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Old 04-23-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
dudspizza
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at what age would you leave your kids at home?

I am traveling to Reno next summer (2013). My kids will be 17 and 14. I have brought up the possibility of my wife coming with me and the kids hanging out at the cabin with grandma and grandpa while we are gone......

My 14 year old said, "dad, we're old enough to stay home alone for 5 days!". She is hinting they are too hold to hang with grandma and grandpa for that long.....

They are both responsible kids, but I am not sure if that is something I want to do, yet. Now, if it were the next summer and my oldest would be done with HS and 18, it is a whole different story.

When would you leave your kids home if you were going on a 5 day trip?

Duds
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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Ah yeah...NO!! No way would I leave a 14 y/o at home, with only the 18 y/o for supervision. I'm hesitant to leave my 18 y/o home alone...forget being responsible for a younger sibling. When dh and I traveled to WDW last Oct, with another couple, we were gone for a week. My turned 18 the week we got back. There was no way she was staying alone...her older sister, 35, came over and stayed.
I would tell them that they have to have the grandparents there...just in case. There are just too many things that can happen. My issue was one of 'what happens if some friends find out you're alone and drop over, with all their friends, and pretty soon, it's Animal House happening all over again'..not dd's fault, she didn't 'do' anything wrong, but let's face it, kids will be kids. And I'm not sure an 18 y/o is going to be a huge deterrent.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudspizza View Post
I am traveling to Reno next summer (2013). My kids will be 17 and 14. I have brought up the possibility of my wife coming with me and the kids hanging out at the cabin with grandma and grandpa while we are gone......

My 14 year old said, "dad, we're old enough to stay home alone for 5 days!". She is hinting they are too hold to hang with grandma and grandpa for that long.....

They are both responsible kids, but I am not sure if that is something I want to do, yet. Now, if it were the next summer and my oldest would be done with HS and 18, it is a whole different story.

When would you leave your kids home if you were going on a 5 day trip?

Duds
i stayed home alone often by age 17....although not in charge of younger sibs
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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I'm really not sure what I would do. When I first read your post I thought it said 7 and 14, to which of course I'd say no way, and was thinking at least having the oldest being 17. However, now that I think about it, my best friends parents left for a weekend once when we were around 16 - my b/f had an older sister, around 20, and she had some friends over, we had some friends over -both boys/girls and there was def. alcohol. I'm obviously fine but not something I'd want my kids doing. I'll say that we were all pretty tame teenagers, but still not something I'd want my kids to be doing. So, even with responsible kids, I'm really not sure if I'd leave my teens home alone. Good luck. I'm def. not looking forward to the teen years.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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No way with a 14 year old...We left ours for the first time for four days last September. It was a road trip so we were within driving distance. DS was 18 and in his first semester of college and DD was 16 and a junior in high school. Both kids are extremely responsible. They were not allowed to tell anyone that we would be out of town and we only told a few adults. We have relatives that live on the next street over and adults regularly checked in. We went during the school week and not on the weekend-we figured the temptation would be less if they both had to be at work and school. DS agreed to be home early every night so that his sister was not home alone late into the evening. They were fine. They took good care of the animals and the house was clean when I got home. The only misshap was that DD turned off her alarm one morning and was a little late to school. She was so distressed that we were going to be upset and would never trust her again...that I had to reassure her that it was fine. They were great to text regularly so I knew when they were home and when they were going somewhere. It wasn't a whole lot different than being at home.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:33 PM   #6
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My parents left us home alone for the first time when I was 16 and my brother was 13. My parents were gone for only 3 days, but also my grandparents lived nearby if we needed anything.

It really depends on the kids. My brother and were both responsible and we didn't want to do anything that be disrespectful to our parents. Plus we're both strong, mature people and not easily talked into doing things we wouldn't want to do. I don't care how many people showed up at my door, I wouldn't have had a party because THEY wanted to. Peer pressure was not an issue with us. I think you need to base this decision on YOUR kid's personality and maturity.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #7
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My parents left us home alone for the first time when I was 16 and my brother was 13. My parents were gone for only 3 days, but also my grandparents lived nearby if we needed anything.

It really depends on the kids. My brother and were both responsible and we didn't want to do anything that be disrespectful to our parents. Plus we're both strong, mature people and not easily talked into doing things we wouldn't want to do. I don't care how many people showed up at my door, I wouldn't have had a party because THEY wanted to. Peer pressure was not an issue with us. I think you need to base this decision on YOUR kid's personality and maturity.
Totally agree.......... both of my kids are very good kids. The 14 year old would actually be very good at keeping the 17 year old in line!

She did joke, "you know dad, if my sister has a party, I am going to be at the door charging admission.....". Now, doesn't that make you feel real comfortable even considering it? She is a sharp kid who knows how to use sarcasm and it worked in this case... we both laughed....

I have plenty of time to figure this one out... maybe my wife will just stay home this trip..... who knows....

