Jump to content

Menu

Would you leave a teen home alone overnight?


Kassia
 Share

Recommended Posts

Dd is almost 15.  We have to take an overnight trip to move her brother for his new job and will be three hours away.  She really doesn't want to go and is begging to stay home alone.  She's very responsible, but we have no family close by and I am worried about if something goes wrong while we're gone or even if she's scared being alone in the house at night.  We do have a neighbor she could call in an emergency.  Would you leave her alone or just drag her along and have her deal with it?

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At 14, no I would not. If something were to happen you'd be in real trouble with Dcfs. I understand as I have a very responsible daughter and I'm often tempted to leave her for extended periods of time but overnight is different. You might also check your local laws. Some states have "guidelines" for overnight.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this case the neighbor is the deciding factor. I'd do it. When my oldest was 17 we left her for one night, middle of the week, and she had a raging party. She was only caught because a home school mom from swim found part of dd's swim suit at the aquatic center and dropped it off and told me what was going on, lol. She has never owned it, she claims the home school mom MADE IT ALL UP, lol. But it sure has been fun to watch her squirm over the years. With the neighbor I'd consider it an adulting skills class. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, of course. My parents left me alone for about a week while they took a vacation to Italy as a kid. I was 12 or 13? Grandparents in town and my older brother was available too, though he was pretty busy. It went just fine (but they missed my birthday! I was grumpy about that).

 

For a responsible kid? No problem. I would, however, find a neighbor to act as an emergency contact since there is no family in town.

Edited by Arctic Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I had my hysterectomy my husband opted to stay with me both nights I was in the hospital so my kids ended up being home alone.  At the time they were 15 (almost 16), 14, 9, and 7.  We live in a gated community with live security and friends that would've been there in minutes if necessary and neighbors who would help in an emergency, too.  I would definitely let my daughter stay home alone in your case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would do it.  We left my eldest son at home alone for a weekend at about that age.  He didn't want to travel with us because he would have had to  miss some basketball games and practice.  He did have grandparents not too far away and he was comfortable contacting neighbors if he needed help.  It ended up that his grandfather landed in the hospital for the weekend so he was even more on his own than we thought he would be but it worked out just fine.  In fact, he arranged his own travel arrangements for basketball.   This was in the days before cell phones also.  I think I had a flip phone but I don't think he did and we weren't texting.  It's funny to think about that now but that's the way it was.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow you ladies are conservative on this. Even my ten year old would probably be fine overnight with an emergency contact. We wouldn't do it because she has younger siblings and that complicates things, though.

 

Apparently I'm a little free range in this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't leave my 14-yr-old alone overnight regardless of maturity. If there was any kind of emergency or accident where police or emergency personnel became aware of the teen being home alone, they would likely take her into protective custody immediately. And they aren't likely to care about "almost" 15. I would be less concerned with 16+ for overnight with a neighbor nearby, but 14 sounds so young. And, unfortunately, it's all about how the situation would appear to emergency workers in the moment. 

 

I would leave her with the neighbor or bring her along.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't leave my 14-yr-old alone overnight regardless of maturity. If there was any kind of emergency or accident where police or emergency personnel became aware of the teen being home alone, they would likely take her into protective custody immediately. And they aren't likely to care about "almost" 15. I would be less concerned with 16+ for overnight with a neighbor nearby, but 14 sounds so young. And, unfortunately, it's all about how the situation would appear to emergency workers in the moment.

 

I would leave her with the neighbor or bring her along.

Is that illegal? Our state doesn't have any minimum ages for babysitting or home alone that I've seen, but duration might matter. Plenty of kids are left alone during the day in summertime while parents are working and aren't taken by protective services if they encounter an emergency?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would if she had a friend she could stay with if she found herself scared. The neighbor might be fine in an emergency but if dd gets scared having a backup plan will be worth its weight in gold. Three hours away is a long way when you have a scared kid. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can she stay with a friend? I wouldn't at 14. It's generally not recommended by legal experts on the subject until 16. It's not an emergency situation, and I wouldn't risk it.

 

Edited to rephrase

Edited by zoobie
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that illegal? Our state doesn't have any minimum ages for babysitting or home alone that I've seen, but duration might matter. Plenty of kids are left alone during the day in summertime while parents are working and aren't taken by protective services if they encounter an emergency?

 

The common recommendation is that your child should be 16 to be left home alone.

 

If your state doesn't set a minimum legal age, then that generally means it's up to the emergency responders to decide in the moment whether they think your child is too young. Imagine a team of firefighters and maybe an officer or two at a 2 am house call. Everything's safe, but do they walk away and leave a 14-yr-old teen home alone? They have to make the call. Does she look young? Does she look younger than normal in her jammies with no makeup? Are a bunch of (often male) emergency workers ever going to walk away and leave a 14-yr-old female home alone at 2 am? Or do they cover themselves by making a quick call to social services? 

