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To go abroad for a week and leave my 16 year old son home alone?

(87 Posts)
CrikeyOHare Wed 27-Jun-12 07:06:20

Right - so I hope the fact that I'm even asking this question goes some way towards demonstrating that I am a responsible, loving parent who cares about his welfare, and I don't get shrieked at too viciously. Although really want people's opinions.

First off - he is perfectly happy to be left. Secondly, he is an exceptionally sensible & trustworthy lad. (Taking into account, of course, that he's a teenage boy and they are all capable of stupidity at times).

I am desperate to get some much needed dental work that I simply cannot afford here in the UK. Having done loads of research, I can get it done at about 1/4 the cost in Budapest. I would need to stay there for a week.

I'd prefer DS came too - Budapest is meant to be wonderful, but he's adamant that he doesn't want to.

I am aware that, at 16, he's legally allowed to marry (with permission) and could, if he wanted, go and live in a bedsit independently - so I'm wondering if there's that much difference in him being at home on his own for a week.

We have various close by people who could and would call on him. Plus our upstairs neighbour is happy to keep an eye on him, and hold a key in case of emergencies.

Sooooooooo....deep breath....what do you think?

HildaOgden Wed 27-Jun-12 07:13:32

How long has he been left for before?If it' his first time fending for himself,then a week would be too long,and you would be too far away,if anything happened.

Also,what are his pals like?While he might be sensible enough,his mates might not be and I'd be a bit wary of them invading for the week.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 27-Jun-12 07:14:23

If he's sensible and you trust him, why not? As you say, a young man that age could easily have his own place. It's not to say accidents or mistakes won't happen but if he's got access to outside help and so on, I can't see why he'd struggle any more than you or me.

CrikeyOHare Wed 27-Jun-12 07:19:45

Also,what are his pals like?While he might be sensible enough,his mates might not be and I'd be a bit wary of them invading for the week.

Exactly, and this is my biggest worry. His friends are all great - responsible & polite. But who knows what teenage madness might descend on them if they know they have free access to an adult-free place for a week! My upstairs neighbour would be aware of evening comings and goings and could be alert for anything like this.

Thanks, Cogito that's my thinking too. I was independent at 16, living in a little bedsit & going to college, so I'm asking myself what the difference is.

rainbowinthesky Wed 27-Jun-12 07:23:41

I would have no issues with leaving ds 16 alone for a week. He is pretty much self-sufficient anyway. However, I wouldnt do it solely for the worry of his friends and a rash decision to have a party.

Petsinmypudenda Wed 27-Jun-12 07:32:32

If you think he can cope then go for it!

RubyrooUK Wed 27-Jun-12 07:38:55

My mum went away for a week to see a relative when I was 16. It was brilliant. I didn't have any wild parties - just practised being grown up and had a few friends round on some evenings. My friend (male) stayed with me some days so I didn't get lonely and I returned the favour when his parents did the same thing layer that month.

RubyrooUK Wed 27-Jun-12 07:39:29

later not layer....

squeakytoy Wed 27-Jun-12 09:19:04

I think you should make him come with you. You are going to be in a foreign country, having medical treatment.

frumpet Wed 27-Jun-12 10:05:36

I left my 16 nearly 17 year old at home for a week , when i returned there wasnt a clean cup , glass , plate etc left in the house and the dishwasher was mouldy. Other than that he had been relatively well behaved grin

LordGiveMeStrength Wed 27-Jun-12 10:26:14

Is there a relative who could check in on him regularly? Like a grandparent? I think i'd be nervous to leave them alone for 7 nights. My SIL just left her 17 year old for a week and while responsible I think she struggled a bit while her mum was gone.

lubeybooby Wed 27-Jun-12 10:59:25

I lived on my own with my baby daughter at 16, with her dad only home every other weekend for a few days... he will be fine!

shuffleballchange Wed 27-Jun-12 11:14:20

I wouldnt, I remember what I used to get up to when I was left home alone at around that age. Maybe he is more sensible than me. I still wouldnt though.

