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Old 06-28-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,080 posts, read 3,062,520 times
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My parents would leave us home alone for long weekends starting about when I was 16 and my brother was 14. We actually never threw a party! I had my boyfriend over when I wasn't supposed to (he's my husband now), and I once drove my dad's car when I wasn't supposed to, but that was the worst of it.

My oldest is 12 1/2 so I have plenty of time to think about this. I'd think that by 16, I'd be able to trust him, but it's a good point that you can't always trust their friends, or even your own kid when it comes to mob mentality. If there's a friend/neighbor/relative he could either stay with or who could check on him each day, that might be a better bet than leaving him completely unattended.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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I don't think the default setting for teens should be that they are untrustworthy, as I think the majority are. We might not have had the college boy stay here with our sons, but they weren't old enough to drive alone to their after school activities.

OP, you son has good reasons for wanting to remain at home. What's his solution to addressing your concerns?
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:02 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,125,167 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I am not comfortable with leaving a high school student home alone. Even if the kid is responsible all that has to happen is that one person finds out that there are no adults home and you could have a mob of unsupervised, possibly wild, kids in your house.
And it might not be the students fault at all. We ended up with volunteer firemen and an entire street full of officials searching for a man with a knife when one of our neighbors let their young boy stay home alone. He had some of his friends over and somebody that was not nice found out about it and crashed. If you value your home take him with you if the only problem doing that is to extend his internship a little. I would suggest asking one of the parents of his friends to let him stay with them. He should not be home alone.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:02 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,711,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We used a college student "babysitter" when leaving our teens home. It was a boy from the neighborhood, all he had to do was ferry our sons to sports practice, and sleep here. And, I knew the student's mother would keep an eye out.

It sounds as though your son will be kept busy though, and he does have a legitimate reason to stay behind. I wouldn't rule it out completely, just because he "might" have a party. Is there a friend he can stay with?
I don't think the issue is only that the kid might have a party. We have had some situations locally, where the teen left at home did NOT have a party. However, some people found out that there were no adults at home and kids just showed up because there were no adults home. With the advent of social media just one wild kid can cause a party to happen at a home where there are no adults home. Even if the child left home alone is a responsible kid.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:06 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,711,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
And it might not be the students fault at all. We ended up with volunteer firemen and an entire street full of officials searching for a man with a knife when one of our neighbors let their young boy stay home alone. He had some of his friends over and somebody that was not nice found out about it and crashed. If you value your home take him with you if the only problem doing that is to extend his internship a little. I would suggest asking one of the parents of his friends to let him stay with them. He should not be home alone.
This is exactly my problem. I am sure the OPs child is responsible. I have a 17 year old son who would consider a house full of drunk kids his own private hell. I still won't leave him home alone for an extended period of time because we have had some issues locally with kids gathering at homes where there was no supervision.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Location: Location
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How much insurance do you have? IF it's enough to pay to replace anything that is damaged or "lost" while you're gone, and to pay for any injury real or perceived, to someone else's kid who happens to be at your house, invited or un- while you're away, then maybe you can let him stay home alone.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
My point exactly. He is not that far removed from leaving home for college. You have to start trusting that all you've taught them is going to serve them well in practice, not just theory.
Apples to oranges. First of all, it will be at least a year, probably more like two, until this kid goes to college. There's a lot of maturing going on in those last years in high school. Secondly, unless a student lives in an off-campus apt., which is rarely doable as an "away from home" college student, he will have some supervision in his college residence, e.g. an RA.

IMO, 16 1/2 is too young to leave alone, and not just b/c of the partying aspect. Does he know how to handle an emergency? Who to call if there's a problem with the house (other than mom and dad who are out of town)?
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,039,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I don't think the issue is only that the kid might have a party. We have had some situations locally, where the teen left at home did NOT have a party. However, some people found out that there were no adults at home and kids just showed up because there were no adults home. With the advent of social media just one wild kid can cause a party to happen at a home where there are no adults home. Even if the child left home alone is a responsible kid.
But here's the thing - if you have raised your child to use his critical thinking skills and gone over some worst case scenarios with him, he should be able to handle it if kids try to crash in for a party he doesn't want, among other things.

Having the self-confidence to handle all kinds of situations prepares a kid to live in the real world on his own.

And they gain that self-confidence by being allowed to have certain experiences, within boundaries of course.

Too many parents make the crucial mistake of thinking they have to "parent" a 16 year old.

Parenting should end pretty much by freshman year of high school.

After that, you mentor your child.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:01 PM
 
9,454 posts, read 15,015,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogluvr2013 View Post
Sounds like your daughter has some major issues going on, but no, not all teenagers are like that. My daughter was the same at 16 and 18. She was a good kid at 16, 18 and still is today

Just don't let your trust be blind!

Everyone likes to think they raised their child right, they're good kids, and can be trusted. But, sadly, you can't always assume things are the way they seem. I just wanted to share my experiences so others may learn from my experiences.

NEVER leave your credit cards accessible, don't leave your purse, car keys laying around ( I found my dd was taking my car for a spin late at night, she doesn't even have a driver's license!)

Closely guard your cash, keep a count

Keep your computer screen locked even if you just step away for a minute, change passwords frequently

Take particular note if your teen suddenly doesn't want to be around you, if she comes home and heads straight for her room, barely says hello---I even went through counseling, she refused to go. They gave suggestions like leave her her privacy, its a phase, etc, but never once suggested the obvious---which I didn't recognize---she was drunk/high and didn't want me to notice the telltale signs, smells, etc. So, all that time I was told there was somehow something wrong with me and that's why my dd avoided me. Counselors are supposed to have all the answers for us dimwit parents---except not once did one ever suggest that such avoidance could possibly be indicitive of drugs/drinking?

Oh, someone else asked about the legality of leaving a teen alone. It varies from state to state, but in Texas there is no defined age when its ok to leave a child alone. Basically it depends on the individual situation. Some 12-year olds are quite mature, and some 19-year olds simply shouldn't be left alone, especially if disabled.

For the insurance concerns, well, get an Umbrella policy, then, NEVER breathe a word about it to anybody, or there will be a line a mile long to slip and fall on your property!

For my dd, well, now that we know, we are taking steps to address the situation At least thank God we know before anything serious happened!

Oh, and I don't mean to hijack this thread, but trust your instincts and your nose! If you think you smell something, such as marijuana, investigate further. Weed smells different than it did 30 years ago, almost but not quite the same.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,260,665 times
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My mother left me home alone at that age on a few different occasions when she had to travel for work, and every single time, I had HUGE parties, drunk teens everywhere. Then again, I was a "wild kid" and she knew it so I don't know what she was thinking, really. It should have come as no surprise.

I have two sons, now aged 21 and 15. The 21 year old, I might have considered it at that age. He is an old soul sort of guy. Furthermore, he is NOT a social being, only had one or two close friends at that age, any kind of party would have been his idea of hell. He also seems to have more common sense in general than his younger brother.

My younger son? Maybe it's from being the younger brother, but the kid is rather clueless. He is a GOOD kid but not super responsible and the bigger factor; he is much more social, more friends, more friends of friends, more easily influenced. So for him, nope, I can't see being comfortable with it.

I guess I am just saying it depends on the kid.
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