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Leaving a 16 year old alone whilst away

(32 Posts)
mrsgiggle Sat 02-Apr-16 11:08:46

We are away from Sunday to Friday, my 16 year old doesnt want to come.
I dont feel I can trust him yet, as he isnt the most honest and open of children!
What age did you leave your children alone for a few days?

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Apr-16 11:11:29

I have a v sensible 16 year old and although I would have no problem leaving him for a week he would not want to be left.
I also have a 14 year old who would love to be left.

If you don't feel you can trust him you will have to insist he comes.

bigTillyMint Sat 02-Apr-16 11:31:44

Well, we had a similar situation with DD at half-term. Thankfully MIL was happy for her to go and stay there while we were away.

However, we are planning to leave her home-alone for a couple of nights next week. She is actually pretty sensible - this will be a test of whether she can be trusted to keep the house safe and in one piece!

ihatethecold Sat 02-Apr-16 11:38:11

We just left my nearly 16 year old boy at home for 2 days over Easter. he had to look after the dogs and the house.

he was fine but he is very sensible and trustworthy.
We wouldn't leave him for longer than 1 night

mrsgiggle Sat 02-Apr-16 11:40:48

Thats what I have said, we need to do one night first

Wardrobedoors Sat 02-Apr-16 12:06:45

I haven't left my dcs alone overnight yet tbh but it really depends on the dc and whether you trust them. Ds I would have left for a few days no problem but dd17 there is no way I would leave her at home. It would be party central and I couldn't trust her to look after the house or not set it on fire!

useyourimagination Sat 02-Apr-16 12:10:15

I left my 16 year old alone for a couple of nights but her younger sibling went to stay with my parents. She is, however, an extremely sensible teenager so I had no qualms about it. We've since left them both for a couple of nights together but they are slightly older now.

leonardthelemming Sat 02-Apr-16 13:59:50

OK, so there are a number of issues here. And last time I posted my views on this topic I got a few quite negative comments, but here goes...

First, I wouldn't be thinking of a 16 yo as a child.

Second, if you insist he goes with you, how would you enforce it? He isn't a toddler who can be picked up and carried. Tbh, I think you would be on pretty shaky ground - he can legally leave home at 16 after all (although technically he needs your permission until he's 17).

Third, if you haven't yet left him alone I think you're leaving things a bit late. When do you think he will be old enough? 18? I absolutely agree it should be one night first, but that should have already happened, IMHO. From about 14. Then the occasional weekend from 15, so that he's ready to be left indefinitely from 16 (as he can legally do).

Our DS2 lived by himself from 16 to 18, while he did his A levels. I got some very negative comments last time I mentioned this, but it was fine - it was his idea, he lived in our house, we paid for everything, he passed his exams, and he didn't trash the house.

The teenage years are for learning how to be an adult. They can't learn if they don't get a chance to practise.

ihatethecold Sat 02-Apr-16 14:09:09

Leaving a kid at 14 overnight is not a good idea leonard
regardless of how sensible they are

Maladicta Sat 02-Apr-16 14:13:56

We just did this with dd. Dh was abroad, she wanted to stay home and revise while I took her brothers to northern France. She was by herself for four nights.

All neighbours were around and looking out for her; she had specific revision sessions to do at school; friends invited her round for dinner - she had a lovely time and got far more done than would have happened if she'd come with us.

SallyDonovan Sat 02-Apr-16 14:14:06

When I was 16 I decided I no longer wanted to come on family holidays. So I stayed by myself for a couple of weeks. It was fine. I was sensible and enjoyed my own company. If your DS is similarly level headed, I can't see the problem with leaving him for a couple of nights TBH. Presumably he'll be able to contact you easily if anything comes up.

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Apr-16 14:15:05

It depends on the individual teenager. As i said upthread DS1 (nearly 17) doesn't want to be left. So should I just leave him anyway what with him being an adult and everytihng? confused

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Apr-16 14:16:27

Me too Sally, I was a very confident teen and was fine. DS1 hasn't inherited this.

SallyDonovan Sat 02-Apr-16 14:22:11

Thinking about it though, if you don't trust him then you'll have to insist that he comes. Just because MN is populated by sensible former teens doesn't mean it would be appropriate to leave every 16 year old by themselves. My younger brother, for example, always opted to go on family holidays which was good because when he was 16 I'm not sure he could have been trusted to turn the gas off and not invite dodgy friends over. He's a perfectly functional 30 year old now but he was quite an immature teenager.

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Apr-16 14:26:16

Exactly Sally. When I look at DS1 and his peers there's a very large range in maturity, and that's the key here.

ihatethecold Sat 02-Apr-16 14:32:32

My Parents use to leave me and my older brother (18) at home all the time when i was 16.

I now have a 25 year old son to show for it

PortiaCastis Sat 02-Apr-16 14:47:47

My dd is now 17 and has a student job in the local Waitrose, I left her on her own to go on holiday when she was 16 as she didn't want to come on an old girls holiday She was fine, cooked and washed for herself and generally just got on with things. Even did some ironing which is not something I'm fond of. She knew she could go to my neighbour if anything drastic happened and I called her every night.

leonardthelemming Sat 02-Apr-16 15:23:08

Leaving a kid at 14 overnight is not a good idea leonard

Why not, specifically?

(DS1, when a Patrol Leader in Scouts, aged 14, took his patrol (younger boys) camping overnight. One vist from a Leader just before bedtime, then they were on their own. No problems.)

As i said upthread DS1 (nearly 17) doesn't want to be left. So should I just leave him anyway what with him being an adult and everytihng?

No, of course not. But the OP's situation was that the son didn't want to go. Anyway, he's not an adult at 17 - just on his way to becoming one. Gradually.

TinySombrero Sat 02-Apr-16 15:26:20

Mine kept telling me that all the rest of us would appreciate a relaxing holiday away..
I declined his thoughtful offer.

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Apr-16 15:26:55

Most parents know if their DC are ready to be left.

Ludwsys Sat 02-Apr-16 15:53:33

I was left at 16 for a week, I was perfectly ok.... Only you'll know if your child would be ok.

I know several people who had their own homes at 16, lol

Shinyshoes2 Sat 02-Apr-16 15:57:09

I would leave my 15 year old I completely trust him
I wouldn't leave my 18 year old though

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 02-Apr-16 15:59:52

I wouldn't have left my 14 year old in a million years.

I leave my 17 year old. That's young enough for me.

ASpiderInThebath Sat 02-Apr-16 16:02:03

Don't do it! I was left at 16. Had sleepovers with boys, someone had sex in my parents' bed, there was a lot of drinking... I know every parent thinks they know their child but I don't think my parents would have suspected it of me. I was pretty responsible usually but when friends found out I had a free house there was a lot of peer pressure, which I succumbed to!

BackforGood Sat 02-Apr-16 16:07:10

It depends on the teen.
When ds was 16 - never, not in a million years.
When dd1 had just turned 16 a couple of weeks before, we did it quite happily for 2 nights to go to a wedding at the other end of the country.

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