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Would You Leave a 16 Year Old Home Alone for 1 Week?

Would you leave a 16 year old home alone for 1 week?

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I was left home alone for a week when I was 16... There is no way I would leave my teenage child home alone for a week ;)

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Can you handle the consequences if something happens?

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Can you handle the consequences if something happens?

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I moved out when I was 17 - so yeah, at 16 I could spend a week or two at home by myself without the world going under...
And no, I was not a teenage mother, and no, no parties and no I was not a drop-out or had sex either.
I would say it depends on the 16 year old and how responsible and reliable they are. Some may not be able to spend a day at home alone while other are perfectly fine by themselves for a week.

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Depends upon the kid, but likely yes. When I was 16, I spent a week being in charge of a wildlife rehabilitation center in upstate NY. I had one 16 year old assistant. We were responsible for taking care of about 50 birds, raccoons, opossums, birds (raptors, waterfowl and songbirds) and squirrels. We kept them fed, watered and changed their bandages. We could have called a supervisor about an hour away if we needed assistance, but we did not. We learned a lot about responsibility and about ourselves. It was a truly valuable week to me. It was way before the days of cell phones. I started college 6 weeks after I turned 17. My parents never even considered this to be a problem. Many 16 year old are absolutely mature enough to handle the responsibility. They will be heading off to college soon - why not let them try out a little autonomy.

ETA - Are these 'h*ll no" responders the same parents who always advise the pregnant teens on this site to keep their babies?

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My parents left me home at 16 for a week. They NEVER left my brother home by himself. We were two totally different kids!
I was very responsible, kind of a homebody, and a virgin....my brother? Not so much.
You know your kid best.
Laura

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No. Absolutely not. I was super responsible and mature and was left home alone for a week when I was 16. As soon as my friends found out they started planning a big party at my house. I was just planning on having a few close friends over on one of the nights and I overheard them talking about all of the people they invited to my house and the keg that they were getting. I was so worried it made me sick to my stomach. I ended up pretending I was sick that night. I had so many people come knocking on my door it was ridiculous. I can't imagine what would have happened if I would have let them in and had the big party that my friends planned. There is no way in the world that I would trust a 16 year old home alone for that length of time. Even if your child is responsible, their friends may not be.

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Actually,
I had to go on a business trip this past April for 4 nights, and yes, I left my 16 year old son home alone. Well, between school and sleeping at the neighbor's house, he was really only alone for about 4 hours per day.

It really depends on the maturity level of the teen. Mine happens to be a solid, level headed kid, who know what to do and when to do it. I checked in with him several times in the morning and throughout the evening, and my neighbor ensured he was maintaining his schedule and eating. Since, he is not so responsible about regularly feeding himself.

But, for you our dear teen on MP, based on your posts - no, I do not think you should be home alone.

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Nope.
I remember being sixteen and all the stupidity my sister and I would get into when the adults were away for the weekend. (and it was of the 'no drinking, no smoking' variety, but still, too much drama!) We were fairly responsible, even at that point, however, there's a lot of peer pressure that goes with being a teen... esp. a teen with an unsupervised house.

Sixteen means 'not quite an adult, still living by the good graces of mom and dad'. Most sixteen year olds still get into fights with their parents over rules and boundaries, still need parental support from time to time, and still need parental presence from time to time. As I said before, even the most responsible teen can feel pressured to 'have a few friends over' and then word spreads too easily, via social media... Just not a good idea.

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I was left home alone for a week when I was 16... There is no way I would leave my teenage child home alone for a week ;)

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No freaking way, crazy.

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Uh NO. I remember being left home alone a lot of weekends as a teenager and no way would i leave my kids home alone. I got in to a lot of trouble during those weekends i can only imagine if it had been a whole week.

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No. It has nothing to do with maturity level; that would be secondary. It's about having an actual adult--age of majority--in the event of any legal decisions to be made, or legal repercussions to decisions made during my absence. I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on a 16yo KID.

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For a week..... I don't think so at 16.

We have left our 16 yr old for 3 nights/4 days. She is very mature and thrives on independence and responsibility.

She was at school and cheer during the day and was home at night.

My house/pet sitter came in 2 times a day to make sure the dogs were ok. We don't leave our dogs more than 5 hrs alone. She made sure they had outdoor activity and were fed.

Our closest neighbors and the cheer coach knew our plans. Daughter actually enjoyed her alone time in the house.

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I don't think my kids would have wanted to fend for themselves for an entire week. They were very mature and responsible at that age but I would have felt like I was neglecting them.

