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by Abigail Van Buren

Not Even Death Can Heal Family's Seven Year Feud

DEAR ABBY: I know some children who seem to be mature and are able to make logical decisions on a fairly regular basis. Still, making a decision under stress when one has not had a lot of experience can be difficult.

Having said that, at what age do you think it is appropriate to leave a child alone at home? Sometimes it's difficult to arrange for child care when kids are out of school. Do you have any guidelines as to what to look for that can help make this decision? -- BUSY WORKING PARENT IN KANSAS

DEAR BUSY WORKING PARENT: I don't think children should be left alone if there is any other alternative available -- after-school programs, YMCA, activities where they will have adult supervision. Too many things can go wrong, and you would never forgive yourself if one of them happened to your child.