Mrsjay Wed 27-Jun-12 11:17:02

I think he would be fine get friends to look in on him/feed him and go

oh and if he lived in scotland he wouldnt need permission to marry grin

hairylemon Wed 27-Jun-12 11:50:32

YANBU I was left for a week at this age and loved feeling all grown up with 'my own home' to look after. I had a bit of a party obviously, but everyone was very well behaved and we all cleared up afterwards. Depends what his mates are like more than him IMO

venusandmars Wed 27-Jun-12 11:53:23

I suppose one difference is that if he were living away from home in a bedsit, then all the belonging in the house would be his, and he would be responsible for them. But he's not, he's living in your house and most of the belongings are yours.

Of course I am biased as I say this following a similar situation in which my sensible, responsible, intelligent, caring 16 year-old dd invited a few (lovely, responsible, sensible) friends over. It didn't turn out well. News spread out of her control, and she was actually quite frightened by how quickly things got out of control, and how little she could do to stop people she'd never met from turning up and joining in. Fortunately the damage was relatively limited, but it was evident that people had been in my bed, which made my space feel violated, and I shudder at the potential for things to have been much worse (I work from home so my computer, business records etc could have been vulnerable). And most worrying of all was that a lamp got knocked over, onto some clothes which started to smoulder. Luckily someone noticed before anything disastrous happened.

Of course many more people go away leaving teenagers at home and all is well.

Maryz Wed 27-Jun-12 12:01:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

puds11 Wed 27-Jun-12 12:02:47

My mum left me for a week when i was 16 and my sis was 14. We had wild parties. Seriously. So lock up your valuables grin

Crinkle77 Wed 27-Jun-12 12:08:05

My parents went on holiday and left me and my sisters when I was 16. We were sensible teenagers but excited about having the house to ourselves and invited some friends round. But things quickly got out of hand as other people heard about the party and gatecrashed. Subsequesntly the house got a bit trashed. This was long before the age of social networking sites so I would think about it

CrikeyOHare Wed 27-Jun-12 12:28:25

It's the party issue that's the real worry, isn't it? Hmmm...this definitely needs more thought.

I am still working on him coming with me, though. It wouldn't cost much more for him to come and it's meant to be a lovely place. Although teenagers aren't that interested in "lovely" places, are they!

sparkybabe Wed 27-Jun-12 12:38:08

My sister did this - left her then-15 YO dd and 14YO twins at home while she and her dp went on a 2week caribbean cruise! shock She justified it by saying that they didn;t want to come and it was the termtime. She did it again this year, they are 17 and 16 now (says she keeps touch by facebook - 14hours flying away!)

Anyway, i was shocked, but they were fine. My mum lives in the same road and she fed them and made sure the door was locked at night.

Still, I couldn't do it. I'd buy him a flight ticket and point out all the 'stag' parties that go to budapest. Lots of to do.

Maryz Wed 27-Jun-12 12:52:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shoppingbagsundereyes Wed 27-Jun-12 12:56:38

Hmm I wouldn't. When I was teaching I had a grim few days when a pupil turned up at my home, refusing to leave. When I eventually called the police they discovered he had been left by his parents alone while they had a week in Spain. No one was very impressed.

MouseyHousey Wed 27-Jun-12 12:57:31

Budapest is a wonderful place.. im going myself in a few weeks! Enjoy!

CrikeyOHare Wed 27-Jun-12 13:02:53

Shopping shock That's absolutely terrible, the poor lad.

I'm torn, tbh and really need to think about it. I'd rather he did come but if he refuses point blank there's not much I can do.

If he does stay at home, rest assured there would be lots and lots of support for him - most importantly our much trusted neighbour above us. We live in a conversion so it's as if he's actually in the same house.

Things is, I really MUST get my teeth done - although DS is more important, obviously.

Thanks for all of your thoughts.

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