 

Not having a clear law can make these situation much more gray. I wouldn't want to open my 14-yr-old or my family up to that kind of mess. I would leave my daughter with the neighbor or let her sleep over with a friend.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that illegal? Our state doesn't have any minimum ages for babysitting or home alone that I've seen, but duration might matter. Plenty of kids are left alone during the day in summertime while parents are working and aren't taken by protective services if they encounter an emergency?

 

Not illegal in this state.  There are no laws about what age a child may be left home alone.  The state of Michigan recommends that children 10 and under are too young to stay at home alone.  Children 10 to 12 should be evaluated on a case by case basis.  Over 12 and you are good to go.  But again, those are just recommendations.

 

Wendy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Source, please?

Most states don't have hard and fast laws with specific ages, but as another poster says, if the police need to be called for any reason, they're not going to leave the 14 year old there. It's all based on "good judgment," and if you research legal advice on what that entails, 16 to be home alone overnight is the guideline I've seen most. I have never seen 14 as a recommended age to stay alone overnight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would bring her, because more people means less trips to/from the moving car. If she won't fit in the car/moving truck, then I would make the trip there and back in a day. My kids go to college about that far away and I have left younger ones at home alone (or with siblings) if they wouldn't fit or had a conflict.

 

Congrats to your son on his new job.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents left me and my brother home alone when I was 14 and he was 16. I got drunk at a party and he had a party at our house.

 

They left us alone many many times after that but aside from some car issues (accident, me attempting to drive with no license) things were fine.

 

We lived in a ginormous house and I hated being left alone. I would leave every light on all night. One time staying home alone with the dog I freaked out, called taxi and took train to my brothers.

 

I never left my kids home alone and would not be comfortable doing so.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure. We have neighbors--a plethora of them my kids could go to. At the end of the street are dear friends. In town there are at least 3 sets of people within 10 minutes (some much less.).

 

I'd go and give my son a bunch of phone numbers to call in case of emergency. There would be rules--don't answer the door, don't answer the phone, don't go outside at all for people to notice you're there. Stuff like that.

 

I would read the laws, but I'm pretty sure our state doesn't have any. I've looked them up before about leaving kids alone. I'd have to search specifically for overnight. If there was a law that would be a problem, then I wouldn't do it. But no law? 14 is plenty old enough to hunker down and stay in a house overnight alone.

Edited by Garga
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No. She might be fine, in fact I'm sure she would be, but I have enough friends who are social workers in my state to know it doesn't fly here to leave a 14 year old overnight. We can leave a 14 year old home alone for a few hours, that's it.

 

ETA: if the above were not a factor, I'd be ok with it depending on the child, the accessibility of help, etc.

Edited by Spryte
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow you ladies are conservative on this. Even my ten year old would probably be fine overnight with an emergency contact. We wouldn't do it because she has younger siblings and that complicates things, though.

 

Apparently I'm a little free range in this.

Free range here too. I was left alone overnight the first time at 13. This was conservative from the perspective of paternal grandparents. When grandma had to have surgery as a young mom and she nearly died so grandpa stayed over in the city at the hospital, my ten year old aunt stayed home two days with no help, and cared for her younger brotbers, ages 5.5 and 4. Not ideal but everyone made it.

 

Our dd was 13 or 14 the first night we let her stay alone, but we did take the boys with us so she would not have 8, 6.5, and 5 year old boys to care for.

Edited by FaithManor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd probably maker her go, not because of safety issues, but because she should be there to help her brother move.

(Read wih humorous intent, not snarky, I promise!)

 

And when she moves away for a job, will you require him to come back and help her?

 

Hmmmm assuming there are no state laws regarding age to be left alone overnight...

 

Totally depends on the kid. But even with a very mature kid, safe neighborhood, close neighbors, and 8 years of training in three martial arts, I would prefer my 15yo stay at a friend's. But I might let her stay alone. She'd be fine, I'd be a wreck worrying.

 

But I also have great sympathy for my poor BabyBaby, who has literally spent her entire life being dragged around to everything her sisters did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is sad people are more afraid of emergency workers than actual problems but it is what it is. That would be my main worry too.

It is really sad. I am far more afraid of busy bodies and emergency workers than having something actually happen when I leave a child in a car or let them walk home by themselves.

 

It was really interesting this year though, at camp, if I signed off on it, my child at age eight could sign himself out of camp and go home without an adult. I think it is totally reasonable but I was surprised that the city community center would have this policy.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Read wih humorous intent, not snarky, I promise!)

 

And when she moves away for a job, will you require him to come back and help her?

 

 

 

Pretty much yes, lol! Assuming it was the same 3 hours or so. I might give him a pass if she was moving across the country  :001_cool:

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...