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DS2(12) home alone after school

(13 Posts)
smoothieooo Thu 11-Oct-12 12:08:28

Do any of you have 'latchkey kids' who are home alone for long periods when you're at work? DS2's school is 5 mins away and he's regularly at home by himself until DS1(14) gets back (different school) which could be up to 2 hours later. I work f/t and get home at 6.30pm.

STBEx-H used to be there for them most of the time after school (he worked shifts) but left 3 months ago.

I can't change my working arrangements and I'd love some ideas as to how I can get him to fill his time productively. He doesn't get on particularly well with his older brother (and bullies him constantly). I'm wondering whether I should look into a childminder but when I mentioned this he was horrified!

Is anyone else in a similar situation?

brass Thu 11-Oct-12 12:13:47

perhaps not a childminder but what about an older student type who can do homework, keep the peace etc.

I really don't think you should leave them to their own devices if one is bullying the other. Really unfair.

It doesn't matter if he is horrified. He isn't mature enough to make such a decision.

smoothieooo Thu 11-Oct-12 12:21:33

Actually brass an older student is not a bad idea (especially considering the school - which has a 6th form - is minutes away)...

The last time he had a childminder (couple of years ago admittedly) he was an absolute swine. The arrangement ended when he stole from her purse and she sacked us immediately.

brass Thu 11-Oct-12 12:25:48

They need to be old/mature enough to exert discipline though, not someone who is going to be complicit in any funny business.

You will need to lay some ground rules about expected behaviour and what the consequences will be. You don't want a repeat of the purse incident.

FireOverBabylon Thu 11-Oct-12 12:27:51

Sorry, I know that this is kind of off thread but your DS stole from your childminder and bullies his brother. I would start working on his behaviour before I left him at home with anyone. A 6th form student isn't going to be impressed with being stuck in the middle of your sons if the younger one's behaviour is that dreadful.

Why did he steal off the childminder - was he being bullied, for attention etc or was he just being a wretched teenager?

smoothieooo Thu 11-Oct-12 12:35:49

Re. the purse, I think it was attention-seeking Fire, more then anything else.

He's going through the wretched teenage phase now (a little early) and doesn't respect boundaries. I've promised him an allowance at the end of the month if he behaves but the amount is diminishing by the day.

He gets bored really easily, won't read and is not interested in the Wii or xBox (which is brother is more than happy to play for hours on end if I'd let him).

ratbagcatbag Thu 11-Oct-12 12:38:55

Can his dad not pick him up after school?

FireOverBabylon Thu 11-Oct-12 12:42:49

Are there any after school sports things he could do, even if not run by the school. Something like judo or kickboxing where he's with others but acting alone if that makes sense.

I wouldn't leave him at home with a student and his brother if he has no non-disruptive way on occupying himself apart from the TV.

smoothieooo Thu 11-Oct-12 13:00:25

His dad occasionally picks him up but can only do so here and there.

I looked at Judo/Ju Jitsu/Kick boxing etc but he feels that as a beginner, he'd be too embarrassed to start a class. He used to do gymnastics (at squad level) 3 times a week but when he tried to go back after a break of 2 years was told that he wasn't up to scratch and has no interest in what he sees as 'lesser' gymnastic clubs.

There are no after school clubs running at the moment (he did Parkour/free running last year and it was perfect).

bubby64 Fri 12-Oct-12 23:03:38

Ihave twin DS, yr7, and they are home alone at least 2-3 days a week 2hrs before either DH or myself get home, I have a nearby neighbour with a key, and they know they can go to hers if needed, they also have all our contact numbers. The last 2 weeks it was every day, as i job share, and my colleague has been on annual leave. They did fight, but are aware that if this happens too much, they will not be allowed access to Xbox or computer for the next couple of days (I remove cables!), and will have to go to said neighbours instead, after this happened a couple of times, They stopped. Can you threaten elder DS with simular punisments for bullying younger, (maybe even take away his phone!), have you a nice nearby neighbour like mine?

slipslider Sat 13-Oct-12 00:24:37

giving him chores to do will keep him busy...i was a latchkey from 8 and by 10 knew how to make a meal from scratch along with other household skills. it taught me well for when i had my own house...many of my friends could not boil an egg or use a washer at 25! he is old enough to at least polish n vac/mop before u get in or peel some veg ready for you

timetosmile Sun 14-Oct-12 10:36:02

leaving a 12yo ds alone doesn't seem to be the issue here.

OP, I am sorry to sound as if I am giving you a hard time because I'm not but here is a young boy at a 'diffcult' age dealing with his dad's recent departure, he's shown defiant/attention seeking behaviour and doesn't get on with his brother.

He sounds as if he's angry and sad and I wonder whether all that time by himself is a good idea?

Don't they have an afterschool homework club, or could he have a friend he could go to for a couple of hours regularly at least one night a week?


smoothieooo Mon 15-Oct-12 15:25:39

Thanks all. We've actually sorted out a couple of things in the last week. DS2 will go to a friend's house once a week after school and when he's at home, he will be doing extra chores for some extra £££s (hoovering, empyting dishwasher etc).

I found out there is a trampolining club after school which he's interested in going to too. you're right timetosmile that there are underlying issues which we're working on!

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