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  • Leaving Your Teen Alone - What Are Your House Rules?

    8 posts, 6 voices, 813 views, started Sep 9, 2008

    Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008


    • inactive

      You are leaving your teen alone for the first time. What rules did you put into place? I’m not there yet as my girls are still too young, but here are some rules I found and I’m sure there are others...

      1. No friends over.
      2. Answer the door only if you know who is knocking or don't answer the door at all.
      3. Call to check in.

      What else??


        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cc1of4@skype wrote Sep 9, 2008
        • I’m leaving my 18 yr. old alone for a week - I’m applying the same rules for him.  :)  Any other suggestions?

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Kendall Rosekilly wrote Sep 10, 2008
        • No friends around
          Dont answer the doorbell to anyone
          I phone and check on them all the time.
          They must always have a working phone in the house.

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Yana Berlin wrote Sep 11, 2008
        • That’s a hard one. I have four children so leaving them together was much easier when they were tweens.  

          Here are some tips from

          First, find out if it is legal to leave your tween child home alone. Every state and locality had different rules where this is concerned. For example, in Fairfax, Virginia, children under 7 can never be left alone. Children 8 to 10 can be left alone for 1 1/2 hours during daylight. Children 11 and 12 can be alone for 3 hours during the day. Children 13 through 15 can be unsupervised, but not overnight. Children 16 and 17 can be left alone for up to 2 days and nights. According to these guidelines, many of our parents would have been in big trouble! You can find out the guidelines in your area by searching for the following terms on the Internet: "child left alone," "your locality," and "gov". Put all three terms in the search box.


          Decide if your tween child is mature enough to be left home alone. Determine if they can follow a complex set of instructions without your help. If they cannot get an item out of the third box from the left on the second shelf in the garage, you cannot expect them to lock all of the doors, set the alarm, and remember to tell people who call that you are asleep. In addition, while no tween is perfect, behavioral problems are also a sign that your tween is not old enough to be left alone.


          Start with short periods. If you know you will have to leave your tween alone for three hours a day begin leaving them alone for one hour at a time. Leave them alone while you shop for groceries, and take short trips to the mall. Even if you have no place to go, visit a neighbor for 20 or 30 minutes to see how your tween does on her own.


          Test your tween to make sure they will follow basic safety rules. Leave them home alone, then come back and see if they will open the door for a "stranger". See how they handle someone knocking on the back door. Call to see what they say to someone asking for their parents. A young tween should never open the door for anyone, as you will surely have the keys. They should never tell anyone on the phone that they are alone, and they should not call undue attention to the house with loud music and wild behavior. If your child passes tests to see if they can follow these rules, you can feel safe leaving them home alone.  

          Good luck.

          Dear cc1of4@skype,

          I’m not sure what’s more stressful leaving a tween or an eighteen year old. I think what is important to stress out the consequences and trust issue if something goes wrong when you are away.

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Cc1of4@skype wrote Sep 11, 2008
        • I agree...both tween and teen issues are difficult.  I’m sure my son will have a great time having the house all to himself. ARGH!  We have reviewed the house rules and I have stresed the “trust” factor.  I’ve decided to call the girl friend’s parents to let them know he’s not allowed to have company while he’s home alone.  Is this too “old-fashioned“?  :)  Thanks for the input!!

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Yana Berlin wrote Sep 11, 2008
        • No its not, this is what I call good parenting.

          I went to on a business trip together with my husband, and every night I would call our kids (who are all grown) never the less, I would call through skype and have them show me that the house is still nice and clean. I got back to a nice clean home.

          Paranoid, sure...with four teenagers I’m a walking paranoia

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