13 year old boy

Heather - posted on 12/09/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Do you let a 13 year old boy stay at home alone for a couple hours every afternoon? This boy has had some problems that I won't get into in the past.

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Heather - posted on 12/13/2008

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Thank you everyone for your wonderful advice. After reading all of your advice and taking it into consideration and doing a lot of praying, I have decided that he is not mature or responsible enough to stay home alone for those couple of hours.
Thanks again for all of your help!

Alison - posted on 12/10/2008

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My boy-who is now in his 14 year-gets into trouble when he is bored. Their minds wander and they can be very imaginitive. I thought when my kids got older that I would be able to work full time and not worry about finding somewhere for them to go after school. But I was wrong. They need me home after school now more than ever. His horomones are raging and is very interested in girls. It doesn't help that they are interested in him as well! I wouldn't make it an every day thing if at all possible. If you have to, then make sure there are ground rules. When I am not home there is not internet access, no friends coming in the house and he can't go anywhere if it wasn't planned out beforehand-and I always speak to a parent if he wants to go to a friend's house(found out that isn't always foolproof, some moms/dads let their kids do things that I wouldn't let mine do). These things have worked for us. But, as a lot of other people have said it depends on what you know your boy can handle. Go with your gut, you know him better than anyone-if you think he would get into trouble being alone every afternoon then don't go there. Good luck!

Eloise - posted on 12/10/2008

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i have a 13 yr old girl on occasions i leave her for an hour or so the way i did it was set ground rules that she has to abide by or you take the responsibility away again but if the problems you have had in the past with him have anything to do with responsibility and maturity then i would be a little concerned. sorry ive not been much help.

User - posted on 12/09/2008

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I used to work Child Welfare and saw a lot of kids that were left home alone. I myself was a latch key kid at 8 years old and watched my younger brother. I was also babysitting for an infant and a 5 year old when I was in the 4th grade... As everyone is saying, it really depends on the maturity of the child! Maybe start off slow with the amount of time the boy is left home alone, since there were problems with him in the past. Work up from there and make him earn your trust with his own responsibilities. My sister leaves her 10 year old twin boys and 6 yr daughter home alone every school day for about 15 minutes. She sets the timer on the stove so they know when they have to be out of the house to start walking to school.

Cheryl - posted on 12/09/2008

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Does he have something to occupy him while alone, like a hobby which he enjoys?

This will keep him busy. My girls 13 and 11 do beading and sell their jewelry, it certainly keeps them out of mischief and the malls., and they make pocket money too.

Good luck

Wendi - posted on 12/09/2008

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something that may help is making sure he has no internet access while he is home alone as this is SUCH a danger and draw for boys w/ the easily accessible pornography everywhere.

Regina - posted on 12/09/2008

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There is some point you have to build trust. I would leave him home alone for an hour or so and have someone to check in on him while you are away. I would try it once maybe twice and then base my decision upon that depending upon how he does.

Laura - posted on 12/09/2008

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Depends on the boy, of course, and the maturity level, as others have said. I was a latch-key kid from age 8 1/2 on up, and was charged with walking my brother (2 years younger) home from school each afternoon. As a mom now, I think that was a bit extreme, but I was mature and handled it well. We had to call as soon as we walked in the door, and if we forgot, Mom was on us! There were lots of dos and don'ts, consequences, etc. Personally, I didn't like it until I was older b/c it WAS too much responsibility. I got into some bad habits - too much TV, too many munchies, not enough exercising - b/c we weren't allowed to go outside and play until a parent got home from work. Just my personal experience!

Amanda - posted on 12/09/2008

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I think it really depends on alot of factors. I would consider the muturity of him, and how much you can trust him. Also do you know your neighbours, if so that would be a plus as he can go to them if he has any problems. Also what about the neighbourhood you live in, but if there are no other options then I would give it a trial and see how it goes, tell him that if he doesn't behave you won't trust him and priviledges will be taken away.

Susan - posted on 12/09/2008

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I think that depends much more on the maturity level of the boy and the nature of the problems more than his age. Is it a question of whether he's trustworthy, or one of whether he's capable and confident enough? Lots of 13-year-olds go through a general "whipped-cream-for-brains" stage, and a consistent 2-hr block of time could potentially allow for mischief plans. It's a tough judgment call! My 13-year-old daughter is typically very responsible, but I still agonize over questions like this sometimes.

Sharon - posted on 12/09/2008

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My son began staying home after school around 12 yrs old. I contacted both the local law enforcement (to see if there was a law that stated an age a child can be home alone) as well as the Dept of Social Svcs. According to both departments, there was no law in our state citing at what age a child can be home alone; it is at the discretion of the parent. However, both departments did stress that the parent must exercise proper judgment and know the child is mature enough to be left home alone and should know what to do in the event of an emergency. So, armed with that information, my son and I went over some ground rules and I posted a listing of phone numbers on our refrigerator in the event of an emergency as well as numbers of neighbors/friends. I even posted 911 because sometimes even as adults, our nerves get a little crazy and we can't think of even the simplest things. The list posted had our address as well, just in case he couldn't remember where he lived (LOL). We also have a system in place where he MUST call me when he gets home - this lets me know he has arrived home safely. If he doesn't call within 2 to 3 minutes of our agreed upon time each day, I know something is wrong. This has worked for us for 4 years now, with only about 2 "emergency" calls made to me when he freaked out a little.



Hope this helps.

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