Is it acceptable to leave 16 year old at home alone overnight?

(35 Posts)
curlyhair500 Mon 23-Feb-15 15:10:18

One of my DD's best friend, just turned 16, is quite often left at home on her own overnight whilst her mum stays at her boyfriends house. This is not something I would be happy about doing myself but is it really as bad as I think it is or do I just need to chill out. The girl is quite happy with this and seems quite sensible and has not been in any trouble as far as I know.I stopped my dd15 from sleeping over when the mother is not there (which I only found out about by chance) as I worry about everything - too much for my own good, in fact. I am tempted to accuse the mother of being irresponsible and selfish but is that too harsh?

What does everyone think?

OP’s posts: |
youbethemummylion Mon 23-Feb-15 15:11:50

16 year olds can live alone so Imo its fine.

BackforGood Mon 23-Feb-15 15:16:05

Another 'fine' from me too.
We left my 16 yr old alone overnight a couple of months ago, so we could attend a wedding 4 hours away. That's what she asked to do, and she is trustworthy and likes her sleep so we went.

Does depend on the personality of the child mind - I'd not have left ds alone overnight at that age wink

From a safeguarding (the 16 yr old - rather than your house) pov though, there's no issue.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 23-Feb-15 15:17:02


MrsPresley Mon 23-Feb-15 15:19:50

Not a problem for me either.

I went on holiday for 2 weeks and left my then 16 yo DS at home.

He was fine, and I came home to find the house the same as when I left it smile.

I suppose it depends on how sensible the 16yo is, although I think most would be fine for 1 night at a time.

AdoraBell Mon 23-Feb-15 15:20:53

I moved out at 16.

No issue with this 16 yr old being left alone but YANBU to stop your 15 yr old staying.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 23-Feb-15 15:23:16

My parents divorced when I was 16, my mum moved out and didn't ask me to go with her, I stayed with my dad who worked abroad at least 50% of the time. So we didn't have any choice but for me to be left! It was completely fine, I barely remember it.


SecretSquirrels Mon 23-Feb-15 15:48:30

It's fine for your DD's friend to be left over night. I wouldn't allow a sleepover though unless there was a parent present.

Lottiedoubtie Mon 23-Feb-15 15:55:07

Absolutely fine. My parents holidayed without me several times from when I was 16.

Whether I'd let my (hypothetical) 15 yr old stay over without the parent present depends on how sensible I thought they were generally but I probably would without a compelling reason not too.

Claybury Tue 24-Feb-15 10:19:57

16 should be fine for many.
I have issues with 16 year olds being left alone at the moment though.
DD is that age and at half term she had a few friends who were home alone. One night Dd said they were going to her friend's house, she hadn't told me the parents were away, and they sneaked out to a late night party. None of us parents knew they had done this until the next day. ( I tried to call the girl's parents but they didn't answer until the following day despite being out of town ). They did eventually go to the friends house, they walked back at night ( not good ) but honestly they could have been anywhere and we would not have had a clue.

So being alone in the house should be ok, but giving 16 year olds that level of trust - I'm not so sure. Personally I wouldn't do it just yet.

Bowlersarm Tue 24-Feb-15 10:23:56

I suppose the key thing is that the girl herself is happy with the arrangement. I would have hated it myself, and wouldn't let my 16 year olds stay overnight by themselves. Legally, I don't think there's an issue.

Travelledtheworld Wed 25-Feb-15 19:42:26

Could you ask the girl to come for a sleepover at your house?
She might be lonely.....

AnyFucker Wed 25-Feb-15 19:44:37

on an occasional basis, ok

but on a regular basis, no

AgentProvocateur Wed 25-Feb-15 19:51:54

I left home and went to uni at 16.

fakenamefornow Wed 25-Feb-15 19:55:18

I left home when I was 15 and was fine and very happy so yabu

QuestionsaboutDS Wed 25-Feb-15 19:56:11

I think it's probably absolutely fine in the situation you describe, (I was travelling the country doing university interviews at 16) but I personally wouldn't let my 15 year old PFB sleep over alone with a 16 year old friend.

fakenamefornow Wed 25-Feb-15 19:56:36

What age do you think it's okay to leave them alone overnight?

Ragwort Wed 25-Feb-15 19:56:55

I probably wouldn't leave my 16 year old home alone - because I read too many stories about teenage parties/raves etc. And, I know this sounds totally old fashioned, but to leave your 16 year old at home so that you can sleep with your boyfriend just doesn't sound good to me.

However, please do not say anything to the other parent - but perhaps a good idea to invite your DD's friend round.

Ragwort Wed 25-Feb-15 19:57:59

Leaving home and therefore being responsible for your own life/home is a bit different to living in a family home and being left there.

usualsuspect333 Wed 25-Feb-15 19:59:38

I think it's fine.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 25-Feb-15 20:03:42

I was on my own probably 50% of the time at that age due to my parents divorce as mentioned upthread. My mum moved out after telling us she was having an affair 3 days before my GCSE's started and my dad worked away a lot. I passed all my GCSE's with A's and A*'s, and did A-levels (still almost living alone) and got the grades to go and study law. Not a single party, wild or otherwise! I had a boyfriend who stayed over sometimes (he worked full time). I think I must have just been a very boring 16 year old!! blush

Ragwort Wed 25-Feb-15 20:06:19

I can remember what I was like as a teenager when I was left home alone wink.

zippyandbungle Wed 25-Feb-15 20:06:40

Is that you mum?
I've just had a run in with DM for doing just this. We were invited to friends for the night, dd2 came, DD1 just didn't want to. She's sensible and had her sensible friend over. They cooked a meal and watched a load of films. I can't and wont force her to join our social life and neither will I put it on hold for a 16 year old who could in the eyes of the law be married. DM just wasn't happy with me, for a change.

AnnieMorel Wed 25-Feb-15 20:07:16

We have done this twice. Very sensible 16 year old though, he relishes the bit of responsibility.

StarOnTheTree Wed 25-Feb-15 20:07:41

I agree with AnyFucker and Ragwort

Occasionally fine but not regularly and it is totally different if the 16 year old decides to leave home and set up on her own. Not much of a family home if there is no family there.

But I'm a bit touchy about this situation because my DD's have some friends who are having a hard time with the same situation at the moment. They're two sisters and half the time their mum stays at her boyfriends and the other half there is a strange man in their house. They might look like they're coping and that they're ok with the situation but that doesn't mean that they are.

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