at what age would you leave your child home alone overnight - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 45 Old 01-22-2007, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just wondering and trying to get a feel for it.
i haven't done it personally (my oldest is 13), but know of teens as young as 14 or 15 that stay home alone over nite or for a week-end which kinda gives me a heartattack at the thought of doing it myself (yeah, i'm sort of overprotective).
also, i wonder how your perspective might change on your kids staying home alone overnite if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and also if they are caring for younger siblings.

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#2 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 12:56 AM
 
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I would leave my 15yo home alone overnight with his 11yo brother. I think they'd be fine.

In three years he's free to pick up and move out if he wants. I think an overnight is within his capabilities.

I really wouldn't care much about the girlfriend thing. I doubt anything significant would happen with a brother nearby. My boys don't leave each other alone for very long.

I probably would want no visitors in the house while I was away, no matter what gender, just for safety's sake.
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#3 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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I think it would depend on the child. My mom didn't leave my alone over night until I was 18. She did have my cousin stay with us. My cousin is 7 years older than me but we are close. I would have my BF and other friends over and she never said a word to my mom. If my child was like me, I would not leave her alone either.

My mom only lives a mile away so I think I would always just take my kids to my moms. I don't think I would leave her/them alone at all.
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#4 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 02:05 AM
 
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16 or so, depending on the child's maturity. But I live in a duple and a cohousing community where all the kids have 10 sets of adult eyes watching them. No big teen parties here!
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#5 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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Well, at 17 I was working and had my own apartment, was finishing Hs and applying to colleges. .. but I think it depends on the child, if they are with siblings/trusted friends, if they have an available adult nearby.
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#6 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 11:28 AM
 
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i was left alone overnight at 13-14ish i think, with my little sis who is 2 years younger. i know for sure by 16, i was left at home for the weekend while my mom and sis went out of town because i didnt want to go.

i think it depends on the kid and the siblings though. i was always a pretty mature kid

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#7 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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My oldest is thirteen, and I wouldn't consider it yet, not alone and definitely not with her siblings. In fact, I'm very sure that it will be a looonggggg time before I would leave her with siblings overnight - a couple of hours of them by themselves is more than enough.
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#8 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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I'd try it probably next year, when my oldest is 14. He's taken first aid courses and is very responsible. I don't think I'd leave him with the youngest, but with the middle child, I'd feel alright.

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#9 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I was 15 when my parents started leaving me overnight. In hindsight, I don't think it was a great idea. Some thing went on in my parents house that I wouldn't want going on in my house, and I was a good kid.

That being said, I still think teenagers need to left alone overnight prior to moving out on their own/going away to college. It will probably be 16 or 17 at our house.

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#10 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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My parents considered my very responsible at the age of 12-13. Staying alone over night for me was a lot of work on my shoulders.

We live out in the country, had evening and morning chores to do.

I never failed my parents.
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#11 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I had my own apartment at 16, I can't imagine not trusting a 16 yr. old for one night! I was left home alone with my younger sister starting around 10 or 11 and would feel safe doing the same with my kids when my oldest is 10-12.
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#12 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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I can't remember the first time I was left alone overnight - with or without my sister, who was 9 years younger.

However, I do know that I was doing overnight babysitting - for up to 5 kids - when I was 16 or so. Usually if it was all the children, the parents hired 2 babysitters - myself and another teen (we were friends, too).

My parents NEVER let me have a boy over if they weren't home - regardless of whether I had a boyfriend or not. The rule was non-negotiable. So was the no-boys-on-the-second-floor (where the bedrooms were), even if parents were home. (A male didn't go onto the second floor until I got married - at 35!)

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#13 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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The first time I stayed home alone overnight was when I was about 15-16. My mom had to work a few night shifts at the hospital. I'm an only child, so I was a little nervous being by myself, and unfortunately I had someone I know prank call me with threats one night while she was gone. I called the police and my mom and some friends- it was a mess. Not trying to scare ya, just telling what happened to me. I think if they have siblings its better, or at least a neighbor who can drop in and check on them.
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#14 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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We just left ours this fall for one night, and they are 16 and 17. It was such a non-event that I am sure I could have done it sooner.
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#15 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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I think I was 14. We lived out in the boonies but my aunt and uncle lived a mile away. I was pretty mature and had been babysitting for a couple of years late at night. I think I slept with all the lights on though . It really depends on the child and how they have handled responsibility in the past.
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#16 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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it wouldn't be my first choice w/ mine (14yo), but i think i'd be o-k with it if i had to leave him overnight. right now though, i make plans for someone to stay in our home with him or him to to to their home if i have to be away.

