The age old question, how old do kids need to be to be left alone at home? Is it a legal age or is it more about maturity? Let's find out the answer to this question to help avoid any confusion and you potentially spending time in jail.

According to World Population Review:

Generally, children must live with their parents or guardians until they can function in society independently. Therefore, they must always also be under the supervision of their parents or guardians, especially at home. However, when is the perfect time to leave a child alone in the house? State leaders around the country have been debating this topic for years, and many still do not have steady ground to base this decision on.


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While this doesn't really answer the question, in fact it gets even more confusing:

One concept that all states agree with is that children should be a certain age before staying at home alone. The age of the child solely depends on each region and its standards.

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Sounds like it's up in the air for each state. There are different age ranges for some states while there are no age limits for some. I think using our adult minds and being aware of our childs' maturity is key to making this decision, however, the minumum ages are important to pay attention to. World Population says that:

When it comes to the child's age, eight different ranges are acceptable for each state. These ranges are the ones that states decided are the most acceptable age to start with. That way, as the child gets older, they can begin to adapt to the change and govern themselves accordingly. These ages are used to determine what age is appropriate for kids to start babysitting.


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What's the minimum age for kids to be able to babysit and be left home alone in Michigan versus other states?

  • 14 Years Old: Illinois
  • 12 Years Old: Mississippi, Delaware, and Colorado
  • 11 Years Old: Michigan
  • 10 Years Old: Washington, Tennessee, Oregon, and New Mexico
  • 9 Years Old: North Dakota
  • 8 Years Old: North Carolina, Maryland, and Georgia
  • 6 Years Old: Kansas
  • No Age: 39 states
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When I look at this list and see Kansas with a minimum age of 6, that is scary to me. I can remember my parents leaving us kids at home alone when I was growing up when my sister was 11. I also remember being home alone at the age of 8 while my mom ran to the store, I was usually busy riding my bike.

Play it safe and use common sense. If you're 13 year old is out of control and looking to stir the pot, leaving them home alone might not be a good idea.

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