Request for teen advice and good thoughts

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by recoveringenabler, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SO and I are going out of town this afternoon for one night, we'll be about 3 hours away. This will be the first time we are leaving our 17 year old granddaughter, a "usual" easy child, with a car without us being in town. She is staying with the Mom of her boyfriend of 2 years who she is very bonded with. We know this woman well, she is a great Mom and loves my granddaughter so no worries there. GD will be monitored by boyfriend's Mom until we return, with the exception of the last 2-3 hours where GD will have no one in town monitoring her movements. MOST of the time GD is trustworthy, but there have been times she has made some bad choices, but I realize that comes with being a teen.

    I made ground rules of no access to our home while we're away. No driving outside the perimeter of the town we live in. (we checked mileage and she knows that) boyfriend's Mom always knows where she is, she texts us whenever she moves from one location to another. I could take all the keys to the house so she has no access and I could certainly take the car keys, however, I'm trying to be reasonable and also give her some independence. Having raised 2 teenage girls before, I realize that there are rather thin lines drawn here, but to err on one side can have pretty disastrous results, but on the other hand, they have to be able to earn trust too. I've actually drawn up a contract stating all of the parameters which is something I often do.........she can act as brilliant as a good attorney when it comes to finding any loopholes. ("You didn't actually say I couldn't FLY anywhere, you only said I couldn't DRIVE." Stuff like that!)

    I am a little anxious, but I think I've covered all the bases. I would appreciate any feedback, support, ideas, advice and good vibes. Your opinions about whether to allow her to have the car and access to the house are appreciated. Thanks.
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Hmm. My easy child doesn't yet drive, because the legal limit is 18 around here. However he just recently turned 17 and he has been alone home several times also over weekends. A week alone has been the longest time. Our in-laws live near by but still. He has had a permission to have five or less friends over during us being away.

    Our difficult child we let to move alone three hours away when he was 17 an to live without adult supervision (except occasional house checks by his team officials to make sure the flat was cleaned at least once a month or so.) I know many, who have let their sons move when 16.

    Both have flown abroad alone before the age of 18. easy child is your averagely reliable teen boy, difficult child is impulsive, very young to his age socially and emotionally and very prone to stupid stunts. Both have managed independence of being home alone (over night) well from early teen years on.

    You can keep your GD in short leash and then cut it at once soon, but if she is a normally developed teen, she should be well able to stay independently home few days by now. If not, she will be in major trouble a year from now, when she is likely to move out from home to go to college.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Depends on the teen. You know her best. I made a mistake leaving my oldest alone when she was 18. Came home to a drug party because we showed up earlier than she expected. I would let Jumper stay alone. Now if we lived in a big city or near a crime-infested area, I wouldn't. It's not that I'd worry about Jumper doing anything wrong, but if she got bold and went out late at know the dangers or lack thereof where you live. I know a few teens (difficult children) who ended up with guns to their heads going on the streets late at night. Now in our area is really safe (although ya never know, but I wouldn't be too worried). If we still lived in the Chicago burbs I'd have to think about it. Things have happened to even the best kids around there. Do you think she will stay indoors or at least locked in her car when she drives? That's how I'd decide.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhhh something I can actually respond to!

    I must have been out of my mind but back at the New Year of 2002, husband and I left my entire crew here at the house and we went to TX for a week! That meant I left a 21 year old who was probably locked in his bedroom most of the time on his computer, a then 18 year old boy, his girlfriend and his girlfriend's best friend, plus difficult child who was 16. Oh and did I mention that they also had to take care of my mom who had alzheimers!

    The house was still standing when we got home. No one was injured and it didnt appear that any crazy parties happened. Oh Im sure that things went on I dont want to know about. Better that way.

    *I have no idea what came over me to just grab husband and jump ship for a week but we did and we lived!
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending good vibes your way. It sounds like she has a good head on her shoulder so things should go well. Enjoy your time away!!
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just me, but if it were me and I had the concerns you have I wouldn't leave her with a car. Just drop her off when you leave, and pick her up when you return. That would perhaps take away some of the worry.

  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds to me like you have it covered. Although I didn't have the exact same circumstances, I have left teens at home alone for a night...two easy child's, GFGmom (yikes, she was 22) and easy child/difficult child two years ago. The only one who did not follow the rules to guess???..........GFGmom. My philosophy is that if that independence is presented as an opportunity and a road to future independence, most easy child teens will do their best to prove that they are "grown up" and responsible. Your easy child is not far away from "going away to college alone" age. I'd just stress that you all trust her, you all love her, you all are available is she needs to talk...and how proud you are of her. Then go and have a good time. Hugs DDD