Post # 1
Let’s say you are the parent or loved one of a 15-year-old teenage boy.
Said teenage boy is left alone 4 nights per week. Dad is gone from 5 PM to 7 AM for work. Work is nearly 2 hours from home. Mom is living 1 hour away.
ETA: I’m going out and won’t be on the bee, but I will come back to this topic to reply and explain a bit more.
Post # 3
@MsW-to-MrsM: that’s putting an awful lot of trust in a 15 yo ..honestly I dont think anyone under 18 should be left alone that often and overnight! What if something happened..parents are really far away.
Post # 4
I didn’t vote because while I think 15 is old enough to be alone at night (although that is subjective as some can be less mature than others) I think 4 night a week is a bit much. That’s just me though lol
Post # 5
It’s not a great situation, but I’m not sure. Is it a safe area? Are there neighbors nearby who would see if something was wrong, and who the boy would be able to go to if there’s a problem? Honestly, it’s less the sleeping at night and more the fact that the boy is living by himself for 96 straight hours (basically as soon as he gets home from school he’s alone until he goes back). I think if the dad has to work that schedule, they should figure out a way for his mom to spend some nights there and the boy to spend some nights at mom’s house, even though it’s a long commute.
Post # 6
I think a 15 year old is old enough to stay alone by themselves every once and a while, but this situation is very extreme. I don’t think having a 15 year-old self-parent for more than half the week is a smart decision. Granted, I’m not a parent.
Post # 7
I don’t know. People need to work. Does dad have a support system?
Post # 8
@MsW-to-MrsM: NOPE. No way. Not in a gazillion years. Absolute recipe for disaster.
(Mother of a 16 year old girl, 14 year old boy, two 12 year olds boy & girl)
Post # 9
I have two grown boys and one 16, and my husband works overnights all the time. It’s a kid by kid basis. Our oldest, no way. Our middle and youngest, wouldn’t have any issue at all. I think judging people’s circumstances without knowing the particulars is very subjective. As its written, I applaud the man for having a job (and anyone who’s worked it knows that third shift sucks and is rarely someone’s first choice), taking care of his family as best he can, and making the tough decision to leave his boy overnight alone. Sometimes life leaves us parents in situations where there is no perfect answer but you have to make the call to do what you have to in order to feed and cloth your family.
Post # 10
Sometimes as a single parent it’s hard. I was home alone all the time when I was 12, with my 9 year old brother. I had to walk us home from school, make him dinner, help with homework and household chores, and make sure he was in bed by 9. I had no choice; at the time my mom was a young single parent, working three jobs to keep the nice roof over our head and food in the fridge for us to eat.
Maybe there’s more to the original post as the OP said but I can’t judge nor find anything wrong with it.
Post # 11
I think 15 is old enough to handle it. What does he need his parents for (besides transportation) at that age anyway? If there’s an emergency he knows to call 911.
Post # 12
I have a minute before I head out. His mom left his dad around a year ago to live with her affair partner. She has the youngest with her. The teenager absolutely refuses to have anything to do with this other man and will not stay with her. I don’t think there is room at her house in any case. His relationship with his mom is ok, but he wants to be with his dad and, like I said, refuses to meet his mom’s boyfriend. His parents are still married, but I don’t see any hope of reconciliation.
He’s my nephew, and he recently started staying 2-3 nights a week with me (I’m 45 min away), so some weeks he may only be alone for a couple of nights, but other weeks it’s back up to 4. His dad is working the shift he has to, but he also is seeing someone now who lives down by his work and will spend the night there.
I also Skype with him and play video games in the evenings. He got creeped out last night because the dog kept barking.
His parents are not terrible people, but I’ve been building up some resentment for a while for both of them. I, of course, do not share these feelings with my nephew.
Post # 13
In my opinion, 15 is old enough to stay home alone overnight, for one night. For 4 nights a week, most likely in a row, I don’t think it’s such a great idea, even if you think you can trust your kid (key word, THINK). What concerns me is the lack of supervision. I’m not saying that all teens are unruly or misbehaved, but there’s always the possibility that things can go very wrong, very fast. “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”
I think there are teenagers who would take total advantage of the situation. Plenty of teens look for opportunities to rebel against authority figures, and this would be quite the opportunity. I live downtown in a large city, where it’s quite easy to go to the bad neighbourhoods and obtain drugs and alcohol. It’s so out of control that the police can’t keep up so the rules of underage drinking/illicit drug use don’t get enforced as often as they should be. Who’s to say that a 15 year old boy, left alone for several nights in a row, won’t go and get involved in that sort of thing? He could easily obtain alcohol, drugs, anything like that and call up friends and have a party every single night.
I’m not saying that all teenagers are like that. I’m just pointing out how a teen could possibly take advantage of the situation in a negative way.
Post # 14
@MsW-to-MrsM: I’ve been a single parent of a fifteen year old, and I worked late evenings. Not all night, but long after he went to bed anyway. It’s tough. Trying to find some balance between taking care of a teen, working crappy not normal hours, and trying to have any kind of adult relationship is a really hard thing to accomplish. Sometimes parents get it wrong but I think you being resentful is out of place. Until you’ve walked a mile in those shoes it’s easy to say what “should be done”. I think your being a good aunt, IMO that’s what family does is step up to help if there is a need. Try your best not to judge. It sounds like the guy is still finding his way through a few minefields life laid in his path.
Post # 15
I ththat hat as long as he has someone close by (a neighbour) that he can call in an emergency, it should be okay…
Post # 16
@MsW-to-MrsM: wow. That’s tough! Poor kid. And I completely get, what’s dad supposed to do? The man has to hold a job. I feel very badly for all involved. Gee I hope mommys happy with HER new life. I resent the hell out of parents who ruin their families and create situations like these…