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Legally, at sixteen, they're still minors, aren't they? So you would be legally in the wrong for leaving a minor unsupervised for a very long time. Even if you don't care about the legal side of it: Imagine how you'd feel if something happened to your kid and you weren't there?

The legal aspect aside: If you wanted to do this without regard for leaving a minor unsupervised: This is impossible to answer without knowing the teenager well. Is he or she responsible? Has the teen ever been home alone for any length of time (two days, three days, more) previously and done OK with that? Do you have any reason to believe that the teen will cave when friends call or text and say, "Come on, let us come over! It'll be fine!" even after you said "No one can come over while we're out of the house"? The questions could go on and on and on. Ultimately this cannot be a generic "would you do this for A kid" question; it is only a "should I do this for MY particular kid" question.

But ultimately, even with a very responsible and mature kid, I wouldn't do this. At sixteen they are still very much in teenage brain mode and that means that even the very best kids may want to experiment and break out a bit and will invite the friends over or stay up too late, etc.

Friends of ours have very sensible and mature kids and at 17, their son went with friends his own age on a tour of several weeks (no adults) in Europe; he did it again this summer with friends. But they live in Europe, where kids seem to be expected to do more things on their own earlier in life, and where it's pretty typical for teenagers to travel solo over long distances. These friends have also left this son alone at home for a week at a time while they were on vacation (he didn't want to come, he wanted to earn some money working that week, etc.) and it was fine -- but they also live out in the country in a village and not a lot goes on after about 5:00, and a working kid didn't have time to go out or get into much trouble.

But I personally wouldn't be comfortable doing it with MY child, no matter how mature she was.

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Nope. I have a 16 yo and a 14 yo and I wouldn't. There's too much peer pressure. They're both responsible kids, but I still wouldn't put them in that position, even for one night.

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im going to agree with most of the others who answered.. it totally depends on the kid.. now when i was 16 it wouldve been a 6day nonstop party with day 7 left to do a serious cleaning of the house so when my parents got home they would have no idea lol.. but my neighbor for example is like a perfect angel.. his parents went away for the weekend and left him home and he had one friend over one afternoon and that was about it .. by comparison.. at 16 i was always out with my friends, getting drunk on the weekends.. i was a pretty wild one-loud, outgoing, a little crazy.. the only thing i made sure was to keep my grades high so my parents didnt bust my chops... now my neighbor is quiet sweet gets good grades is in the school band and all his friends are exactly like him his parents dont think twice about leaving him home while they go away .. my point being, every kid is different.. honestly if youre questioning wether its a good idea or not, its probably not

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Depends on the kid, Don't see why not.

F. B.

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You're kidding, right?
No no no.

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For a night. Yes, if the child was trustworthy. It would take very special circumstances with a very special kid to make me leave him/her home alone for a week. When we had to leave SD for several days, we enlisted the help of family and friends so she was somewhere responsible every night for the 4 days we were gone before her mom could get her.

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No. They don't require round the clock care during that week, but someone should be there during evenings, during periodical points of the day, and available for contact at any time in case of emergency...essentially the level of supervision/availability typically given to teens.

1 mom found this helpful

No Way In H*!!

My neighbors recently went on a week long trip. Mom came over to tell me the "kids" would be on their own for a week, so please to keep an extra eye out. Those "kids" are 19 and 21, even with them being young adults she was still hesitant to leave them home alone for that long.

M

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Hell no-you're opening yourself up for a peck of trouble

1 mom found this helpful

Would I leave my 16 yr old home alone? - Yes, if I can trust her maturity and confidence.

Would I leave my 16 yr old home alone with young sibling(s) - No. It is tough on the 16 yr old to manage.

Would I leave my 16 yr old home alone for 1 whole week? - No. Howmuchever mature or independent she is. 1 week is a bit too long, IMHO. Max 3-4 days.

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I moved out when I was 17 - so yeah, at 16 I could spend a week or two at home by myself without the world going under...
And no, I was not a teenage mother, and no, no parties and no I was not a drop-out or had sex either.
I would say it depends on the 16 year old and how responsible and reliable they are. Some may not be able to spend a day at home alone while other are perfectly fine by themselves for a week.

1 mom found this helpful

No I wouldn't. I know many 16 y/o's that are extremely responsible and trust worthy so I can't say it would be because of worrying they would get themselves into trouble. You can have the most mature, responsible teen in the world and yet you can NOT predict how others will act.

I would be more worried about a break in while he/she was home alone. These days unfortunately, you are not even safe in your own home. I'm sure others will know he/she is there alone for that week. An innocent conversation could be overheard by the wrong person and know "weirdo/deviant" knows your child is there alone!

Perhaps he/she could stay with a friend or relative during that week?

