At Home Alone: A Self-Study Guide for Families With Children Who Spend Time at Home Alone

Editor's note
The following abstract describes a publication that is only available for purchase. A link to ordering information is on this page.

Karen DeBord
Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Drawing of mother and child holding a giant pencil and checking items off a list.This booklet is a self-study guide for families with children who spend time at home alone. Included are worksheets that help families make the decision to leave children home alone and that help children learn and know the rules of the home. There are instructions for parents as well as children, and there are family activity suggestions to help children learn.

Topics discussed include: how to teach safety rules; what to do when the doorbell rings or the telephone rings; how to help children fill empty hours; how to teach children to deal with everyday problems; and what adults can do to teach children how to respond to emergency situations. The booklet includes a list for telephone numbers; what to say when a child needs to call for help; a checklist to determine if a child is ready to stay alone; a list to help children deal with feelings of fear; and lists to help children determine what an emergency is and is not.

The publication also includes a list of other publications and videos about related topics.


  • Family activities
  • Making a bad-weather kit
  • Safety role playing
  • Snacks
  • Kitchen safety


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