Structuring Time When You are Home Alone

An important part of each family’s home alone plan is how the children will use their time.  Their use of time should be safe and good for their development.

Children have different needs for privacy, quiet time, and activity time.  Children need to play, read, do homework, and talk with other children and adults for healthy development.  Be sure to include some household chores.  Researchers who followed children into adulthood found that children who are required to do chores tend to do better in life.

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Media and screen time need to be monitored to insure healthy development.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be allowed no more than two hours of screen (TV, computer, video games, etc.) time per day.  Plus we want children to be safe online so there are some guidelines you might want to think about when letting your children stay home alone.

Internet and Media Safety

Parents, now is the time to set some safety guidelines for internet and media usage, if you haven’t already. Click on the image or link below to watch a video to help you think about the topics connected to safety while online.

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Link to video about safety while online.

The internet is much more anonymous than the real world. People can hide their identity or even pretend to be someone they’re not. Sometimes, this can present a real danger to children and teens who are online. Online predators may try to lure kids and teens into sexual conversations or even face-to-face meetings. Predators will sometimes send obscene material or request that the kids send pictures of themselves.

Therefore, it’s very important to teach your kids to be on their guard whenever they are online. Make sure they know to never agree to a face-to-face meeting with someone they have met online. Your local law enforcement can help provide additional resources on this topic. Finally, there are other links in the resource section of this website that you may find helpful.

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Parents, now that you understand more about Internet safety and structuring home time, please complete the “Structuring Time” form with your child and discuss.

Structuring Time (printable copy)

Follow this link to view more scenarios to practice related to the internet and media safety.

Thank you for completing the Home Alone Online workshop!  When you click the link below and provide feedback, you’ll then have the opportunity to download your certificate of completion.

Go to Lesson 11: Congratulations! Ready, Set….Home Alone! 

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