staying home alone 4 days

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2003
staying home alone 4 days
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 10:20pm
I have to go out of town on an emergency and my 15 year old son wants to stay home so he won't miss his debate meet and won't fall behind in his classes. I'll be away for 5 nights and have never left him alone at night. He is a very responsible child, but I'm concerned about him feeling lonely and also the legalities of leaving him home alone. I truly believe he can handle anything that comes his way and respect his sense of responsibility to his team, but I'm uneasy. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2003
Tue, 11-11-2003 - 10:26pm
Avatar for ashdenson
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 1:49am

That he wants to do the debate and not miss class is great (my son would never consider that - 16yr)

Every State is different - I would find out first - I know is California it would be okay.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 9:40am
If you are uncomfortable, perhaps you could contact the parents of a friend or one of his debate team mates and see if they would be willing to have him as a guest for a few days.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 10:38am
Your son sounds like a great boy! However, there is NO WAY I would leave a child under 18 home alone while I'm out of town. No matter how good the child is you are leaving him in a vulnerable position. While he may have no intention of entertaining, other kids are very apt to drop by, bring more friends with them etc. Some of the "others" could decide to bring beer with them, bring pot, etc. Things can escalate and get out of control very quickly. I would not put my child in that kind of position. I would definitely see if he could stay with a friend or relative instead.
Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 11-12-2003 - 4:02pm
I think 4-5 nights is too much, especially for a 15 yo, even a responsible one.

I think my DD is responsible too, but the whole thing is that there are those circumstances which are beyond their control and maturity level.

I think at 15 and 16, 1 night MIGHT be okay, but only if necessary.

At 16-17, maybe 2 nights.

But that would be my personal limit.

If you can't find anyone that he can stay with, then I'd weigh priorities and bring him with you.

I know you said it is an emergency, but you didn't say what.

So, if there is no one that he can stay with and there is no way he can come...

then maybe you shouldn't go.

To me, it sounds like more of a priority issue than a whether he should stay home alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2003
Sun, 11-16-2003 - 4:54am
I have left my daughter home alone on occasional weekends but that is only since she turned 16 and it was only for a couple of days...never more. Plus she always had a friend staying with her. I don't think I would allow her to stay home alone for 4 days though...and I too live in California. It may be legal but this is MY child not the governments. Since I doubt many of the parents of his friends would allow them to stay over with no adult supervision even for one night you might want to find an adult he can stay with...15 just isn't responsible enough to be home for that long espeically if something would happen.