Leaving 17 year old home alone for a week? - FamilyEducation
Leaving 17 year old home alone for a week?
12/08/2009 at 09:12 AM

A couple we know went to Mexico this week and left their 17 year old daughter home alone. This is something I cannot imagine even considering, and it sounds like it could be illegal since she is a minor?? They live out in the country, and the nearest relatives are half an hour away. I am wondering if we are the exception, or if others would do the same thing - my husband and I are shaking our heads!!!

I think it depends on the particular child and the physical and social environment. If she lived in a neighborhood where there were drive-by shootings, well, I wouldn't leave anybody there, even parents. My parents left me home to run the family business for a week when I was 16. Some problems came up, (the basement flooded) but my neighbors took care of me. The physical and social closeness of neighbors is probably more important than the proximity of relatives.

It does depend on the maturity of the child and relationship and physical closeness of neighbors, friends and/or relatives. At 12, my daughter spent the weekend with my friend's 3 children, one an infant. There were close neighbors and 911 and I were just a phone call away. My son was 15 the 1st time he was home alone when I went out of town and 16 when we went away for a week and did just great. It is not illegal as far as I am aware. If a teen can drive, is responsible and can be trusted not to have parties there should be no problem. My nephew was 16 when he went away to college, had his own apartment and graduated with honors.

Anyone who leaves a child for a week clearly doesn't want to be a good parent anymore. I know a dad and a mother who is doing this to their son right now and the kid is all messed up . I would never do this to any of my children and my oldest is 25. Parents who do this don't need to be parents . That's a fact. Their not thinking of the child , they are only thinking of them selves and their new found freedom.

Oh Colson, will you ever let your children gain a little independence. At 17, he is a young adult. It does however matter about theiir maturity. How dare you tell people they are bad parents because they do not adhere to your truly draconian rules. Stop being so sanctimonious

Is not my place to judge anyone, I'm a single mother of 19, 17, and 10 years old. My 19 years old was so upset when he was 17 that I would not leave him home alone for a day with his brother he thinks I do not trust him and now he is 19 and my 17 years old is in the same dilemma I have to take them if I will be out for a while or I will have my best friend watch them when I have to be out of town with work. My older son told me that if he can be alone on his own at age of 17 away from home in college why I cannot do the same with them at home their own home, and I think he is right, and that is not only for one night but also for a long period of time, I think you need to let your child be independent sometimes and let them grow up a little.