Home alone?


New Member
My oldest daughter is supposed to be going to visit her father out of state during summer break. He's recently divorced, living alone and will be at work all day. She's too old for daycare, so this means she'll be spending her summer at home alone all day while her friends down here will be enjoying their summer at the pool, amusement parks, and having sleepovers. I think this is incredibly unfair to her. Also, since she is so impulsive and irresponsible, I think it's dangerous to leave her at home all day alone, especially if he will have the internet connection turned on while he's not home.

I could tell him to forget it, and I know him well enough to know he is too lazy to sue me or take any legal action. The most he'll do is yell at me a bit over the phone and I don't care much about that at all. To be honest, I don't care much if he takes me to court over it.

Now, even though I do not want her to be home alone all day, I will be honest and say that if I could send her away safely all summer to give myself and the rest of the family a break I'd be in heaven. She's difficult. She swears, breaks things, hits me, threatens me....Every single day of my life I feel like I can't take another day. I hate that.

I feel like the responsible thing to do would be to keep her here and keep her safe from herself, but the selfish part of me wants her to go and not come back til school is ready to start again. Sometimes I think being away from us will do her some good and give us all a chance to regroup before the school year starts again.

Has anyone been in this situation? What did you do?


Active Member
Maybe reach a compromise about shortening her stay and as mentioned finding some day camp or some other activity during the day



The suggestion of shortening the stay sounds like it might a good idea; your description of the way she acts says loudly that she should not be home alone for hours on end,altho I completely, 125%, understand the part of you that wants some peace.

When she is home, some sort of structured activity is a must, for her, and for the rest of the family's sanity. Even if it is just a couple of hours each time, getting a breather is good for everyone, plus it will expose her to the rules of others besides what's on the homefront.

Way back when, my son was in a clinically based program that was focused around going into the community to do fun things. The staff was appropriately trained. We were fortunate that insurance was willing to pay; or maybe not<wry grin> as his needs were so well documented and his history spoke for itself.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
It doesn't sound like difficult child has the maturity, skills, or impulse control to be home alone safely all day long. I'd go with a shortened visit as well hoping there are some day camps available at her dad's.

Nothing like being between a rock & a hard place. by the way, I totally understand the need for time away - kt has respite this weekend & I cannot wait. And she's only been home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) one week.

Good luck & keep us updated on this situation.


Well-Known Member
My difficult child is happiest home alone. BUT, she has no internet access. No way I would leave her home alone with internet access. One never knows who she could be talking to and what she is telling them. Especially since she is only there for a short time. Talk about the perfect opportunity to test some water!


New Member
That's a hard one because I can certainly agree with you about getting the break.But I would have a hard time leaving a 12 yr. old alone, all day, with nothing to do. Especially if she is depressed. Does her dad know what she is like? Is she different with him? I would do like the others suggest and shorten the visit and definitely have a plan so she is not left alone all day!

Good luck!


Active Member
Is there any way you can talk to him about this? tell him of your concerns but also tell him you really would enjoy t he break from her as respite, if only you felt sure she would be occupied/supervised. Maybe he could arrange to take some holidays for part of the time she is supposed to stay, and you could send her for a shorter time to coincide with that. They might get a chance to spend some quality time together, which could only help in so many ways. it would give him some idea of what you're dealing with; it would give her some attention and it would provide an extra point of view as well as more likely back-up for you in future issues concerning her.

Of course, there is always the likelihood that he feels that her being on her own all days is perfectly acceptable.

That's when you consider - what is going to happen? will he notice?

Basically, if he is likely to come home from work after Day 1 and fins she's trashed the place out of pure boredom, and he won't listen to this possibility, maybe it's the only way for him to learn why she needs supervision. But if the worst that you can visualise is her running wild and him not seeing it, then by all means, make some appropriate changes.

But unless you know better that it absolutely isn't the way to go, I would talk to him about the possibilities, make it clear that it's her welfare you're thinking of as well as his right to have access (and her right to spend time with her father).

