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stressed out and need a holday without the teens, should we leave them home alone

(34 Posts)
strungout Tue 05-Oct-10 05:18:22

As a famly this year has been horrble. we the parents need a holiday, the kids dont want to come wth us but i feel guilty leavng them home alone. The youngest is 15 and very sensible and has a steady boyfriend , she stays at his house most weekends. They are not having sex yet. The middle one another girl, very highly strung 17 yr old who also has a boyfriend, shes at college and works part time and likes to party. And the oldest is 19 ,he has job and works hard, he doesnt have a girlfriend and tends to be a loner. He hs been in trouble with the police and has a driving ban.So should we go on holiday and let them stay at home, Im so stressed and need a break but worry about them constantly.

frakkinnakkered Tue 05-Oct-10 05:31:02

I wouldn't unless you have neighbours who can watch over them. What would worry me i the 17 year old might throw a party, they don't have a driver in case of emergency and the 19 year old might get in trouble with the police again, leaving the 2 girls to sort it out.

That said...

How well do they get on generally? Will you spend your holiday worrying about whether they're at each other's throats?

How long will you be away for? Would you be going when they should be at school/college? Who will ensure they go?

Do you know either of the girls' boyfriends' parents well enough to ask them to keep an eye out?

notagrannyyet Tue 05-Oct-10 05:58:18

If you worry about them constantly when you are at home surely you will worry more if you are away.

I have 3 adult DC who now live away and 3 teenage sons at home. We left our 17 yearold DS at home this summer with no worries. I would not have left his 15 year old DB. They are both well behaved and get on, but a 15 year old is still a child, even if he is 6ft 3! I have always been happy to leave a 16 year old with older siblings/other adults close by for back up.

ragged Tue 05-Oct-10 06:00:22

How long, how far away would you go, is there no one else you could have check on them or stay a night or 2?

Kathyjelly Tue 05-Oct-10 06:17:47

I wouldn't. I can't imagine the holiday being very relaxing if you're worrying all the time.

Is there a relative that you can arrange to stay in the house while you are away? I used to do that for my sister. My job was to do a headcount at 2am, rescue them from wherever if they were missing, prevent wild parties, and stop the house burning down or being burgled.

It didn't take a lot of effort but meant sis could holiday in complete peace.

Tortington Tue 05-Oct-10 06:22:21

no

akhems Tue 05-Oct-10 07:27:27

Noooooo!!!!!

hippyhen Tue 05-Oct-10 09:09:53

Speaking from a position of total ignorance, I think it would be a good idea for you to go away for a brief while, ideally staying in the UK. I think the space and the feeling of being trusted would be good for them. Is there any way you could make it mid-week? I'm just thinking that they'll have commitments then, busy during the day. Suppose 2 nights away. I know this isn't the break you have in mind, but it could feel great for you nonetheless and could be a useful start.

AnyFucker Tue 05-Oct-10 09:12:33

Gawd, no

What sort of holiday would you have anyway ? You would be on edge, constantly, surely

Could a relative/friend house-sit for you, so you know there is a responsible adult around ?

maryz Tue 05-Oct-10 09:20:16

I won't leave mine at home - I don't believe that they would do anything intentionally, but I know of houses where the local youths and friends of the teens find out that there is a free house, and descend onto it for a party. It takes a very strong teen to call the police on their own friends, so usually they go along with it with disasterous consequences. I have a friend whose neighbours luckily rang the police when over a hundred local teens turned up at her "free house" when she left her 17 year old at home for a weekend.

We have the same problem here, so have not had a family holiday for the last two years. I rebelled and took my younger two away to the sun for a week and left dh with ds1. In return, dh went away with his friends for a few days drinking to a sporting event, and then went to a family wedding abroad that I didn't want to go to anyway.

I suspect we won't get another holiday together until they all leave home, but I value my house more than a holiday.

Imagine the stress you would be under if you came back to a trashed house/car and/or a child in jail or a&e shock. I just couln't take the risk.

pagwatch Tue 05-Oct-10 09:30:07

We leave DS1 now, he will be here alone for a week later in the year. He has had a few days alone before as practice grin

But i wouldn't leave him if I had any concerns at all and it sounds as though you have.
So no

Threelittleducks Tue 05-Oct-10 09:35:09

Ooo....no.
Apart from anything else, you WILL panic the whole time you are away.

