Not sure? Well, believe it or not, parents aren’t quite sure themselves either because states don’t have specific laws around that exact scenario. Only three states (Illinois, Oregon, and Maryland) have laws that specify a minimum age for when a child can be left alone at home. In California, there is no specific age minimum but parents can be punished if they don’t adequately supervise their child. Confusing, we know!
Earlier this month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill that would make “free-range parenting” legal. Parents in Utah can now be the judge of whether or not their child is old and mature enough to do things like walk or bike to school, play outside, and stay at home by himself.
The idea behind this law is to help kids become more self-sufficient and to protect parents who want to give their kids a bit more independence. Senator Lincoln Fillmore sponsored the bill and said, “We want kids to be able to learn how to navigate the world so when they’re adults they’re fully prepared to handle things on their own.”
Should it be up to the parents to decide if their child is old enough to do things like walk home from school by himself?
Do you walk or bike to school by yourself? What do you wish you could do independently?