New Jersey does not specify a legal age when children can be left home alone. Instead, parents are asked to make that judgment themselves, but this opens them up to the risk of being labeled irresponsible or neglectful if something goes wrong," is written on FamilyLawyersNewJersey.com.
So no. There is no official law in New Jersey...but shouldn't there be?
So let me ask the parents at the Jersey Shore: If we were to make a law on this tomorrow, at what age do you think kids can legally be left home alone?
Email me with your responses at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com!
Whenever there is a shade of grey with a topic like this, it can open a can of worms.
I started babysitting at the age of 12 to make some extra money and I remember feeling more than ready to handle that responsibility.
What should you base it on? I guess it comes down to your child's maturity and how prone they are to get into trouble.
Friends of mine have told me stories when they turn around for no more than 30 seconds and somehow, their kids have achieved the impossible. (Crayons on the walls, covering themselves in balmex, etc....)
It happens, they are called kids for a reason.
So parents, follow your gut. And if there is even 1% of doubt about leaving your child home alone, then bring them along.
Again....I know I am not a mom so I do acknowledge that I know next to nothing when it comes to the ins and outs of parenting.
For more information on this topic, take a look at FamilyLawyersNewJersey.com.
Have a new bundle of joy on the way? First of all...CONGRATS!
But here are some popular baby name ideas:
Top 20 Baby Names in New Jersey
How Many of These Popular New Jersey Attractions Have You Been To?
RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks