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At what age is it alright to leave kids home alone overnight?

With regular, unscheduled check-in visits from adults we know!

My husband and I are wanting to go away for a couple days. We need some time, after years of focusing entirely on children, to reconnect with each other. The problem is, we have a lot of pets. Leaving at least the oldest (16 yrs old), and possibly her sister (14 yrs old), at home means they could care for the pets while we were gone, but I'm debating with the hubby right now whether it's okay to leave children that age home alone overnight.

We would have family and friends check on them regularly while we were gone. The kids would be alone overnight each night though.

At what age would you be comfortable leaving your kids home alone overnight? Or, if you have older kids, at what age did you first start allowing this?

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Asked by SaToJeKaBe at 10:29 PM on Dec. 3, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (20)
  • i would trust a my 5 yr old before i would any teen...i just remember the things i did when i was a teen and i dont think i would ever leave them alone in my house. I would let them spend the weekend with a friend and then they could come check in on the pets throughout the day...but i would say BIG NO NO

    Answer by shay1130 at 10:36 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • I truly think that depends on your kids responsibility level, and the type of relationship you have with them. I dont know if I would do it yet, but how do you know you can trust them if you never give them a chance right?! My mom would probably ask a family member to come stay with me, or send me to my aunts for the weekend?! If they have an older cousin or someone you trust that can come stay that would sove your worries....with it being so close to the holidays i would be more worried about someone breaking in with my kids all alone than what the kids would get into!!! to your hubby about it and see if you feel that you can honestly feel at ease with the kids alone. Dont wanna leave then spend the whole trip focusing your thoughts on whats going on at home!

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 10:40 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Dec. 3, 2009 by: * shay1130
    i would trust a my 5 yr old before i would any teen
    Agreed. I wasn't that bad of a teen, but I know lots of kids that were, and kids today are worse than we were (from what I hear). My parents had to go out of town when I was 16 and my grandmother came to stay with us. I was pretty offended at that at the time, but now I totally understand and my oldest is only 9.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:42 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • I think it depends on the kids. My parents actually left me home alone overnight for one night when I was about 13, but my best friend and her family were right next door, so technically I wasn't really alone. When I was probably 15ish, they would do it occasionally, but usually for only one night. When I was probably 17 was when they would go away for a couple of nights, but they would call to check on me, have friends drop by, and I also clearly understood that if I did anything I wasn't supposed to, I was one dead girl. lol

    Answer by tropicalmama at 10:43 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Do you have anyone that can pop in on them unexpectedly? Even the best teens occasionally make bad decisions. We pop in on my oldest when he's at a friends house, goes for a walk or he hangs out at the mall. Not often, we trust him, but just enough to remind him that we are around (and that he'll never know when we might pop in). It's not that we don't trust him, it's just things happen and we want him to think.
    My mom did that when I was a kid and it made me think twice about drinking or sneaking out of friends houses. lol

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • When they are married.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:02 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • My oldest was 17 when we left him and his 3 younger brothers (11, 13 and 15) over night to go out of town. We live in a very small community where the neighbors know everything and everyones business and my best friend lived across the street. they did just fine. The next time we left teens home alone was last year when the younger 2 were 16 and 18 an hubby and I went about 45 min. away. Then this past April hubby and I left them (then 17 and 18) home alone when we went to WA state from OH to visit our oldest son and in June our 18yo stayed home when hubby and I and our 17yo went to TX from OH because he was an instructor for a water safety program and couldn't go. We had friends and neighbors checking in and keeping an eye on things and we trust our teens. I have a 22yo who, after he turned 18, I would NEVER leave in charge or aloneat home (he's not my oldest & he doesn't live at home).The other 3 I trust 100%.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:18 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • I would park all the cars outside of the garage and tell your teens they're not allowed to drive them. then i would ask an adult to drive by in the middle of the night (1 or 2 am) and see if a cars gone or there's a car there. if you have good kids they won't be expecting this and they'll fall for it (now i would have gotten around this but i had to get caught the first couple times to learn) also- make sure they are VERY entertained with movies, video games, internet.... and lots of good food. I doubt they'll get into trouble if they're set up at home.

    but every time my parents left the house it was time to bring out the weed. just being honest- if you have the slightest feeling they party or their friends party don't do it!!!! also- when parents are gone it's the time that the older siblings will influence the younger ones badly usually ( not just big things but little things too) so how much do you trust your oldest?

    Answer by Hali_Taylor at 1:33 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • It depends on the kid and the family and THE LOCATION. My sister lives on the farm in the boonies and leaves her kids overnight occasionally (all over 11.) But I never would because we live in the city and my kids are not mature enough. You have to use your judgment.

    Answer by Whatkids at 2:04 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

  • depends on if you can trust your kids...

    Answer by MoMMy2aDiVA08 at 2:33 AM on Dec. 4, 2009

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