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DC aged 14 and 12 at home on their own all day

(44 Posts)
exaspomum Tue 21-Jun-11 12:09:56

I am going into hospital for approx 5 days during the school holidays. AIBU to think that my DC of 12 and 14 should help with the housework and so on while DH is at his work during the day instead of spending the time (a long way away) with MILs? Older DC would like to be with the ILs whereas younger DC isn't bothered. We're going to spend a Little bit of time with them the week before.
DH could take time off his work while I'm in hospital, but it would be more useful for him to take the following week off when I'm recovering at home. I'll be having a lot of treatment over the next six months and will probably need an increasing amount of help in that time so we want to save as much of his holidays for then. (Poor DH)
14 is such a tricky age - sigh.
I'd love to know what you think.

pingu2209 Tue 21-Jun-11 12:14:14

It depends upon the child. When I was 14 I was working all day on a Saturday (illegal I know) and would be at home all day every holiday as my mum worked.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:00

Well, I'd send them to MIL's while you are in hospital. They will be looked after, so you don't have to worry about them and they won't be at home making a mess and creating lots of housework for DH to do when he gets home. I'd not like my DC to be home alone all day for a week tbh.

When you are sick, it is more relaxing for you to not be worrying about the kids and just concentrate on getting well.

It doesn't matter how much you ask them to help out, teenagers are not so good at tidying up and doing dishes.

charliejosh Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:05

YANBU. I think 12 & 14 are plenty old enough to be staying home and helping you out

TheFeministsWife Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:50

Whilst I think they should both be helping with housework anyway, especially when you come out of hospital. I think them going to your MIL might be best for them. If there's no one there during the day then you're DH only has to clean up after himself after work. You could then set them to work the following week when you're home and need help after they've spent a week being spoiled by granny.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jun-11 12:15:55

You know your children and what they're capable of. Not unreasonable to expect children that age to rise to the challenge of helping out at home for a short time, especially as it's an emergency. You're not putting them down a mine or anything.

Ormirian Tue 21-Jun-11 12:16:32

My older 2 are those ages and they spend days at home when they have inset days. But if they don't want to be I am not sure you should tell them they have to. Could you do a few days of each?

Curiousmama Tue 21-Jun-11 12:18:15

True less housework if ILs are cleaning up after them, good point TFW.

PlanetEarth Tue 21-Jun-11 12:22:32

Well I dunno. I am pondering what to do with my 11 and 13 year olds during a couple of weeks in the holidays when we have nothing organised but I and DH are at work. They are old enough to stay at home I think, but the 11 year old would be bored (they don't play together much). More worryingly, they might well kill each other!

RoseC Tue 21-Jun-11 12:33:14

Depends on the children but at 14 and 12 Mum was leaving us at home so she could work and we would be expected to help (and clear up after ourselves if we made lunch etc.). We had emergency numbers. In all honesty we didn't always do our chores but she never asked us to do anything unreasonable: changing bedsheets (all rooms), cleaning bathroom, washing the kitchen floor, watering plants, hoovering & dusting etc.

It might be worth arranging a reward for them on the last day (trip with PIL?) if they get everything done, as a thank you for helping.

Hope your hospital stay goes well.

darleneoconnor Tue 21-Jun-11 12:35:38

If the 14yo wants to go to ILs why are you trying to stop them? Is this a MIL issue rather then a home alone issue?

exaspomum Tue 21-Jun-11 14:19:26

My dilemma is really whether 14 and 12 is old enough to accept that sometimes you should do things to help other people even though it wouldn't be your first choice. I have fairly advanced cancer btw.

HerHissyness Tue 21-Jun-11 14:22:12

Pack them off to MIL for the 5 days! they'll be fine, be spoilt rotten I hope and when they come back they can be on strict instructions to help out and pitch in!

Sorry to hear about the cancer, I wish you every success and will keep fingers crossed for you (((HUGS))

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Tue 21-Jun-11 14:22:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Birdsgottafly Tue 21-Jun-11 14:29:20

They are old enough to be on their own and helping tbh i think that givan the circumstances they may be best looked after by your MIL. Their first choice would be that you wasn't ill, so they have probably learned more of lifes lessons than most, at their age. It is a hard time for all of you, as others have said it may ease the pressure if they go, unless your DH really doesn't want to be on his own whilst you are in hospital?

LDNmummy Tue 21-Jun-11 14:34:00

I don't think they should even have a say in the matter. They are 12 and 14 and old enough to understand that mum and dad need some help and they should be willing to comply to ease the burden a bit.

14 and 12 is plenty old enough. I was doing this and far more from the age of 10. It prepared me very well for adulthood.

LDNmummy Tue 21-Jun-11 14:34:52

Oh and very sad to hear you are ill. Hope it gets better smile

BulletWithAName Tue 21-Jun-11 14:36:55

Oh I'm so sorry to hear that exaspomum. YANBU btw, 14 and 12 is old enough IMO.

FlubbaBubba Tue 21-Jun-11 14:40:23

I agree that 12 and 14 is definitely old enough to be helping out.

However, I think under these circumstances, that it would be better for everyone if they stayed with their grandparents.

It would benefit you to be relaxed knowing they're safe and well; your DH so that he can come and visit you when he's not in work; your DCs so that they aren't at home worrying about you (which they will be); and your ILs so that they can feel useful.

Sorry you're having to go through this.

Kallista Tue 21-Jun-11 14:40:50

Depends on their maturity - teenagers vary so much. If they want to stay with MIL i would let them - housework can wait (ie they can do it when u get out of hospital + are there to supervise / stop bickering.)
When i was that age i would often go and visit my elderly neighbours when mum worked. It was nice to get adult company.
I think maintaining a good relationship with your PIL by their staying with them with benefit your DC, and your MIL will love their company or she wouldn't offer.

Inertia Tue 21-Jun-11 14:52:28

I'm sorry to hear about the cancer; I hope your treatment is successful.

Given that your illness is so serious, I think that the question of whether your children are old enough to help is a bit of a side issue. They will probably be very worried about you, and that fear combined with teenage hormones and a stressed father , plus arguments about housework, might be more than they can cope with. I understand the point about everyone mucking in, but in this case I think dealing with everyone's emotions running high should come first.

If your children were to go to your MIL, she would be able to keep them busy and provide reassurance when needed, and you would have no worries about their safety or whereabouts.

If only your DH is home, and he's working during the day, very little mess would be generated. If everyone pitches in to do a big clean before you go then there will really be nothing to do with nobody there, apart from your DH clearing up after himself as he goes along.

It also means that your DH won't have to worry about getting food in, sorting out meals with your children etc if they are with MIL.

The time to make the point about helping is when you're home, I think.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 21-Jun-11 14:58:24

I agree with Inertia.

FlubbaBubba Tue 21-Jun-11 15:34:01

Inertia wrote, much more eloquently, what I was trying to say.

PissesGlitter Tue 21-Jun-11 15:43:23

imo he should take the week off whilst you are in hospital to look after the kids and visit you

as when you are home the kids will still be there to help you if you need it

LineRunner Tue 21-Jun-11 15:46:57

Do your kids want to be able to visit you whilst you're in hospital? If they're at the ILs, which you say is a way away, would they not be able to do that?

Is this is factor is your decision?

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