On figuring out when a kid is old enough to be left alone

By on Feb 21st

Avital Norman Nathman, author of The Mamafesto (and the source for this post about girls' Halloween costumes), recently spent a few days on a trip with her family. After an all-day ski trip, her husband posed a question: when are kids old enough to be left to their own devices? Read on:

"So, what would you think if I set the kiddo up in the lodge with some hot cocoa and an iPad while I took a solo run down the mountain?"

My husband's question caught me off guard. He had just returned from an all-day skiing trip with our six-year-old son and amid re-tellings of spectacular runs and a spill or two, he asked that question. I responded with a hint of trepidation.

"… Did you?"

In the few moments before he answered, several different situations sped through my mind. I saw my son with a mug of hot cocoa, piled high with marshmallows of course, concentrating furiously over his newest level of Angry Birds. As if in a mental split screen, I also saw him running around the ski lodge, frantically calling for my husband while nearby adults tried to help.

In the end, neither of those things actually occurred.

You can head over to The New York Times and read the rest. What do you guys think: at what age are kids ready to be left alone?

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