I’m almost duplicating my titles…
I wrote earlier in the month about the possibility that Sean and I might never be empty nesters.
This post is about Cam.
It started at the end of his grade 5 year (this past school year). I would let him ride his bike home if I stayed at the Park with the younger two. He would be home on his own for about 15 minutes.
It was a good test for him to prove that he could follow our rules for being alone:
- no cooking anything on the stove, microwave or toaster oven
- lock the doors when you get inside
- don’t answer the phone unless it Mom or Dad
- do not answer the door
- NOBODY is to know you are alone
- no XBox live when you’re alone.
Last week I wanted to take Cuyler and Eva out to a bookstore. Cam didn’t want to go. I thought it was a good opportunity to show him that I trusted him and that I thought he would be just fine on his own for longer than 15 minutes. We went through all the rules.
When I told him I might be an hour, a look of nervous excitement came over his face.
Really?? Oh wow. Okay but what if it thunders?
“If you get scared and want me to come home, call me and I’ll come home right away.”
I wasn’t going far at all. I would have walked but the sky was threatening rain so I drove. I was a 2 minute drive away. He knew how close I was going to be and I think that took away any apprehension he may have had.
He did good and I was proud of him. It probably won’t happen too often, but now I know I can trust him to stay safe if I do have to leave him.
Even though the boys are only 18 month apart, Cuyler’s interests are closer to Eva’s. Cam is getting older and not often wanting to do the things they want to, so this could work out well as we move along in life. I wouldn’t even consider leaving either of his siblings in his care for a few more years, but for now this is a big step for us!
Finally. Something is easier. Another milestone. Hallelujah!
What do you think – is 11 a good age to start?
Are your kids older? How old were they when you let them stay home alone?