Two words: House Party.

Which is the first thought of any teen when the 'rentals are away.

Could you go somewhere and have them stay in a seperate bit so they have their 'own' holiday (albeit under your supervision a little) and meet them for tea etc? Then let them do as they will at night/day.
Then at least you are in arms reach.
Maybe the hol like this will 'bond' you better?

Good luck xx

AuntGertrude Tue 05-Oct-10 09:39:26

I'd say no. With three (and the 15 yr old too young IMO to stay at home), the exponential of one of them doing something or getting into some situation that you would want to be on hand for, is tripled.

If you ask an adult to stay with them, it would have to be a really laid-back but also authoritative person who would not stress out over them coming in late but who would nethertheless keep everything under control - and this is a huge responsibility for anyone. My parents did this for me once and my mother was ill the whole time with stress, so never again.

Another suggestion would be to ask them to find themselves accomodation for the duration: staying at friends/ boyfriend's house. But even with this, you have an empty house and the likelihood of there still being a party thrown is immense. We left a son staying with a mate for a couple of days and went away (not so far that we couldn't dash back v easily). Turns out our son had left a couple of windows unlocked (when he went to the loo at the last minute before we locked up the house), so came back as soon as we were gone and had a party. He's even done this with the upstairs rooms and found ladders to climb in his bedroom window and accessed the house. Both times we called back at the house unexpectedly (to pick up something we had forgotten) and found a party or the remains of one, in full swing. Thankfully the parties weren't loud or damaging and son had been also found out by our pet-sitter who came to feed the animals - she became the "responsible adult" and allowed him to take responsibility himself for the situation, and to call her if he needed her. She was kind and wise and knew just how to handle his needs. For us, however, the holiday was a disaster and deeply stressful. We returned to an undamaged house but one which was a tip. (Obviously we got him to help with the tidying and cleaning up once we got home.)

Other than two days holiday when my parents babysat (and got so stressed out), we've never had a holiday without the kids for 19 years.

AuntGertrude Tue 05-Oct-10 09:44:10

To add, we left son on own for two weeks the other summer, aged 17-18, calling back home halfway through to check up and pick up different holiday gear for the second week. That time he knew we were giving him the responsibility and although he had a party, he knew how to handle it, and had our pet-sitter as a responsible adult who was popping in every couple of days. That time, more than anything, I think he got lonely and bored without us around. The house was still messy when we got back though! grin

mumeeee Tue 05-Oct-10 12:19:03

Mine are 23.20 and 18 now and I only have the youngest still at home full time ( DD1 is arried and DD2 is at uni). Anyway when my eldest was 19 and the youngest was 14I left them all at home for a weekend. It was fine. What I'm trying to say why don't you try a weekend break first and see how they get on.But DD1 was very sensible and she had already starteduni so was living in halls. She was at home during the summer.I also knew I could trust her.
We have only just strated leaving DD3 at home on her own over night. Partly because she is Dysprasic and also because she is not as sensible as her older sister.
So it does really depend on your children. Do you trust them?

ragged Tue 05-Oct-10 13:02:41

I was thinking that in your case, I would consider having the
"We'd like to go away but we are relying on YOU to be responsible, can YOU do that?" talk with them -- being blunt about concerns of what mischief they might get up to.

And especially lean on the 19yo to grass the others up if they break the rules.

And then on a Monday at breakfast time announce that you're away for a few days (tell them Wednesday, but you can ring on Weds around 8pm and extend it to Thurs, then ring on Thurs and extend it to Friday).

How easily will they get their mates around at very short notice to shag/party until late on a school night? It'd not be easy to plan, would it? Especially if they keep thinking you'll be back any moment?

That's the only way I think I could do it, if no other adults to help and if I did it at all.

strungout Tue 05-Oct-10 13:30:08

wow, wasnt expecting so mant answers ,THANKYOU ALL.I will be having a family conference tonight, will keep you all posted

frakkinnakkered Tue 05-Oct-10 14:57:15

"How easily will they get their mates around at very short notice to shag/party until late on a school night? It'd not be easy to plan, would it? Especially if they keep thinking you'll be back any moment?"

