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panicking about 2ndary school and being home alone

(11 Posts)
scarletclark Fri 19-Aug-11 14:57:44

My DTs are starting secondary school - me and hubby both work full time. I can switch hours to get home a little earlier, but basically the kids are going to have to cope with a new secondary school and also being at home alone for an hour after school - all at the same time. They are not very mature or responsible, despite plenty of opportunity.

Any suggestions to help them (and me!) cope with this or anyone got experience and lessons learnt/good advice? Especially on keeping them from burning the house down/leaving the front door wide open/other disasters between them getting home and me getting home.

Thanks - am literally losing hours of sleep over this (esp as trying to hide that I'm worried during the day!)

slowcookedtopside Fri 19-Aug-11 15:00:36

Get a grip and start practicing with them now!

Impress upon the importance of key security. Only give them a front door key and check they don't keep it with their address. Make sure the house has plenty of snacks in for when they come home so they don't try and deep fry chips.

Ask them to ring you as soon as they get in - then you can ask if the door is shut!

Lilyloo Fri 19-Aug-11 15:01:22

Can you not leave them alone for an hour or two over the next couple of weeks ?
Maybe drop them off at new school and let them make their own way home and let themselves in ?

Hellishday Fri 19-Aug-11 15:01:28

I think you will be amazed when they start in September how responsible they may become...the school will have high expectations of them being independent, responsible for handing in work, using planners etc.
But you must lay down ground rules.
Not having friends round unless you are there to begin with, using that time to get homework done etc.
Explain consequences eg if you leave the door open this will happen.
Do they cook/make snacks?

PonceyMcPonce Fri 19-Aug-11 15:01:58

My dd is 11 and we have done the following

1 establish firm ground rules re usage of phone/shower/opening door/cooking etc
2 Start with short periods say 15mins and extend by 5 mins until up to desired period
3 clearly estblish who to call, on what numbers if I am not home by specified time list of numbers of fridge
4 Who to contact in an emergency
5 Practice calls made to me on mobile
6 role play if someone knocks on door demanding entry/needing help/wanting to deliver

This has worked really well for dd and she has managed 2 hours solo, with a call in the middle to check ok

I also asked someone to act as point of contact during training period!

haggisaggis Fri 19-Aug-11 15:03:44

My ds started high school this week and will be alone for about 1.5 hours 3 days a week. Basically at moment I get him to phone as soon as he gets in - and then I phone him again later to make sure he is OK. AT the moment he is loving it!

chatee Fri 19-Aug-11 15:03:48

you may be lucky in that the secondary school may have activities scheduled after school and that might delay your children getting home on a couple of nights a week? or even a homework club ? or schedule a regular visit to the library each week?

am in the same situation but with only 1 child but I can not get home any earlier than I already do (so have been encouraging her to look forward to being given a little more independence and making her think that 'YES' she can do it- although deep down I don't really think it will work out but we will have to give it a try.

EdithWeston Fri 19-Aug-11 15:07:04

Are they familiar with the route to their new school? Going on a few practice runs (one with you, couple alone) and having a thorough discussion about what they would do in the event of non-appearing buses, road closures etc, should at least lift that potential worry.

I think leaving them alone in the house a few times for an hour or so before the start of term is a very good idea. As well as going through ground rules and emergency drills ad nauseam.

IndigoBell Fri 19-Aug-11 17:07:06

What on earth do you think they'll do confused

Surely, all they'll do is watch TV and play on the computer?

The worst that could happen is they leave the door open and a cat wonders in.....

happygardening Fri 19-Aug-11 17:51:34

KEYS are my biggest and only worry. As you've got two I guess it would be very unlucky if both lost/forgot their keys but nothings impossible! Can you leave a spare set under the mat/flower pot, with a neighbour/local friend/other mother. If you do have one of these people perhaps they could also be a point of contact in a dire emergency

NormaSnorks Fri 19-Aug-11 19:14:06

Youcan get those key boxes that you attach to a wall, which have a press button code to open - stops them having to carry keys around?

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