In addition to Laura’s most recent post on leaving children home alone, June 15, 2009, and our newly updated Kids Home Alone in Oregon legal research guide, here are a few websites with information and resources on leaving children home alone and child care:
“Designed for youth ages 8 to 11, this two-and-a-half-hour Red Cross course prepares children to respond safely to a variety of situations when direct parent supervision is unavailable”
See recent update (2/10/11), but also click on the Home Alone label at the bottom of this post.
1) A corrected link to the “What is the legal age for leaving a child home alone?” information at the Clackamas County Juvenile Department FAQ. This deep link changes periodically so don’t despair. Just hunt around a bit or leave a Comment here and I’ll look for the new link.
Some who just left me a Comment on my previous leaving children home alone post asked if there were any laws “about 2, 3 or 4 children being left in one home alone that are just friends or days alone or over night alone?”
I wish there was a simple answer, but there is not. Like a lot of questions about leaving children home alone, if the general information given on the various websites doesn’t answer your question, you may need to consult a “professional.” “Professionals” includes any number of possibilities, from a social worker, to a law enforcement officer to a lawyer.
Maybe it’s my bent sense of pathos and bathos, but I’ve found Nebraska’s safe haven law dilemma both incredibly heartbreaking and (darkly) humorous. The sadness is for both the parents and the children. The humor is reserved for the legislature that crafted this law with enormous Unintended Consequences. (More Nebraska abandoned-children stories here and here.)
If you either don’t have kids or if you have trouble-free kids (ha ha ha ha ha), you might not know it but, believe me, there are an awful lot of parents around the county who would love to do what these parents have been doing. Parenting is really hard and not only is it very hard to get away even for a little while, but what do you do when you have completely run out of ideas and energy and are quickly running out of love?
Yes, Oregon parents want to get away from their kids too. My most popular blog posts, in page hit numbers you might find hard to believe, are the ones on WHEN CAN I LEAVE MY KIDS ALONE! That’s right. Parent everywhere, are trying to flee their kids. They have my sympathy, and loads of it, but I’m not offering to babysit, thank you.
The most frequently sought and read posts here at this blog over the years have been the ones on babysitting and, more to the point, When Can I Leave My Kids Home Alone? (Do you wonder? Parenting is not for the fainthearted.)
My previous post from Feb 2008 is here. Most of the links are still good, including the ones to the City of Albany, Clackamas County (look for the question: What is the legal age for leaving a child home alone?), and the Red Cross (this one on babysitting).
I’ve blogged about babysitting before (and the related “when can I leave my child home alone” question) and here is more babysitting news from an unlikely, but logical, source: the Splendid Table. Last night’s (12/30/07) program had a segment on the Nanny Nutrition Dilemma (And Babysitters a Mouse Click Away), with a link to Sitter City (and their library of articles).
Long gone, sadly, are the times when babysitting meant playing with the kids, sharing a snack, putting them to bed, and then combing the shelves for books your parent didn’t have on their own shelves (or at least not on their open shelves). I grew up in a very progressive, academically-inclined, and diverse community so babysitting reading material was an education in itself.
Now you must think about food allergies – and the accompanying lawsuits and insurance if you, the babysitter, don’t follow instructions or if you, the parent, don’t behave like, well, parents.