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My Girlfriend's Daughter Home Alone - Page 2

post #21 of 36

I was about 8 when I was left home alone to find dinner and go to sleep by myself. not all night but most of it. 16 is awfully old.

post #22 of 36



Yes, like a 20 year old being home on a routine basis, or a single 30 year old professional.  On this fear we should keep our daughters home in the family until they are in a marital pairing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

I wouldn't be comfortable with it, personally.  It would take nothing for a person with evil intent to notice she's home alone and get into the house, especially if she's home on a routine basis.

 

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

Not only do I think it's okay for a 16-year-old to stay home alone for a several days at a time, but I think if a 16-year-old isn't capable of staying home alone much, it indicates a problem the family needs to start addressing if they haven't already. I mean, if you're 16 years old, you're at most 2 years away from being a legal adult and college-aged, and it's a little unrealistic to expect someone to learn Independence and self-sufficiency overnight on one's 18th birthday. It's one thing to plan to live with your parents until you're in your 20's but what if circumstances change?



I don't know about this. My cousin is a very young 16 and is very immature. She would not be ready to stay home alone at this point (she's also the baby of her family - that may have something to do with it). I don't think it indicates a problem within her family, she's just immature (her older sister though is a very mature 20yo college student, and has always been mature for her age). Maturity is a very individual thing, and each person gets there in their own time.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

I wouldn't be comfortable with it, personally.  It would take nothing for a person with evil intent to notice she's home alone and get into the house, especially if she's home on a routine basis.

 

Thing is... that could happen regardless. My daughter and I were BOTH home, lights on, two dogs in the house. And someone broke in. Luckily, nothing happened except that he took off when I charged him with a hockey stick. But still - it could have happened whether I wrre home or not.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I don't know about this. My cousin is a very young 16 and is very immature. She would not be ready to stay home alone at this point (she's also the baby of her family - that may have something to do with it). I don't think it indicates a problem within her family, she's just immature (her older sister though is a very mature 20yo college student, and has always been mature for her age). Maturity is a very individual thing, and each person gets there in their own time.


Perhaps not a "problem" with the family, but they should be working with her to help get her up to speed before she's ready to be on her own. By 16, she *should* be approaching a point where she can be responsible enough to stay home alone. I don't leave my 17yo home overnight, because she's not comfortable with it (even more so since the above episode). But, if there were an emergency? She'd be able to cope with it. I would be concerned if she couldn't.

 

post #25 of 36

Seriously? 16? and one post? hmmmmmm.

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr View Post

Seriously? 16? and one post? hmmmmmm.



Could be a troll but I don't think it's a totally ridiculous concern. Certainly, 16-year-olds are capable but how many of us would make a habit of leaving them several nights a week to shag a boyfriend? Teenagers can be quite responsible and reliable but they can also be reckless and rebellious. A girl who is left for a boyfriend 2-3 nights a week may very well be one to worry about.

 

Of course, the OP is just a family friend. If the kid were 12 or in immediate danger, she might be able to do something. However, in this situation, all she can do is offer her a place to stay if she would rather not be alone. Still, I don't blame her for having some concerns.

 

post #27 of 36

Really?!  I can't believe people think it's OK to leave a 16 alone 2-3 nights EVERY week.  Sure, they can handle this once in a while, but every week?  No way!  This is child neglect.  No decent parent would act so selfishly.  A parent is responsible for a child until they're 18 years of age.  You can't take off half the time just because the child is getting older.  The 16 year old should be learning to cut ties with the parent an her own terms, not the parents.  I'm SURE this teenager is angry, scared and lonely, even if she won't admit it.  

 

post #28 of 36
Huh. I would have been absolutely fine alone in my house at 16. Not scared or lonely or anything. I probably would have enjoyed the time alone to read in my room or whatever. If they've been doing it for 2 years already it obviously works for them. Maybe some 16-year-old girls are too immature for that arrangement but I'd say most really are young adults and should be treated as such.
post #29 of 36

I was babysitting overnight from the age of 12 for the toddlers across the street. From 14 to 18 I would house/ cat-sit for my grandfather while he was in Mexico for a couple weeks each winter. I looked after the house and went to school every day and enjoyed having the quiet time to myself to watch cable TV, cook myself nice meals, take longs baths, and play guitar. (I have four younger siblings so time alone was precious : )

I also had several friends that babysat overnight, or at least late at night, from the age of 14.

It's really not a big deal IMO.

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raquel12 View Post

Really?!  I can't believe people think it's OK to leave a 16 alone 2-3 nights EVERY week.  Sure, they can handle this once in a while, but every week?  No way!  This is child neglect.  No decent parent would act so selfishly.  A parent is responsible for a child until they're 18 years of age.  You can't take off half the time just because the child is getting older.  The 16 year old should be learning to cut ties with the parent an her own terms, not the parents.  I'm SURE this teenager is angry, scared and lonely, even if she won't admit it.  

 


There's a lot more to being responsible for a child than being in the same building they're in. Someone isn't taking time time off from being a parent just because there's a certain amount of distance between them and their kid.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kedrosami View Post

If they've been doing it for 2 years already it obviously works for them.


Actually, I gotta enthusiastically disagree with the idea that parent-child interactions must work for both of them if they've kept doing it. It really only proves it's working for the parent.

 

But I

post #31 of 36

Hmm, I have two teenagers at home, and while we eat dinner together every night, after that we might not see each other until bedtime (I make a point of saying goodnight). They are in their rooms doing homework, or playing their instruments, or just hanging out - but not with DH and me. In any given week, DH might have a meeting at church, a work-related function, or a shopping trip, leaving the boys home alone.

