Leave Them Alone
Are you imagining a Home Alone scene here? No, that isn’t what we mean. There are varying levels of being alone that are appropriate, depending on age and maturity. If your young child is playing happily in a safe space, it’s ok to step out of eyesight and quietly peek back in on them time to time. Children are learning to entertain themselves and play imaginatively when they’re on their own.

Older children can be allowed to play with friends, explore the neighborhood, and eventually to be left home alone for short stints. Talk to your kids about what level of independence they want to work towards and what sort of behavior you need to see from them in order for them to earn it. A child that is consistent about following rules, making safe choices, and being trustworthy deserves to be able to stretch out and explore being more independent.