“Are You There, Alexa? It’s Me, Mom.” :: Is Alexa the New Home Phone?

One of the many questions that pops up in Mom Groups is “How old would your kid need to be for you to trust them home alone for 15-30 minutes?”

The problem is that Louisiana doesn’t have a clear-cut age to leave your kid home alone. I am not here to give you an answer, because I don’t have one. I think each kid is their own determinant. I will tell you, I’ve seen many legal and law enforcement mention there is a particular base age that you would be safest from prosecution of “abandonment” if something were to happen.

But that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to share how we’ve been preparing our children for the days they could potentially be left home alone. First and foremost, our kids memorize parent and grandparent phone numbers as part of their school curriculum. They have also memorized their address and surrounding landmarks if there was ever a need to give directions to our house. We also run regular 911 practice calls (NOT actually calling 911) where we walk through how 911 would answer, how they will ask for your location address twice (this is where landmarks come in handy), and how my kids would need to disclose our Great Pyrenees for the safety of Emergency Services.

Alllll of those things aside, let’s get to WHY ALEXA? Our daughter only recently saved up for an iPad that is wifi dependent. Our kids do not own a phone. We do not have a landline. So how would our kids contact us or anyone else IF something were to happen while they were home alone? Enter, our family butler Alexa! When we first started “training” our kids to be home alone (AKA we were mowing the lawn & trusting them to fend for themselves inside) we taught them to say, “Alexa find phone.” A feature I use more often than I care to admit. This would call my phone, showing up as an unknown number, and I could in return “drop in” to our Alexa and ask what was going on. We practiced this over and over. Somewhere along the road, we were able to connect Alexa to our cell phone and thus our contact list. So now, our kids practice, “Alexa, call Ice Adam Mobile.” Then she will ring just like a home phone and we can chat as if on speaker phone. This feature makes us reachable at all times and gives the kids the comfort that they can reach us if needed. It also allows your kids to rat out their siblings if they’re being punks! Ha!

Recently, I was talking among friends about how old, and how long, they could trust their kids at home and I mentioned our Alexa training. I was shocked that many didn’t know about this feature as it’s become so commonplace to us. I was quickly told, to “write a post about this!” So here we are.

What tips or tricks would you add for preparing your kids to be home alone?

Trix Raney
Trix started her life in Georgia after living in Myrtle Beach, Tahoe City, and Nashville, her (now) husband wrangled her into a life of Bayou living here in Baton Rouge. She’s the mother of six; a vivacious 9 year old, a curly haired 6 year old, their hurricane of a youngest 4 year old, and 3 sweet babes taken far too soon. She’s well versed in potty humor & innuendos while perfecting the art of sarcasm on the daily. When she’s not busy living the home school life, complete with yoga pants & coffee she is running her business Rane or Shine Designs.


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