Piss easy. Sorry but even on a school night if you know people are going to be away then it's definitely doable. Just as easy to say 'hey, my folks have gone away, come round to mine tonight!' with the intention of watching a movie/eating pizza and ending up with a full-blown house party. Plus there are 3 of them to summon their mates!

Evenstar Tue 05-Oct-10 15:14:12

My eldest used to say he was going out and didn't know what time he would be back, as someone had a "free house" ie their parents had gone away, it is a serious concern what they can get up to given no parental supervision! I have been away as I am on my own with 3 teenagers, but since he had lots of people to sleep over at my house without permission and emptied the freezer he has never been trusted again. My daughter is 18 and was always the one left in charge anyway before her brother left home. I trust her completely, she is also now trusted to look after her 13 year old brother and there have been no problems with that. I think you you know in your heart whether you can trust them. My neighbours are good friends and keep an eye on things and always know where I am and have contact numbers as does a close friend who lives just round the corner. Do you have a friend or neighbour who could check up on them? I certainly wouldn't leave the country or go far though, at least not the first time.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 05-Oct-10 15:20:19

Left an 18 year old and a 16 year old home alone for a week three years ago. No problems, other than a mountain of washing and house in need of a good hoover. Fairly sensible kids who were told they would not be allowed away with their friends if there was any trouble.

We didn't tell them exactly when we were going until a day before.

However, the next year when DS had gone to Uni and we wanted a break I ddin't want DD conpletely alone and so got my mum down for the week.

DandyDan Tue 05-Oct-10 15:53:01

I agree about the swiftness of arranging a party or get-together. And at the moment one of our kids is in a year group where if there is the slightest sniff of a gathering sans parents, the whole year group turn up and it turns very quickly into trouble. Hence our child is not having a birthday party at all, which is miserable.

I guess you will know whether you can trust your kids. And it's not always the oldest who is the most responsible - ours is the least responsible and we rely on the younger ones to dob him in and keep the house in order.

ragged Tue 05-Oct-10 18:17:25

I guess it was different when I were a teen because we didn't have transport, and all lived miles from each other. So you'd have to arrange lifts, probably with your folks, perhaps days in advance, else have a plausible explanation for why you wanted to be out late and at almost no notice on a school night. And of course your parents would notice and grill you (and ground you) if you came in late or vomitting or had a hangover or couldn't get out of bed to catch the bus in the morning, so you wouldn't dare overdo it without some forward planning involved to avoid parental grief, even if you did attend a party.

...Because I jolly well intend to treat my underage teens like that, too, one day grin.

maryz Tue 05-Oct-10 18:51:59

Best of luck with that ragged grin. My teenagers were very well behaved until they actually became, err, teenagers. Then things went downhill a bit.

I trust dd completely, and I like her friends, and I know and get on with most of their parents, but there isn't a chance in hell I would leave them alone in my house for a night, much less a week.

If they were overrun by less nice teenagers I don't think that she would be able to cope. So it would be unfair on her to leave her to cope with such a responsibility.

ragged Tue 05-Oct-10 20:17:17

I think you misunderstand me, Maryz, I don't expect good behaviour at all, but I hope to be adept at making them thinking twice about the worst behaviours . But yeah, you're right, until I've got a houseful of hormone-full spotty youth, I can only imagine how I might do things given OP's dilemna.

Friends leave their teens age 16+ for long spells... up to 5 weeks. There are helpful neighbours and family friends nearby, plus grandparents live about 10 miles away... still, you can imagine the mixed outcomes. I would not do that and am always bemused at the shock my friends express over the antics their teens get up to in their absence.

A weekend or a few days could be quite different, though, and all that OP needs.

asdx2 Tue 05-Oct-10 21:29:37

I have left my eldest two at home since they were 17 and 16 for a week at a time. We've never had any trouble but didn't expect it anyway, they're good lads with nice friends. Last time I went away for the weekend I left them now 22 and 21 dd 17 and ds 15 and again they were all fine.
I think though if you worry when you are home then you shouldn't leave them because you won't be able to relax anyway.

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