15 year old too young to be left alone?

(53 Posts)
StellaBrillante Mon 13-Jan-14 14:47:38

Good afternoon all,
DP and I are going away for 5 days and I am debating whether to leave DS by himself for 3 days. I can make arrangements for him to stay with friends but I am wondering whether this would be the ideal opportunity for him to prove himself. He can be very sensible and responsible (and productive) when he has to but we've been struggling with his apparent resistance to do what is expected of him when I am around. In his own words "I don't have to worry about it as I know that you'll remind me / tell me off" - which quite frankly, I found infuriating!!!
It goes without saying that DS has suggested so himself on a couple of occasions but I was quick to dismiss the idea. However, this may be a way of getting him to step up to the mark? Either that or me ending up being prosecuted (I can already see the headlines) and him taken into care??? Any thoughts or experiences to share?
Thank you

lljkk Netherlands Mon 13-Jan-14 14:48:27

most people wouldn't.
I really think this is a moment to trust your own judgement and step away from MN.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 13-Jan-14 14:49:14

I wouldn't trust mine.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-Jan-14 14:49:38

I wouldn't leave my 15 year old alone over night.

Government guidelines are that they shouldn't be left at under 16.

Sunflower49 Mon 13-Jan-14 14:50:55

I think it could be okay as long as relatives/friends call in/phone to check on him and that he knows what's expected ,and that he himself is okay with it.But, only you can truly know your son!
(I'd moved out at 15,but then I had spent a lot of time alone in the house from a very young age). It's dependent on experience and personality not very much help sorry!

gamerchick Mon 13-Jan-14 14:50:57

Personally I wouldn't.. He may have people in and not be able to control a situation.. its just not worth it.

DramaAlpaca Mon 13-Jan-14 14:51:06

I wouldn't leave mine.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 13-Jan-14 14:51:21

I wouldn't have left my very sensible ds1 at this age and everybody used to say he was much older than he was.
Its up to you though really, I'm sure there's no law against it.

My opinion: I'm sure your DS is very sensible, but 3 days is a long time. Maybe in a year or two.

SoonToBeSix Mon 13-Jan-14 14:55:01

It's too young 15 is still a child. My dd is 15 and very responsible but I wouldn't even leave her for one night.

Flicktheswitch Mon 13-Jan-14 14:55:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Enb76 Spain Mon 13-Jan-14 14:58:13

I will be the voice of dissent and say - I would do this. I would have no problem leaving a 15 year old on their own for 3 days as long as they are ok with it themselves.

I would make sure they know how to cook, I would do the shopping for them before I go, I would leave them with £50 and phone numbers in case they get into any difficulties.

A sensible 15 year old is a perfectly capable person.

thefirstmrsrochester Mon 13-Jan-14 14:59:18

I'd like to think I'd be happy to leave ds when he is 15, but in all reality, I would spend the entire time wondering if he had had rowdy mates round, girls etc. That is my son however. If you think he can cope and will be sensible, then go for it. As you say, it's an opportunity for him to prove himself.

Ragwort Mon 13-Jan-14 14:59:26

I wouldn't - is there anyone you can invite to stay with him? Friend (your's not his grin), grandparent, aunt?

I am sure there is no Law about this sort of thing though, isn't that an urban myth?

TurnOffTheTv Mon 13-Jan-14 14:59:28

I wouldn't leave mine, and I'm pretty slack with my children grin I think the reality is, they may think they will be fine, but when it comes to locking up etc mine would probably start getting a bit nervy about being in the house alone at night. Mine still come in asking me to investigate noises!

Spottybra Mon 13-Jan-14 15:00:55

Against the advice, I would. But then, this is how previous generations have been more independant than the current ones.

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 13-Jan-14 15:01:57

I was v sensible and quite mature growing up......my mum went away for the night when I was 16.

I invited two friends over. They turned up.......10 of them. It turned into a party I couldnt control. I was bloody worrying all night that something would get broken etc etc. but ended up having good fun at points

I wouldnt leave a 15 yo alone for 3 nights. Regardless of how sensible etc etc. 17 is different. Out of school makes a hell of alot of difference imo.

MrsDeVere Mon 13-Jan-14 15:02:43

Christ no.
Not in a million years.

Not because of neglect issues.
I just wouldn't of trusted DS1 when he was 15.

Not necessarily because I think he would have organised a party (although that would have been a possibility). More because of things like forgetting to lock up, turn the oven off and him being persuaded to do things he knew he shouldn't.

Ragwort Mon 13-Jan-14 15:03:44

Look at all those articles in the paper where teenagers left alone have had parties & houses have been trashed, all the parents say the same thing 'I trusted them, I never thought this would happen' - why put yourself in that position?

MrsDeVere Mon 13-Jan-14 15:04:15

I was left at this age and I didn't like it at all.
It was too much responsibility for me.

I left home when I wasn't much older but that felt different. I was not responsible for my parent's house and belongings etc.

Ds is 16 and I'm not leaving him home alone my brother is coming to housesit and keep an eye. However ds isn't very sensible. I don't foresee the same issues with ds2 who's almost 12. He already is more capable than ds1 but who knows in 4 years time.

So it depends on how much you trust ds and will be able to go away without worrying whether that be about ds feeding himself or if he's going to have a huge party and trash the place.

Another thought that would affect my decision is how far away I'd be. In another country? No. Thirty minutes away? Maybe.

HeeHiles England Mon 13-Jan-14 15:06:18

My dad was 15 when he left his home country to come to England, he found a home and a job - are we too quick to stop our children growing up? As long as you agree to certain rules, maybe get a friend or neighbour to be on hand just in case and if you trust him it's your call!

vegimalfarm Mon 13-Jan-14 15:06:30

We left our 15 year old for two days - he is very sensible and it was fine. We left him overnight several times when he was 14 - again absolutely fine. He wasn't even late for school.

I think the only reason I wouldn't was if I thought he was going to have parties or mates wandering around the house.

If there was a problem he would call a neighbour or the police or whatever.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-Jan-14 15:07:56

The NSPCC have a section on what the law says regarding leaving children home alone.

It says something like "whilst most people would feel leaving a 16 year old alone for the evening acceptable, to leave them longer is not" .... Or words to that effect.

happygirl87 Mon 13-Jan-14 15:08:30

Could he perhaps have one night alone and 2 with friends? More of a compromise between letting him have space to step up, and damage control if he doesn't?!

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