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Daughter went away for two weeks.

(77 Posts)
Melanie Sat 09-Jul-16 10:17:10

I was dismayed when my daughter announced she was going away with her partner for two weeks leaving her two sons home alone. They are 18 and 15. The fifteen year old had just done most of his GCSEs bar one and the older one was working. I couldn't imagine leaving my children alone at that age and was extremely concerned. Their father travels a lot in his work and is barely there but lives about 10 minutes away. I live about 20 minutes away.

I immediately offered to have the younger boy to stay with me offering him full support and promising to run him anywhere he wanted to go. He first said yes and then said no. I think there is a girlfriend in the mix who he was besotted with.

I was on edge the whole time she was away. I thought they were too young and irresponsible to be left for two weeks and considered the 18 year old, young for his age.

When my grandson and his girlfriend split up he was heartbroken and then there was no parent there to comfort him. Then he went to Prom and I thought he looked OK but not as smart as if a mother had got him ready.

When my daughter came back the house was still standing but she had eight loads of their washing to do and the place was a mess.

Is it OK to leave two teenagers of these ages to fend for themselves for two weeks, or is my daughter being neglectful.

ninathenana Sat 09-Jul-16 10:36:10

not as smart as if mother had got him ready
He's 15 not 5 !
The eighteen yr old is an adult, if he was going to uni in September then he would be fending for himself., and bringing his piles of washing home to mum in the holidays smile I don't think I would leave a 15 yo alone but it would depend on the boy. He wasn't alone though he had his elder brother and you 20mins away.
I have left mine together at those ages. My mum was near by.

PRINTMISS Sat 09-Jul-16 10:37:06

Of course it is o.k. Your daughter knows her sons, they are both old enough to be able to look after themselves for 2 weeks, and would know what to do in an emergency. Stand back, let them get on with it, we never learn unless we are allowed to work things out for ourselves. I would be worried to death, personally, but that would be down to me to cope with.

vampirequeen Sat 09-Jul-16 10:44:18

They're not babies. Many of us were working at 15 and were certainly not deemed to be children. We had responsibilities.

At the age of 12 I was the local babysitter responsible for the care of working mum's children during school holidays. I was also able to look after a house, doing the washing (no automachines), shop and cook meals.

We mollycoddle our children too much and keep them babies rather than encouraging them to grow up.

sunseeker Sat 09-Jul-16 11:00:46

I usually stay away from these type of posts, not having had children myself, but it does seem as if the OP still sees her grandsons as children. The 18 year old is an adult and as for the 15 year old, as long as he knew his grandparents were just a phone call away I see no problem with his being left with his older brother.

Badenkate Sat 09-Jul-16 11:09:54

I can imagine the faces of my 2 sons if I'd attempted to get them ready for anything when they were 15!

Christinefrance Sat 09-Jul-16 11:11:16

In the main I agree with everyone else who has responded. Definitely a 15 year old does not need his mother to get him ready to go out. I do have a few qualms about the two week period and know I would worry. We have to give them independence or how will they manage in the big wide world. All's well that ends well though, I would have a few things to say about the washing .

Melanie Sat 09-Jul-16 11:12:10

The 18 year old is a bit of a twerp. Neither of them can cook. They eat out of tins. I don't know if they smoke and drink but I'm afraid they do. OK I'm being a stupid old fusspot. (grin)

Elegran Sat 09-Jul-16 11:45:14

You have two almost-grown-up young men there. They need a bit of being responsible for themselves before they are grown-up completely. No-one rides a bike for themselves while someone is holding on to the saddle.

The 18 year-old will have to learn how to cook more than something out of a tin sooner or later - if his mother keeps cooking everything for him it will be later!

At 18 he could be:-

Married with a wife and child to look after and food, rent and household bills to juggle.
In the forces, doing his own washing and expected to be bandbox neat at all times (or on a charge).
At university, managing his time and money and getting his essays finished and handed in on time.

It does him no harm at all to spend a short while with no parents to do all the housework and admin that a home needs.

The 15-year-old has an older brother to turn to, and I am sure big bro's advice re the girlfriend breakup felt more relevant to him than mother's solace. As for mother getting him ready for the Prom, he was probably heartily glad that she didn't fuss round him as though it was his first day at school!

hildajenniJ Sat 09-Jul-16 11:48:40

I wouldn't have tried to get my 15 yr old ready to go out. I would have been told in no uncertain terms that he could himself! They are both old enough, and should be capable of fending for themselves for a couple of weeks. I was left alone to look after the house when my family went on holiday. I was about 18 and couldn't get the time off work. Granted I am a girl, but I wasn't very housetrained back thengrin.

Granny23 Sat 09-Jul-16 12:01:00

Totally agree Vampirequeen I was working full time at 15 having done part time work while still at school. By 19 I was earning an adult salary, married and setting up and running a home. Both my daughters moved away to Uni/college at 17 and successfully cooked, cleaned and managed their own flats and finances.

The fault (if any)lies with parents who have allowed their children to have a free ride in terms of contributing to the household chores. On the other hand many young adults, who have plunged into self sufficiency totally unprepared, have risen to the challenge and become mature and competent overnight.

Elrel Sat 09-Jul-16 12:16:40

I read this to teenage GD, she smiled!

