14 yo home alone all day

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
14 yo home alone all day
6
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 8:23am
My 14 yo dd usually stays with my mother over the summer when she is not in camp - my dh and I both work full time.

The last 2 years she hasn't been in any camp though and has just hung out at her grandmas.

She's been asking to spend more time at home since she is old enough.

I let her stay home today because she wants to 'tan' in her own backyard.

Question: Do you let your teens home alone for extended periods of time?

Do you monitor them when they are home alone? What kind of rules?

My rules for today (and for anytime alone) are that she can't have anyone over the house when no one is home and she has to take care of the dog.

I'm going home for lunch and my parents will stop by with ice cream this afternoon.

My concern is that 'friends' will stop by if they know she is home (and particularly worried about boys)... not that I have anything to base this on, but I'm still worried.

I figure I let her stay because I want to trust her and it will be a big win in the trust department.

Anyway, I'm getting long winded.

Do you let your teens stay home alone for an entire day or days?

Thanks!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 10:00am
I think the whole think boils down to how much do you really trust your girl. I have been letting my teen stay home since she was 12. Of course she had an 8 year old brother to look after. I had so many crappy babysitters that my 12 year old daughter was the best of the crop. She is now 15 and she stays home by herself during the summer. I have given both her and my son chores to do. Dishes, laundry, cleaning the house, minor things like that. They both know which friends are allowed in the house and who is not. She knows that boys can't not come in the house but she can sit outside and the steps with them.

Avatar for heartsandroses2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 10:13am
Hi, I have two dd's, 13 and 15. They can stay home for the day, either alone or together - I don't have a problem with that once in a while. However, for many days in a row, for extended time, all summer? I wouldn't do that and it has very little to do with trust issues. I trust my dd's mostly all the time. Maybe the 13 y.o gives me cause to worry because she has a tendency to make poor choices and assume my responses to her requests...but I rant.

Is there ONE friend who you can trust to have stay overnight and spend the day with her with you checking at lunch? IS there a local day camp that she can get a job as an LIT (leader In Training)? It doesn't usually pay anything, but at least she'll be busy and safe. Are there any farms or farmstands nearby that she may be able to work at, say ride her bike to? Farms hire at 14. Is there a recreation center with a town pool near your home that she ride her bike to meet some friends? CAn she get a babysitting or pet sitting job near your home? Can you give her home projects to complete for you, such as painting some furniture, relining the cabinets, etc?

There are many ways to keep a 14 y/o busy during the Summer, but I definitely would not leave her home alone all summer long. It's boring and she'll most likely sit in front of the TV all day and have her brain turn to mush. 8 hours is a long time for a 14 y.o to entertain herself. It's a tough age because they are too old for babysitters and too young to be left completely alone all day all summer. Tap into town resources such as the rec center or town pool, local farms, daycare centers, summer camps and see if you can get her involved with a local group or project that involves kids her age.

Good luck~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:23am
Funny you should bring this up. Yesterday was the day from hell for me. School got out at 10 am and unbeknownest to me, my ds had 6 friends over. I have let him have 1 or 2 friends over after school for a couple of hours (kids that I know and whose parents I know) but never 6 unsupervised. One of them I don't particularly like an another I don't know. My mom had given him a $100 bill as an 8th grade graduation present, and it was stolen from his wallet along with another $10. He did eventually get it back, but he called me at work about it and needless to say, I was really upset. When I got home from work, I was going to call of the parents and then the police. And my house was strewn with empty water bottles, wrappers, junk. Oy, what a mess.

So today, I made sure that he knows no one is allowed over. I can't wait until Sat. when he goes to sleepaway camp for 6 weeks. Then I won't have to worry.

Next year, he can get a job because he'll be 14 and if he screws up in his freshman year of hs, he can go to summer school. The problem is, kids this age think they are little adults, but really, their brains just don't reason and think like adults. Judgment and good sense are ruled by...hormones.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:05pm
Since I no longer work outside the home it's not really been an issue. I do leave the boys (13 and 16) home alone for several hours at a time when I'm running errands, helping at the church, etc. I'd probably be OK with leaving them alone for an occasional day. I wouldn't want to do it too often, though as I'd be afraid they would get bored and sometimes when teens get too bored or have too much time on their hands it can lead to trouble. I think you have some good safe-guards in place with you and your folks checking in. I'd continue to do that on the days she's alone and perhaps even recruit a SAHM neighbor to keep an eye on things. Let her know that if she can't follow the rules she will be back to spending the days at grandma's.

Good luck!

Pam



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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2003
Sat, 06-28-2003 - 1:26am
hi! i am new to this board, but think i offer a slightly different viewpoint to your situation. i am a 17 year old only child who just finished her junior year in high school. i have gotten good grades all of my life, been responsible in most of my judgements (everyone slips up sometimes... but i was definitely reprimanded and learned quickly!). i have been told that i am mature for my age and handle most situations with a level head. my parents trusted me to stay at home alone (occasionally) since i was about 13 years old. they both worked full time, and it was a hassle to find places for me to stay when really all i wanted was a bit of independence. so staying at home was implemented on a trial basis. i, too, had a dog to care for, was expecting the random phone calls from my parents at work to check up on me, and even had an occasional relative drop by. yes, it was annoying, but after awhile the random visitors stopped, after i proved that i could handle it. at the age of 14, i don't think my parents really worried about friends coming over unsupervised, because none of us could drive and usually my friends parents would accompany them to the door to make sure others were home. now i stay at home everyday during the summer, and have assumed most of the house cleaning duties (always a nice perk for moms!) mom worries about me getting lonely staying here, but the truth is i love being alone. i, like every other teenager, can put on the music that i want to listen to on the stereo, read my books while being undisturbed, and make whatever weird food i feel like for lunch.

trust your daughter, but do it with caution and take your time releasing the reigns. she sounds like a wonderful girl and sitting at a grandmother's house all day can get tedious. let her stay home a few days a week as a reward and see what happens.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-02-2003 - 7:10pm
I stayed home alone from 7th grade on. I loved it. I had some daily chores to do - mainly keep the livingroom and kitchen clean and do laundry. Sometimes there would be other jobs like yard work or something. After I did my chores, I was pretty much free to do whatever I wanted. I had friends in the neighborhood and I would go to their houses, hang out outside with them, or inside my house alone or with friends. My mom never had any problem with friends coming over - even boys. Some of the boys were boyfriends, but most were just friends - part of the group. She knew all my friends and most of their parents, and she trusted me. She said her reasoning for not instituting the no-friends-in-the-house rule that so many other parents have was because she wanted our home to be my home too and for me to be able to come home whether I had friends with me or not - not to have to choose between spending time with friends and spending time in my own home.

Until I was about 15, I had to call my mom and tell her if I was going out of our neighborhood - like to a friend's house, to the movies or whatever. I also was not allowed to go swimming in the ocean without an adult - I could go to the beach or the harbor with my friends, just not swimming. After I was about 15, I just had to tell her if I was leaving the county - LOL.

I guess she was pretty loose with the rules, but then in other aspects she kept me very close. She knew all my friends and she always knew what was going on with me. We always talked about lots of things. I had a lot of freedom, but I earned it by being trustworthy and responsible. I guess it really depends on the kid and how ready they are to take care of themselves.