The holidays are right around the corner and that means that people are going to be visiting friends and family a lot over the next couple of months.

Sometimes you need to leave your kids at home, but at what age can you stop paying for a babysitter and start leaving them home alone? Well, that really all depends on a few things.

What Age Can I Legally Leave My Kids Home Alone In Michigan?

There is no "official age" in which you can leave your kids home alone in Michigan. But, the state does offer some guidelines: "There is no agreed-upon age when all children are able to stay home alone safely. Because children mature at different rates, you should not base your decision on age alone." So, since there is no official age to leave your kids home alone, the question becomes, are they mature enough?

Is My Child Mature Enough To Be Left Home Alone?

The Michigan government recommends that you evaluate your child's maturity level to determine whether or not they are capable of being left home alone. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine your child's maturity level:

  • Is your child physically and mentally able to care for him- or herself?
  • Does your child obey rules and make good decisions?
  • Does your child feel comfortable or fearful about being home alone?

If you answered yes to all of those questions, they could be mature enough to be left home alone.

Questions To Ask Yourself About Leaving Your Kids Home Alone

The state also recommends asking these questions about the circumstances in which your child will be left home alone:

  • How long will your child be left home alone at one time? Will it be during the day, evening, or night? Will the child need to fix a meal?
  • How often will the child be expected to care for him- or herself?
  • How many children are being left home alone? Children who seem ready to stay home alone may not necessarily be ready to care for younger siblings.
  • Is your home safe and free of hazards?
  • How safe is your neighborhood?

Tips For Parents Leaving Their Kids Home Alone

And finally, if you do think your kid(s) are mature enough to be left home alone, the state provides some helpful tips.

  • Have a trial period
  • Role play situations that may arise
  • Establish rules while they are home alone
  • Be sure to check in often with your kids
  • Talk about how your kid(s) feel about being home alone
  • Try shorter periods of time at first

If you want to read more about leaving your kids home alone in Michigan, check out this handy pamphlet.

17 Michigan Children Have Gone Missing Since January 1, 2021

17 Children Have Gone Missing in Michigan Since January 1, 2021

More From WKFR