Something husband said to me, about me (on a different topic but it still applies), is that I tend to step in and take over, then complain that I wish someone else would do things. The trouble is, I'm planning the way to do things all the time so when I step up to the plate I already have things half worked out. I can't, at that point, turn around and ask someone else to do things because they haven't had the necessary lead-up time. What I have to remember to do is to plan, to hand over to someone else well ahead of time. Delegate early, and completely, but be available for advice if needed (and don't get hurt if it's not needed!).
And I have heard many times before, many years ago - women have a much harder time delegating, because we've been so used to having to do it ALL.

Is there any chance this could be you, too?

I hope you can sort this one satisfactorily.



New Member
Thanks everyone....After I posted this I thought more and more about it. I've decided to find names and numbers of day camps in the area so that I can provide him with a list of safe places for her to be during the day. His ex-wife loves my daughter very much and I'm sure would be willing to spend some time with her even though she has left daughter's dad. I may call her for some input. My parents live an hour away and my dad is retired, so maybe I can arrange some time when I know daughter's dad will be working long hours for her to spend at my parents place overnight or something. They live too far for him to drop her off in the morning and pick up after work, but if he's got a long day ahead of him, my dad can maybe pick her up.

Anyway, I've pretty much decided that she will be going the full 8 weeks that we had planned and I will talk to him about things that can be done to keep her out of trouble while he's at work. If she has to stay home alone a couple days a week, it's probably not so bad. He works early hours and is sometimes home by 2pm. Considering she sleeps til 11 or noon half the time, that only leaves her with 2-3 hours of free time. I'm going to insist that at least some of the time, she is with a responsible adult or day camp and/or that he uses as much vacation time as possible while she's there. I will call her to check on her and if I get a bad feeling about what she's doing, I can call my dad to drive over there and check it out.

I was alot like her and at that age, I was fine as long as my parents weren't home to bug me. Maybe she will be okay.

We are starting a girlfriend diet, so maybe that will help some too. I'll talk to her dad about that though I highly doubt he will agree with me on that one. He thinks I'm a crazy hippy freak as it is and has probably never heard of gluten.


New Member
I would say that asking him to put her in day camp is definitely a reasonable request. If you can find one that has several other preteens her age, she may even make some friends that she can hang around with, which would help with the being lonely and being away from the rest of her friends back home. This is one battle that we have had with our difficult child, she is SO INCREDIBLY SHY and simply WILL NOT get involved with ANYTHING that requires her to interact with kids her own age...so she has a very difficult time making friends...I don't know if this is the situation with your difficult child but hopefully not. Our difficult child is the same age as your daughter...12


New Member
Mine is terrified of situations where she will be the "new girl" but once she is there then she's fine. About once a month, a local church has a parents night out where we pay $20 for the entire family for a night of babysitting so we can leave and go out on a date. Each time, she is hysterical, crying, threatening me, acting out really badly during the hours before because she doesn't want to go and not know anyone. We make her go and when we come back she always says she wants to stay longer, lol!

So, if he will take her to a day camp, she will protest to no end, but he can deal with that. Once she makes friends then she'll be okay.


New Member
Well, good luck! I know how trying it can be to ship our children back and forth for visits...as you can see in my signature, all three of our girls have another parent someplace else to visit with at some point or another. I would say that the transitions are more difficult for our difficult child, but they are by no means easy on the others either...


My difficult child stays home alone at times. husband leaves for work at 6:30 am and I am home by 12:30 PM. He sleeps in so would only be awake, alone for a few hours. I DO have a few neighbors who I have made arrangements with incase he needs to be with someone. He doesn't like storms, and sometimes just is very insecure. And that is only three days a week, and in mid July it will only be two days a week.
Are there neighbors that may be willing to visit with difficult child? Maybe have some crafts or projects difficult child could join in? Any summer rec programs difficult child could attend? That could account for much of the day.
As for internet, I have same issues, however I check the history many times and can read his messages. He knows this and does not disclose much information. Plus, he had a myspace, but it was deleted somehow and he hasn't made another one. He knows Not to put down personal info as what town he lives in or school or such. easy child taught him that and explained the dangers. difficult child adores easy child. difficult child even wrote a paper on his hero...easy child.