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Old 02-04-2010, 04:47 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 7,360,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
I don't think that this is always the case.

I believe that occasional and irregular times it is OK to leave the kids alone. But on a regular basis or for extended periods of time even at 17 or 18 that there should be a responsible adult present.

This means that if mom wants to duck down the shops for half an hour that it is OK to leave the kid at home but if the parents are going out for the evening then they should get a baby sitter even for 17 year olds in my opinion.
Holy cow! Both my husband and I were in college at that point. By the time I turned eighteen, I was working, going to school, and living alone in a small efficiency apartment just off campus. I was married and owned my first home at 21. If you can't trust your seventeen-year-old to handle being alone for extended periods of time, I think it's a sign that you've failed him or her.

Frankly, I think western culture introduces the trivial aspects of being grown-up too early while delaying the things that are most important for them to learn. Being responsible for one's self and others is the most important thing I have to teach my children.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 02-04-2010 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:07 PM
 
20,797 posts, read 33,081,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
I don't think that this is always the case.

I believe that occasional and irregular times it is OK to leave the kids alone. But on a regular basis or for extended periods of time even at 17 or 18 that there should be a responsible adult present.

This means that if mom wants to duck down the shops for half an hour that it is OK to leave the kid at home but if the parents are going out for the evening then they should get a baby sitter even for 17 year olds in my opinion.
You can't be serious and if you are I REALLY feel sorry for your kids. Who in the heck are you going to get to babysit a 17 year old the 12 year old down the street that babysits for the rest of the neighbors???
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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At first, I thought perhaps 18 isn't considered an adult in Australia. But I googled it and it is.

But amazingly, I discovered that 18 isn't necessarily considered adulthood in every state in the United States!

In Washington DC and Mississippi, children aren't considered adults until 21 years old!

It's 19 in Alabama and Nebraska.

Google "age of majority in the united states."
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:34 PM
 
10,157 posts, read 11,639,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
You can't be serious and if you are I REALLY feel sorry for your kids. Who in the heck are you going to get to babysit a 17 year old the 12 year old down the street that babysits for the rest of the neighbors???
My 13 and 16 year old sons would LOVE for me to hire the neighborhood girls to "babysit" for them.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
A baby sitter for a 17 year old while you go out to dinner with hubby? Wow!

Either you don't have older teenagers yet or your children were a world of trouble and you didn't trust them alone.
Hi,
Now I do have the luxury of our oldest only being 13 so a bit of time to actually worry about 17y.o.'s. Our kids are all well behaved and don't do dangerous things like playing with matches. So my motivation is not driven out of a concern that my kids would engage in dangerous activities.

It is more driven by the philosophy that adults are in charge and that if adults are not present then children naturally have to take charge themselves. Then when the adults are back, the kids have to chnage their mindset.

So as it stands, we always get baby sitters in when we are out. Our oldest is 13 and could quite competently take care of a younger child and in fact has been asked to do this. I know that other kids that age do do this sort of thing.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Aidxen, do you really think you will be hiring a sitter for your oldest when he or she is seventeen?
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:53 PM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,917,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
Hi,
Now I do have the luxury of our oldest only being 13 so a bit of time to actually worry about 17y.o.'s. Our kids are all well behaved and don't do dangerous things like playing with matches. So my motivation is not driven out of a concern that my kids would engage in dangerous activities.

It is more driven by the philosophy that adults are in charge and that if adults are not present then children naturally have to take charge themselves. Then when the adults are back, the kids have to chnage their mindset.

So as it stands, we always get baby sitters in when we are out. Our oldest is 13 and could quite competently take care of a younger child and in fact has been asked to do this. I know that other kids that age do do this sort of thing.
I have to admit that this is one of the strangest mindsets I've heard. I can't comprehend how anyone thinks an older teenager doesn't need experience 'being in charge' before leaving home. How on earth do you expect soon-to-be-adult children to become independent, responsible people if you feel they need to be 'babysat' for mere evenings out? I'm going to mark this up to your not having experience with older children as I initially suspected when I read your first post in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Aidxen, do you really think you will be hiring a sitter for your oldest when he or she is seventeen?
Let's not forget that she initially said 17 or 18 year olds need a responsible adult present!
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:09 PM
 
10,157 posts, read 11,639,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidxen View Post
Hi,
Now I do have the luxury of our oldest only being 13 so a bit of time to actually worry about 17y.o.'s. Our kids are all well behaved and don't do dangerous things like playing with matches. So my motivation is not driven out of a concern that my kids would engage in dangerous activities.

