3 Reasons Not to Leave Kids Home Alone

How young is too young to stay home alone overnight?  Or for a whole weekend?  I’d like to hear your thoughts!

We recently scheduled a weekend trip for our blended family, only to discover a few days beforehand that one of our teenagers would not be able to get off work.  He, of course, felt entirely too old for a “baby sitter”.  My hubby agreed, saying it would be a good way for him to show us how responsible he has become.  My inner momma bear said, “oh, heck no!”.  There was no way I was going to leave my boy home alone for an entire weekend.

And I have 3 good reasons:

  1. Teenagers cannot be trusted.  Okay, I’m kidding here… sort of.  The problem is, I was not very trustworthy as that age so unfortunately for our kids, I pretty much always figure they’re up to no good.
  2. Safety.  This one’s pretty obvious.  Every parent wants know their child is safe while they’re away.
  3. Logistics.  How does a teenager with no car get back and forth to work all weekend?Adding the task of finding rides for him was just way too much for this mom to deal with on top of the craziness that already comes with planning a road trip for the rest of the family.

What do you think?  Was I being over-protective, over-suspicious, over-controlling? Would you trust this face?


And here’s the other question that’s been swirling in my head… what if it had been one of my step-sons rather than my own (assuming the same age and maturity level)?  Would my momma bear have been so strong?

As I ponder this I believe I would have said “no” to leaving any of them, but I probably would have been more open to my husband’s opinion.  I guess I’m not yet 100% sure he knows or unconditionally loves my kids enough to make this kind of call… even after nearly four years of marriage.

This is why blended families should really be called crock pot families.  It’s not like you just hit “puree” once and you’re done.  It actually takes a lot of time and simmering to soften each heart.  In the meantime, I’ll continue being protective, suspicious and yes, even a wee bit controlling.

But I’m working on it!

(archived from Apr. 17, 2014)

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