Going to a friend's house with no parent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Josie, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    At what age would you let your easy child or difficult child go to a friend's house when there would be no parent at home?

    I'm thinking it might not ever be a good idea if there is a group of kids involved (until she is out of high school and 18). Maybe if it is just difficult child and one girl friend at the house, I could see it.

    What do you allow?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I permitted my difficult child (actually- I guess I finally gave in to the begging) to go to his best friend's house after school last year until I got home from work. That was for approx. 1 1/2 hours. Most of the time, there would be an adult there, but not always. The boys were 12/13 yo and I was comfortable that the other boy was more responsible then difficult child, or so I thought. They did end up getting in trouble together a few months later, twice. But difficult child has never gotten into trouble when I have not been at home or when he's been left completely unsupervised, oddly enough. I can't let difficult child do this in the future, but that is because of his legal issues.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    For me it really depends a lot on the kid and the friend. We never really allowed that with our difficult child anyway but that's just him. If I knew that difficult child and the friend wouldn't get into trouble at all, I think 13 ish is ok. I only have difficult child so my parenting experience is fairly limited. He needed a lot more supervision at different ages than other kids so I don't really have too many "normal" experiences from him. I do have siblings that are quite a bit younger though. To use them as an example....I have 2 sisters and a brother. I would have let the older girl do something like that probably around 13 or so. My brother? Not so much. Not that he would do anything intentional but at that age, he liked to play in ways that could be destructive. (Actually I CAN use difficult child as an example) My difficult child and my brother are only 9 months apart. difficult child had spent the weekend at my dad and step-moms with my brother one time. While playing outside unsupervised around the age of 13-14 ish.....they hacked off a bunch of branches from one of the pine trees in the yard. They weren't doing it to be destructive....they made something out of the branches. Still though, not a good thing. Their play just could be destructive to the area they were in.

    So basically, I guess it just depends on the kids involved. If you know both of them enough to know (or have an idea) of what they will do when alone, and it's not that bad....go for it. But if there are still concerns, I would wait awhile. Or you could always try it a bit at a time. If you know the parents will be home at 5, maybe let difficult child go at 4:30....something like that.

    Hope that helps!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    depends on the kids and I guess on the era!

    My friends and I were always at each others houses basically alone...but I guess that isnt a good example because I was a difficult child...lol.

    Cory...ummm...I still am not thrilled to have him unsupervised. Jamie on the other hand would ride the bus to his best friends house after school no problem. Also my kids came home to be alone after school from age 12 up. Jamie may have been younger. However we live in the country and he didnt get into anything.
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I'm just thinking a group of middle school girls home alone is the kind of situation which might lead to experimenting with drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc., hopefully at an older age. I don't really think this group of girls would do this today but I'm just reluctant to say it is ok to be in this situation as a general rule.

    I just wondered if I am being unreasonable or unrealistic.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on the child, the friends, the amount of time alone, and the plans for the afternoon.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it depends so much on the kids, and on how long they would be at home alone. With Jessie's bff, they can be home alone and are just fine. they may create an unholy mess, but they WILL clean it up when you ask them.

    With some of her other friends, not ok at all. And if there is a parent at one home, and they are going to a home with no parent home, then that is a big red flag (not saying it is, just something to watch out for). I do think the bigger the group, the dumber and riskier the behaviors, so if there is more than 1 other person, I would not be happy with it.
  8. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    I never allowed my difficult child to hang with friends at their home unless a parent was there. Maybe you all might think its over the top but my biggest worry was not knowing if those parents had guns in the house along with kids that let their curiousity get the best of them. You just never know.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    that totally is NOT out of the line with worrying. I ASK other families about this before my kids can go over to play. I have gotten ALL sorts of reactions, but this is go over with parents HOME. For with-no parents home, only 1 child I can think of that it would be OK with, and for ONE of my kids.

    Growing up we had to be driving before we could be at someone's home with-o an adult there, or ahve anyone in our home.

    The only reason Jess gets to spend time with-the one girl with-o a parent home is if the mom has gone to run an errand, or I need to while they are here. We have spoken about this amonst the adults, and agreed (the 4 parents).

    I think the gun question is a biggie.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL...well dont send any of your kids to rural NC! Guns have never been a concern here. Everyone has them.
  11. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Lol!! My kiddos are much older now. Geeze I sooo found out about rural areas when I went to see my Mom years ago in a rural part of Alabama. She was even packing. Lol!! Everyone carries them under their seats in their cars. I was raised with guns and taught not to go there (Raised in Ca). but my kiddos were not. My Dad and I used to go target shooting all of the time.
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I didn't mind if the parent would go out and run an errand and be back -- the kids never had a chance to do much because they never knew when an adult would be back. I didn't mind if a parent would be home from work in 30 minutes or less, more than that and I had a problem. Otherwise, no way. It just seemed to leave too much to temptation for smoking, drugs, drinking, etc.

    I think I finally gave in until around age 16. More because at that point I really couldn't stop her than because I was comfortable with the idea. Even then the rule was never for more than 2 hours without an adult.

    If I knew that the kids were going to be alone at home, I would make surprise visits so that my daughter was absolutely paranoid about me showing up and catching them doing something wrong. Certainly saved me some worries.
  13. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Thanks all. I'm going to hold off as long as possible unless the parent just leaves for a short time.