It is more driven by the philosophy that adults are in charge and that if adults are not present then children naturally have to take charge themselves. Then when the adults are back, the kids have to chnage their mindset.

So as it stands, we always get baby sitters in when we are out. Our oldest is 13 and could quite competently take care of a younger child and in fact has been asked to do this. I know that other kids that age do do this sort of thing.
How will they ever learn to take charge of themselves if they are not ever given the opportunity? Most 17 year olds are driving independently OR are learning to drive. I would think that before you could give a child a car and let him go wherever he wants to go you would let him be in charge of himself for a few hours.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Australia
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As I drove home from work yesterday, I was thinking about some of the replies that indicated that older teens should not have baby sitters. One person asked if I would really be hiring a sitter when the child is 17. Several other people talked about kids learning to be independant. Maybe I am planning to be too over protective of my kids.

Anyway last night I was helping at our church youth group (13-16y.o.'s). They had a pool party (its summer here) and were yelling and screaming and having a lot of fun in the pool. I was chatting to another parent and we wondered how the neighbours would be feeling and should we get the kids to tone it down a bit.

The lady I was talking to then told me a story that recently, her neighbours had gone away for the weekend leaving their 17 y.o. son home alone. A few of his mates came over and someone obtained alcohol and gradually the 'party' (there was only 4 of them) got louder. There was loud music and eventually the sound of smashing glass as beer bottles were thrown from the first floor balcony. Some of the beer bottles ended up in the neighbours front gardens. Eventually at 2am, they called the police.

The police arrived drove in the driveway squarked the siren, the music stopped, the police called out for everyone to come outside. The four young men (17y.o.'s) came out. The police talked to them and then went into the house. When the police established that there were no people in the house of legal age to drink alcohol, they had the kids collect every bottle and bring it out and put it in the police car. The police then told the kids that if they were called again that they would be taking them to the police station. All was quiet for the rest of the night. By the next morning, there was no sign of broken glass and the bottles that had come over the fences were gone. I think those kids really got the fright and did a good clean up job.

By lunch time the parents were back (presumably the police had contacted them). Later that afternoon their son knocked at the door of each neighbour in turn and rather sheepishly apologised for what had happened.

So here is basically OK kid who just got caught up in the fun of it all. A bit of grog. Boys being boys. It just got out of hand. All it would have needed would have been a responsible adult to put the breaks on and say "cool it".

So this just said to me that when my kids reach 17 I would still like them to be under the authority of an older adult so that there is someone to say "cool it" before things really get out of hand.

I am also reminded that there is a thread here about a 14y.o. having sex and another where a mom found a her daughter in bed with another girl. Plus at the youth group last night, I see my daughter getting friendly with boys (so cute). A touch here, a smile there. I want to encourage those social interactions, but i want an adult to be around to say "woh hold it, thats far enough". There is a line and sometimes a kid needs someone to make sure that they don't cross it.

So at 17, what are my options? And that is a real interesting question to ponder because an 18y.o. is probably not the best babysitter for a 17y.o.. One option is for them to have a sleepover at someone elses place. Thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Denver area
17,137 posts, read 12,531,589 times
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Here's how we handled it. At 17, if DH and I needed to be gone overnight and DD needed to stay home alone, we sat down with her, went over the rules (which of course she already knew), let the neighbors know when we would be leaving and when we would return. We asked them to phone us if they noticed anything amiss. Not to mention, we know all of our neighbors and DD knew perfectly well, many eyes would be on the house. Now DS (16) recently had reason to be home alone overnight while DH and I had to be gone. He invited a friend over to spend the night, we phoned the friend's parents and explained that we would not be home so we knew they were aware of the situation and knew they were free to "drop in" and check up if they felt so inclined. Same conversation with neighbors. Same conversation with son over rules. Also casually mentioned that we felt comfortable doing this because he has never ever given us reason to not trust his judgement. His reply? "So what you're basically saying is 'so don't blow it' right?" Yep, I didn't raise any dummies... As far as I can tell, they spent the entire night playing XBox and watching a movie. My biggest gripe was the dirty dishes left in the sink after DS decided chocolate chip pancakes sounded like a good idea for breakfast (ew). Honestly, you can't prevent them from EVER making a poor decision. You can't expect to raise confident, capable children if you are unwilling to let them exercise those qualities. Doesn't mean you shouldn't check on them or have a backup plan though.

Last edited by maciesmom; 02-05-2010 at 04:41 PM..
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