It's hard to believe, but I'm the father of a nine year-old.  He just had his birthday last week, and we've been introducing more responsibility.  But, when is it ok for him to stay home alone?

There seem to be guidelines about when you can stop using booster seats, what age is appropriate to give them a phone, and even what sports programs are right for what age.  When you can leave the kiddos on their own at home seems to be less structured though.

There are no laws that govern or advise what age makes that appropriate, but the Department of Family and Child Services does offer some guidelines to help make the determination.  The general advice is that kids between nine and twelve can left alone for under two hours, and 13 or older can serve as babysitter.  Children under the age of eight should not be left alone.

There are exceptions to the guidelines based on that child and their level of maturity.  You can find more on this from Seattle's KING 5 TV.