How old should a kid be when they’re left home alone for the first time? Would you leave your 8-year-old son without any adult supervision?
A B.C. Supreme Court judge has decided that you can’t do that, even if it’s only for two hours.
The case involved a mom who did just that. She allowed her 8-year-old boy to hang out at home after school every weekday until 5 pm.
A previous provincial court decision told mom she must provide supervision for her son. Mom appealed the decision, but supreme court judge upheld the decision.
How was mom found out? Family services learned (possibly informed by her separated husband) that she was regularly taking this approach with her son. They visited the home, told the mother (identified as B.R.) that her son had to be at least 10 for it to be legal, but the mother refused.
The social worker testified that, in her opinion “children who are eight years of age do not have the cognitive ability to be left unsupervised,” citing various risks, including accidental poisoning or fires, which could arise “regardless of (the boy)’s level of maturity.”
Do you agree with the social worker’s opinion on what could happen to an 8-year-old left alone at home?