I tried to tell them they would have the car at the cabin and could go go town (which is 5 or so miles away) to go to a movie or shop. We'll see.

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Old 04-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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Totally agree.......... both of my kids are very good kids. The 14 year old would actually be very good at keeping the 17 year old in line!

She did joke, "you know dad, if my sister has a party, I am going to be at the door charging admission.....". Now, doesn't that make you feel real comfortable even considering it? She is a sharp kid who knows how to use sarcasm and it worked in this case... we both laughed....

I have plenty of time to figure this one out... maybe my wife will just stay home this trip..... who knows....

I tried to tell them they would have the car at the cabin and could go go town (which is 5 or so miles away) to go to a movie or shop. We'll see.

Duds
On second thought this cabin sounds pretty cool and I have never been to Reno.....maybe I can be one of your kids. I wouldn't want to pass that up!
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Butterbunkins View Post
My parents left us home alone for the first time when I was 16 and my brother was 13. My parents were gone for only 3 days, but also my grandparents lived nearby if we needed anything.

It really depends on the kids. My brother and were both responsible and we didn't want to do anything that be disrespectful to our parents. Plus we're both strong, mature people and not easily talked into doing things we wouldn't want to do. I don't care how many people showed up at my door, I wouldn't have had a party because THEY wanted to. Peer pressure was not an issue with us. I think you need to base this decision on YOUR kid's personality and maturity.
I agree 100% with this.

As long as they have a car they can use and money available if they need anything and adults they could call if they really needed something I think they are old enough.

Many kids go off to college at 17 and do fine.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #10
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Yes, of course. A 17 year old is old enough. As long as their responsible, and have a car. I stayed alone at 16. I have been on own my since 18. If my kids are not capable of being alone at that age. I would consider myself a failure as a parent.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:31 PM   #11
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I would probably say 'OK'. Of course, it depends on the kids, but 17 year olds are heading off to college soon. If you don't trust them now, it's not going to change. I'd also stress to them that neighbor's will be watching the house/checking up on them, and there will be h-ll to pay if something inappropriate happens.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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You have to give this a lot of thought...

How are you going to feel if something happens?

Are you going to be worried while you are gone and will that ruin your trip?

People get arrested for leaving minors alone. Usually when I have heard of this, the kids are younger...but they are both minors

If it were me, and the kids did not want to go, I'd find a responsible adult to stay in my house.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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I'm not quite there yet. I might do a split visit in this situation. Maybe the first 2 days alone and the last 3 at the cabin?
Responsible or not, my kids have awesome grandparents and I'd want them to go to be with them to have that time together. Even when I was 16 I would have chosen to stay alone. It just sounds cooler. But now? I would do anything to get that time back and spend more time with my grandparents.
So maybe even if they protest it's more about the time with grandma and grandpa and not about them not being responsible enough.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:33 PM   #14
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You have to give this a lot of thought...

How are you going to feel if something happens?

Are you going to be worried while you are gone and will that ruin your trip?

People get arrested for leaving minors alone. Usually when I have heard of this, the kids are younger...but they are both minors

If it were me, and the kids did not want to go, I'd find a responsible adult to stay in my house.
I would challenge you to find even one instance where a parent was arrested if the minor in question was at least 13. That's an urban myth that has lately flown around this country, but it's not true. Parents do not get arrested for leaving teens at home alone. What laws of the sort that do exist are designed to protect young children (perhaps 12 and under, though most likely under age 8.)

If I knew that the kids in question were responsible I'd feel fine about it. I'd leave them some cash and a full fridge and and make sure that the phone was in working order, but that would do it for me.

There are many, many 17 yo college students living away from home, so I definitely wouldn't think twice about that; it is only the younger one that I might have some reservations about, if the two of them were prone to arguing, as mine are.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dudspizza View Post
I am traveling to Reno next summer (2013). My kids will be 17 and 14. I have brought up the possibility of my wife coming with me and the kids hanging out at the cabin with grandma and grandpa while we are gone......

My 14 year old said, "dad, we're old enough to stay home alone for 5 days!". She is hinting they are too hold to hang with grandma and grandpa for that long.....

They are both responsible kids, but I am not sure if that is something I want to do, yet. Now, if it were the next summer and my oldest would be done with HS and 18, it is a whole different story.

When would you leave your kids home if you were going on a 5 day trip?

Duds
My kids are the same age and are very capable & responsible to stay home alone should we want to go away but I will admit, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable going away for 5 days without having an adult pop in to check on them. A weekend trip, maybe, but not anything longer but that's just me and to be honest we haven't made the "leap" of taking a vacation without them yet. But then again, my kids love to travel & would probably protest if they heard us talking about a vacation without them .... Bottom-line... no one knows your children better than you. If they have no issues about staying alone and you're comfortable leaving them behind, then go but it might not be a bad idea to have someone pop in from time to time to check on them and that might give you a little more peace of mind while still giving them a little independence. Good luck!
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