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Rules to help keep your child safe if they have to be at home after school by themselves.
Nashville, Ark. – Think raising kids is hard? Try leaving them alone in your house
– completely unsupervised – for a few hours. Terror knows no bounds.
With the start of school, your children may be staying by themselves for
a few minutes or a couple of hours before you get home from work. Don’t worry! This
is a common practice for lots of parents. And there are millions of homes still standing
and safe, happy children inside when Mom and Dad do arrive. You can tame the fear
and turn what could be a stressful situation into a positive experience for both you
and your children.
Start by preparing your kids and mapping out your expectations of how
they should handle their time alone. Sit down together and discuss the rules. While
rules can be flexible and should meet your situation, here are some to consider.
Talk to your kids about who is allowed to come in the house while you are away. This
could be grandparents, an aunt or uncle, or a trusted neighbor. Otherwise, explain
that they should not answer the door to anyone else.
Emergencies could happen. Teach them how and when to call 911. Of course, stress to
them they should also call you in the event of an emergency.
Kids who learn to entertain themselves are more creative and capable of problem solving.
Another plus, being at home by themselves can build independence and bolster self-esteem.
It goes without saying, consider the age of the child. Kindergarten children do not
need to be left alone at home. However, most eleven-year-olds and older can handle
the added responsibility. As a parent, you know your child and what they are capable
Finally, there are some great after school programs to get involved with. 4-H is the
youth development program of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
There are several 4-H Clubs and activities that meet after school. 4-H programs are
educational, build leadership skills and provide opportunities for youth to give back
to their community through service projects. Call the Howard County Extension Service
if you are interested in learning more about 4-H. The University of Arkansas System
Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible
persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national
origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information,
or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity
Try these recipes for great after school snacks. They are easy-to-make and are nutritious.
Make the granola bars on the weekend and enjoy as an after-school snack or a quick
1 whole grain tortilla
1 ½ Tablespoons peanut butter
½ to 1 cup sliced fruit (any kind-apples, bananas, pears, grapes, etc.)
2 cups rolled oats
¾ cup dried blueberries (or any other dried fruit)
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash hands. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease an 8x8-inch square pan with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper if
Combine oats, blueberries, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
Add oil, honey, and vanilla extract and stir until evenly combined.
Pour mixture into pan and press with a spatula to flatten.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp to the touch.
Allow to cool completely in pan and then cut into 12 equal-sized bars.
Yield: 12 bars
Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate,
2 g fiber, 0 mg sodium
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.