Maggiemaybe Sat 09-Jul-16 12:36:10

Neglectful? No! I won a P & O competition in the 90s, with a wonderful prize of an all expenses paid week for two in Mauritius smile We had to take it within a certain timescale, but that ended a couple of weeks after DD1's 18th birthday, so we booked it for the last week. The DC were 18, 16 and 15. We actually got criticism from some jealous friends quarters who thought we should either take them all with us (we could never have afforded it) or miss out on the holiday (no way!). One amateur psychologist thought my 15 year old might suffer separation anxiety hmm We knew they were reasonably sensible and trustworthy and had a couple of neighbours on high alert keeping a beady eye out for them. They had relatives ten minutes away in case of emergency. They still managed to sneak a small party past the sentries, but apart from a few dodgy stains on the carpet, no harm was done. They didn't miss us at all. I missed them, of course smile

harrigran Sat 09-Jul-16 12:55:58

My mother and father used to take youngest sister on holiday and leave my elder sister and I at home. She was about 19 and I was thirteen, but sister was working and I was home alone all day. When I was 15 my mother went away and left me with 4 year old sister to care for and to cook meals for my father who was working. I think we were quite responsible back then, nothing bad happened to us.

Pippa000 Sat 09-Jul-16 13:16:09

I do remember when DH and I went on holiday to the Caribbean leaving DS aged 16 and DD ages 17 at home, while they did their GCSE's and A Levels. ( it was safer than being there!!!), although I am sometimes reminded of the fact, they certainly did not come to any harm, nor did the house, dog or cat.

Newquay Sat 09-Jul-16 13:43:37

The NOSH cookbook is perfect for simple cheap nutritious meals for them to learn. . . . My eldest DGD took it to Uni. Sent photos of some meals-she hated being in the kitchen at home.
I replied "who are you and what have you done with my DGD?"
She's now a competent cook.
We all have to learn and at 18 and 15 they're certainly old enough.
It does depend on their personalities though.

breeze Sat 09-Jul-16 14:24:47

Well all survived it seems, the house still standing and just a bit of washing. People were close by and it's not against the law. Only a parent can judge the best time to leave the house at the mercy of their offspring. One thing I would say, from personal experience, is this, if your daughter has a 'drinks cabinet', the Vodka/Bacardi/Gin is probably now water. The Whisky/Brandy, either cold tea or a much paler colour than usual, having been topped up with water. She may not notice until she offers someone a drink! So she may just want to check smile

vampirequeen Sat 09-Jul-16 14:59:21

You're bound to worry but we have to let them fly. Eating out of tins and a waking up with a few hangovers will have done them the power of good. I think the next thing they should learn is how to use the washing machine lol.

When they go off to uni no one will really know what they're up to. DD said that when she went the ones who'd never had to look after themselves struggled even more than she did and put themselves into dangerous situations because they weren't streetwise and didn't understand how to deal with alcohol. I have no illusions about what my DD got up to but I hope I helped her to develop most of the skills she needed in the big wide world before she was on her own.

Before she went we had 'the chat'. I didn't tell her not to do anything but to make sure she protected herself as much as possible.

Ana Sat 09-Jul-16 15:37:54

breeze - and the contents of the bottle of Pernod may well have become strangely cloudy...grin

breeze Sat 09-Jul-16 15:56:08

Ana! Oh yes, Pernod! I remember that. I had a liking for it at one time but after falling over (in the morning) trying to get into my tights! I decided it stayed a little too long in the system!

NannaJay Sat 09-Jul-16 16:09:10

My best friend was regularly left in the care of her older sister while the parents went overseas on holidays. She has 2 boys herself and has never left them to go away because she didn't like being left behind herself. I guess it depends largely on individual situations and how the children/young adults themselves

Riverwalk Sat 09-Jul-16 18:12:37

I don't think your daughter was being neglectful but I understand your anxiety. She must know how responsible, or not her sons are.

We left our 18-year old DS alone for one week, post A-levels. On our return it was obvious that he'd had a party and someone had slept in our bed as the linen was changed, I could tell (no hospital corners!).

DS had permission to use his dad's car - after our return we found a spliff on the back seat!

Depending on how the 15 & 18 year old get on and their general maturity, I'd say two weeks is OK(ish), but stretching it a bit

annodomini Sat 09-Jul-16 18:30:25

When DS1 was 16, he was working during the summer holidays and I took DS2 with me to Spain for two weeks. DS1 was well able to cope and was well fed as he was working in a hotel kitchen.His father was still in the same village. The house and cats were well tended when I got back but I did eventually discover that he had taken himself to London for a Prince gig and slept on Victoria Station! Glad I only knew about that after the event. Nowadays he is the very epitome of the responsible middle-aged husband and father.

Stansgran Sat 09-Jul-16 18:34:19

Being anxious for them is part and parcel of being a gran. At least they weren't 12and 10.

trisher Sat 09-Jul-16 18:44:17

Melanie They may eat out of tins but they won't starve. They may smoke all sorts of things but hopefully won't become addicted. They may drink too much but won't suffer any ill effects. You can't stop them doing those things you can only warn them then stand back and hope everything goes OK. Your daughter obviously trusts them so they must be quite capable. Try not to worry too much, but don't stop being a 'fusspot' they probably quite like it really.