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

1 mom found this helpful

Can you handle the consequences if something happens?

Updated

Can you handle the consequences if something happens?

1 mom found this helpful

I had 8 kids. If I only had one, I would have left only three of my 8 home if they were only children. They had the maturity, and responsibility at that age to handle it. The other 5 of my kids didn't gain the maturity and level headedness until later.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful

By law it depends on your child. I was left home alone and did nothing but read books. Then again, I had 5 brothers and sister (two were party kids and the other three relax kids). I think someone should check up on the kid ever so often but whether you can or can not, will or will not depends on how responsible your child is. If your child is going to get into trouble, he'll get into trouble if left for a day or two just as much as 7 days.

I guess if there are more kids your child is less likely to get into trouble too but even if it were me alone I would not have done anything bad.

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Not in this lifetime.

Good heavens NO! I am 29, and I cringe to remember my thoughts when I was 16, not that I was bad its just that your brain at that age does not functional well yet lol. No no no!!!

You couldn't pay me to do that! Even responsible 16 year olds are still 16!

Yeah, no. I was a pretty good kid, but I would've had a field day in that situation. Anyone who thinks their 16 year old will not do something they shouldn't be doing, if left alone for that long, is seriously delusional!!

Short and sweet..."no". 16 yr olds are not mature enough to make good decisions. Some decisions yes, but no. Not at that age.

I realize this may be a troll post but am answering for others who may wonder.

No, not for that long. I've known people to do this for a few nights, and it worked out well because the16 y/o in that situation was super-responsible and had people nearby she could call on, if need be.

For the first time, maybe try one or two nights, and be sure that the child has other adults nearby that he/she can contact in case of emergencies.

J. F.

My parents started leaving us for long weekends when I was 15 and my brother was 17. I was left in charge--- he'd spend all the food money on beer.

We had small parties and never got in trouble.

If the 16 year old were mature nd smart, I'd have no problem leaving them --if they felt comfortable with it.

NO way, never, ever, never, no.

Totally depends on the kid. Some are very responsible. If it seems appropriate, also make sure an adult friend or neighbor checks in once in a while.

I wouldn't leave you home alone for a week, no.

my husband and I are going to Hawaii for a week in a couple of weeks and my 14,17 and 19 year old children will be here alone.

So obviously I trust my kids to do what they know they are supposed to do.

I think it depends on your kid and if you trust them or not.

It depends on the kid.
Some could handle it while others could not.
My son's not 16 yet, and I think he could handle it (when he gets to 16 in a few years), but I think he'd be too lonely.
I trust him, but I wouldn't want him to feel all alone and maybe scared by himself.

I have twins, almost 16. I guess it depends on the kid's maturity level. I would probably lean toward 'no,' though.

You're kidding right?.......NO WAY. Regardless if you think your kid can handle it or not, 16 is still an age in which they need guidance, especially in this day and age, maybe not so much supervision, but definitely guidance. Food: cooking, cleaning ordering, delevery and tipping; cleaning up, putting things away etc. You may come back to a huge mess. Also, you may trust and feel your 16 year old can do it, but all he has to say to his friends is "Mom & Dad are gone for a week " and anything goes then. My friend has a 21 year old and a 22year old and grandma still comes to stay to ensure no shenanigans.

I think it really depends on the 16 year old, but probably not. IMHO that's too long. A weekend yes, but not a full week.

No way-I guess it depends upon the maturity level and depends on the level of being home alone will be too. Such as will a neighbor or family member come by to check in or what? I don't think I would feel comfortable doing that quite yet but then again that's just my opinion.

no.....a weekend maybe but no longer than that

Depends on the 16 yo. There are a number of 16 yos who have lived on their own. Either through necessity or choice.

OH goodness no. Not if it were me at 16......or my brother.......or any of my 16 year old friends. Me at 18? I was secretly my brother's "mom", paying the bills, taking care of the house, taking care of everything while my mom was in hospital for a few months. I didn't let on because I didn't know what would happen, if we'd get in trouble, if I was "allowed" to take care of my brother just the two of us. So I was very responsible and well-behaved then. But at 16...no. And if I was, my friends weren't and it probably would have been trouble if they came over. I WAS a little boy crazy at that age, so I definitely would have had a guy stay with me as much as possible if I'd had the chance.

There are no laws that govern this, you could leave them alone. Hopefully they are able to drive if needed.

However, I wouldn't recommend it. Years ago (probably 40 years ago), our parents left for a week and my 16 yo sister was in charge...she had a big party and made me and my sister stay upstairs. Very wrong!

If you did this, you should have a neighbor close by or a relative come and stay at night perhaps.

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