 

My sons and two friends went on a no-adult backpacking trip with they were 14. They planned their meals, bought their groceries, packed their gear, planned their route - all I did was register their campsites in a state park (since one needs to be 18 to do so). Teenagers can be pretty responsible, given the opportunity.

 

Look at the OP's situation from the other side: 3 or 4 nights a week the Mom IS home with her teenage daughter. Maybe on those nights they cook something special, watch a movie together, play cards, chat - they could have a lot more quality time together than a parent/child who are in the same house every evening, but don't communicate or interact at all.

post #32 of 36

A parent who leaves a teenager alone 2-3 nights each week is most definitely taking time off as a parent.  A normal developing teenager is indeed ready to spend time away from a parent.  I myself babysat every Wednesday night for my neighbors from ages 15-17.  Not a problem for me at all.  Why?  Because it was my choice.  It was wonderful practice for making decisions and being responsible before I left for my college years.  All the stories being told on this forum about being left alone as a teenager are wonderful opportunities for maturity.  They are NOT the same thing as being left alone for half a week year after year.  There will be scars. 

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raquel12 View Post

A parent who leaves a teenager alone 2-3 nights each week is most definitely taking time off as a parent.  A normal developing teenager is indeed ready to spend time away from a parent.  I myself babysat every Wednesday night for my neighbors from ages 15-17.  Not a problem for me at all.  Why?  Because it was my choice.  It was wonderful practice for making decisions and being responsible before I left for my college years.  All the stories being told on this forum about being left alone as a teenager are wonderful opportunities for maturity.  They are NOT the same thing as being left alone for half a week year after year.  There will be scars. 



I agree with this post.

 

It is normal and healthy for parents and teens to spend time away from each other, and most teens are capable of spending the night alone without adults.

 

None the less, the degree to which the  teen in the OP is being left alone sound really unhealthy to me. Not because the teen isn't responsible enough to care for themselves, just that at some point, it get lonely.

 

I can think of lots of ways for a 16 year old to stop being lonely, and none of them good. Part of the reason that humans come in families is so we can keep each other company.

 

 

post #34 of 36

We don't know anything other than what the OP has posted we don't know if the teen daughter and mother have an agreement and the daughter is ok staying alone while her mother is gone or not.

 

post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raquel12 View Post

A parent who leaves a teenager alone 2-3 nights each week is most definitely taking time off as a parent.  A normal developing teenager is indeed ready to spend time away from a parent.  I myself babysat every Wednesday night for my neighbors from ages 15-17.  Not a problem for me at all.  Why?  Because it was my choice.  It was wonderful practice for making decisions and being responsible before I left for my college years.  All the stories being told on this forum about being left alone as a teenager are wonderful opportunities for maturity.  They are NOT the same thing as being left alone for half a week year after year.  There will be scars. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

It is normal and healthy for parents and teens to spend time away from each other, and most teens are capable of spending the night alone without adults.

 

None the less, the degree to which the  teen in the OP is being left alone sound really unhealthy to me. Not because the teen isn't responsible enough to care for themselves, just that at some point, it get lonely.

 

 


I agree with these.  I'm really surprised so many people can't understand why the OP would be concerned.  I have 2 teenage daughters, and while they are perfectly capable of being left on their own, if I were to do what the OP's friend is doing it would undoubtedly be destabilizing and unhealthy for them.  I've never left them alone overnight, but I have on occasion left them alone until very late, and I have little doubt that they're responsible enough to handle anything that might come up.  DD1 will be 16 in a couple of months, and I would be very concerned if I found out one of her friends was being left alone overnight several nights a week.  

 

I did have a friend in high school whose mother did something similar.  My friend and her older brother (both still in hs) were left alone several days straight every week while their mom stayed with her boyfriend who lived on the other side of town.  They eventually married and she actually moved out informally- maintaining both houses and keeping one foot in the door with the kids!  No one burned the house down, starved to death, or threw huge parties, but there were plenty of other things going on that shouldn't have been, and it left a lasting mark on the kids.  They felt lonely and abandoned, and neither one has a good relationship with their mom, even all these years later BECAUSE of how she left them.

 

I know the anecdote about my friend is just a personal story and may not bring much to bear on the OP's situation, but it came to mind immediately when I read her post.  I thin k OP should keep encouraging her friend to let the girl stay with her.  She may not need a babysitter, but she's still a kid and could probably use the guidance, company, and stability of having an adult around.   

post #36 of 36

I am a fairly liberal parent and believe I err on the side of encouraging independence. In fact, my daughter (almost 13) is quite independent and will spend days and early evenings by herself.  However, I also question this arrangement. The question really isn't whether the 16 year old is capable of spending the night alone. Frankly, I think my daughter is likely "capable" of spending the night alone.  But most people of all ages need some kind of regular social interaction and it seems a lot to ask a 16 year old to handle themselves half the week.  And I would imagine there's at least the possibility of feelings of abandonment if mom is off with boyfriend.  One night a week I could imagine.  Of figuring out a way for the kid to spend the night at a friend's house so mom can go out. I am a single mom and so am sensitive to the need for mom to date, have a life, etc. But if the OP is willing to host the daughter a couple of nights/week that seems ideal. It could be an opportunity for the 16 year old to bond with an adult female who is not a parent and have another person to confide in.  I know kids are becoming really independent at that age, but I feel like the security of knowing that an adult is always there to catch and support you is critical.

 

also, i'm wondering why the daughter doesn't want to spend time with the boyfriend.  that struck me funny as well

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