Leaving teens alone for an overnight

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Leaving teens alone for an overnight
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 12:33pm

No flames, please. I realize this isn't something some parents of teens would feel comfortable doing, but DH and I won a train ride and a stay in a hotel at an auction, and we were thinking of leaving the kids alone for one night. They're very responsible, with tame friends, and they're both okay with the idea, as long as they are both here. We live in town, so they could walk to the supermarket to get anything they lack. They are 17 and 15.

Has anyone else done this successfully? Any tips? (Our kids know how to work the alarm system and all appliances.)

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 3:16pm
I think given the ages, considering the oldest will be going off to college in a year or two, if you touch base with the neighbors, let them know they will be alone to just sort of watch things, set down the rules, let the kids know the expectations of what they can and can't do while you are gone, I personally don't see a problem with it.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 3:50pm
When our kids were 16 & 19, we went to an overnight Christmas party at a resort, with Dh's company. While mine were a little older than yours, given that your kids are usually well supervised and responsible, I think you should be fine. What we DID do, was tell ours that we would be checking with the neighbors, especially the Grandma who lived across the street (bless her soul) , for reports on any visitors or cars parked late in the driveway. And we called home before WE went to bed, on the LANDLINE, just to make sure they were where they were supposed to be.
Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 3:58pm
Your last two posts are encouraging... I'm not there yet, My oldest will only be 15 in August but your oldest sounds old enough. At 17, I was out of high school, I was home overnight by myself and I had overnight gigs babysitting at that age too.. I agree with giving the neighbors a heads up.



Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 4:39pm

DH & I went on our first overnight two years ago, when the kids were 18, 15 and 10.  I had no concerns about them at all.  Last year we went away for two nights, but by that time the oldest was already a college student.  Both times we were only an hour away by car and could easily have gotten home in an emergency, and our next door neighbors knew we were gone.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 7:30pm

DH and I left our girls at home over night for the first time when they were 16 and 12.  We let our neighbors across the street know (their dd is #2's best friend) as well as #1's boyfriend's parents (so they knew he was NOT to be over here).  We explained that they were free to head out together but that they had to be home by the driving curfew.  We knew our neighbors would let us know if anything happened, or if there were any guests.  The girls ended up watching chick flicks, eatting ice cream, and sleeping in the family room together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 9:47pm

Since you know your own kids and feel they would be responsible I don't see anything wrong w/ it--last weekend I went out on Sat. night & had reminded my son (almost 17) twice to stay at his dad's.  The day of, I asked "did you tell dad you would be coming over tonight?"  He said no, I can stay home alone.  I did end up coming home but more so because I like sleeping in my own bed compared to being at my mom's house where the room I would be sleeping in has no a/c--and I was still awake enough to drive home.  I told my mother about this & even she said that he would have been fine home alone--now my DD was the one that I knew if  I went overnight, she'd have her friends over to drink alcohol--she did that even when I made plans to have her at her dad's--but my son wouldn't do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 5:55pm

I would have no problem leaving them alone overnight.  DS is 16 and DD is 14 and we left them alone overnight in June so we could tend to an emergency with my SIL.  I let the neighbors across the street and next door know they were alone.  The only thing that scared me was that DS only has a permit no license yet, he is a very careful kid so I knew they would be fine.  They had enough food to keep them going for days.  They just watched movies and hung out. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 7:50pm

Thanks all, for the replies. I had debated notifying the neighbors because we've only lived in this house for 8 months, and I didn't want them to feel responsible for my kids, but both houses on either side have teens, so I think I will.

DD only has her permit, so driving is out, but the house is well stocked with food and if there's something they just have to have, well, they can walk to town and get it if they're desperate.

DS is on the Asperger's spectrum  and doesn't socialize much, and although DD is very social, I really like and trust all her friends, so if she did decide to have an illicit party, it would likely involve baking and watching Downton Abbey reruns on the internet. Any guys who dropped by would likely die of boredom and leave after scarfing down their cookies.

But of course, we will have a no guests rule for the night we're gone!