SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Feb. 7, 2014) -- Parents with children between the ages of 9 (soon to be 10) and 12 are invited to participate with their children in an educational workshop to help prepare children for being left unsupervised.

The workshop is called "Home Alone" and is offered once a month by the Family Advocacy Program at Army Community Service.

The class is designed to be engaging, interactive and practical as it teaches lessons via presentations and activities from a variety of speakers. Subjects covered include first aid, fire safety, stranger awareness and Internet safety.

Parents and their children are provided the opportunity to discuss and agree upon rules for safety to be followed when parents are not at home. This monthly class gives the families a unique and valuable chance to open a meaningful dialogue between them on this important matter.

The group setting allows for lively discussion during which concerns, questions and solutions are shared. Family members have the opportunity to bring up ideas and suggestions that another family may not think of. Each family's end result is personalized for the home situation. There is no "one size fits all" set of rules for every family.

"It is fascinating to watch parents and their children discover how they have similar values as they participate in this process," remarked one parent, recently.

"I thought we would have to argue about some of the rules," commented a 10 year old.

"I feel like I have more peace of mind," said a Soldier who brought her 11 year old to the class.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Child Supervision Guidelines are very clear in specifying that children under the age of 10 are not to be left unsupervised. Some children may have the ability to make good decisions at age 10, and some take much longer to develop this skill, so parents must assess when their children are ready to be left unsupervised.

The Home Alone class can help families work together to start this exciting new phase of growing up.