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#17 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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I was left overnight once I was 16 (my sister was 13). Maturation-wise, I was probably ready by around the age of 14 (9th grade), but I think mom and I both felt more comfortable leaving me "in charge" once I could drive.
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#18 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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I think it depends a lot on the maturity level of the child. Most kids when they are around 14 actually WANT to please their parents and will pretty much follow the rules set out for them when you are not there. Between the ages of 15-17 the quality of wanting to please you is a little less apparent :>) as they struggle with their own independence. That's when things like them telling their friend, who then tells another friend and then the whole east side, that their parents have gone for the weekend. Although it may not necessarily be their fault things can get beyond their control. I guess the moral to the story is......get out while you still can :>) and maybe have a trusted friend neighbor nearby that they can call if they need anything. Good luck!
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#19 of 45 Old 01-23-2007, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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interesting. clearly there must be something wrong with ME because at 36 i'm STILL scared sleeping alone in the house when my dh is gone i've always been that way.

however ... i think i could see myself leaving my 16 year old dd, possibly even at 15 yrs old with her siblings over nite if there is another responsible teen with her or a close neighbour she can turn too. (if she feels ready anyway). then again, maybe not

i found this for guidelines which you may find interesting - or not
http://www.nccic.org/poptopics/homealone.html

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#20 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 12:31 AM
 
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I hate it when my husband is gone overnight as well - I just don't sleep well. Guess what we don't know when we are young and naive can be a good thing in some ways :>))
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#21 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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Being alone overnight has never bothered me. I think I'd let ds1 stay overnight very soon (he's almost 14), except that I'm afraid he might slip and tell a friend that he was going to be home with no parents...and I don't want the infamous "hey - did you hear about that kid whose parents aren't going to be home this weekend? He's having a party!" scenario playing out in my living room. I'm going to guess that I'd be okay with it at about 16...depending on whether or not his brain dribbles out his ear in the next couple of years.

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#22 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 07:29 AM
 
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I had way too much responsiblity as a child /teen. I was baysitting overnight by age 14 or 15. It is really important to me that my kids don't have that kind of responsiblity.
Currently my daughter is on a travel vollyball team and my husband is staying home with my 16 year old son and I call frequently. I think it is important to have that human connection . Sallie
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#23 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 08:39 AM
 
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I am 28 years old and still never spent a night alone. Although I used to work nightshift until dd was born. When dh went out of town a few years ago, my mother stayed at my house overnight to babysit my dogs while I worked nightshift. I was afraid to leave even my dogs alone overnight.

Mom and Dad never left us alone when we were teens. When Dad had to have surgery and mom wanted to stay in the hospital overnight, my Nana stayed with us. I was 15, and brother was 17.

I had a few friends in highschool that had some wild parties when their parents would go away for a weekend. These were normally responsible kids, too.
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#24 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 08:47 AM
 
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If they didn't mind being home alone, probably 13 or 14. I would see if they wanted to have a friend over for the night (or girlfriend/boyfriend, if they were a bit older), but I would trust them alone.

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#25 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 10:13 AM
 
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When my sister & I were teenagers about (16,18) my parent went away for a few days. You better beleive that there was drinking, smoking & boys. My neighbor was supposed to keep an eye on the house. They only joked to my parents about the strobe light.

I have a ways to go before my kids are teens & I'm faced with decision like this.
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#26 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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"depending on whether or not his brain dribbles out his ear in the next couple of years."

Oh..... I think you can pretty much count on that :>))
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#27 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricaLeigh View Post
When my sister & I were teenagers about (16,18) my parent went away for a few days. You better beleive that there was drinking, smoking & boys. My neighbor was supposed to keep an eye on the house. They only joked to my parents about the strobe light.

I have a ways to go before my kids are teens & I'm faced with decision like this.
this is what i have been thinking about. even responsible kids can be put in a place of temptation that they would normally not think about doing until the parents have left the house. not saying it would happen, just that it could.

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#28 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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For me, it is not really my kids I don't trust. One of my kids, the 16 year old boy would probably be fine but lonely.
The other is a girl, will be 14 in April. She is a great young lady. She also does not stand up to peer pressure that great. I have already dealt with this quite a bit of that the past year or so. I would be concenred about other kids coming over. We had a nieghbor girl come over here in the middle of the night,etc. Also, a few weeks ago, kids wanted ot leave the movie theatre and my duaghter went right along with it.The same girl came over in the middle of the day and they got in a car. My daughter is not the instigator but she is a follwer. She has some growng to do. I think by the time she is 18 and ready to go to college,she will be fine but the standing up to the peer pressure stuff will take time. Sallie
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#29 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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I think 14 or so would be a good age. My brother and I stayed home alone for a weekend when I was around 15 or 16 (he's a year younger than me). Nothing bad happened. We just sat around watching movies and playing Atari. Hey, it was the 80s. I think if you trust your kid is responsible it's fine to leave them overnight.
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#30 of 45 Old 01-24-2007, 06:17 PM
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Maybe when she hits 16. It's not that I wouldn't trust her before that. She does not want to be home alone after dark now and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
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