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Grandchildren becoming independent

(61 Posts)
fluttERBY123 Thu 24-Oct-19 15:33:24

Gs aged 16 has said he does not want to go on family visit to daughter's in-laws over half term. He is perfectly capable of looking after himself and there will be an aged adult resident in the house (no parties) I think he should be allowed to stay at home, daughter says not old enough. No argument, her son, her decision, just wondered what grans here thought.

Willow500 Thu 24-Oct-19 15:38:41

We left our sons on their own for the first time when they were 17 & 14 but my parents were only a few doors away so didn't worry. We then left the youngest on his own a couple of years later after his brother had left home and although he'd been ok he'd had a party and there was a broken back door and an ink stain on my white sofa! I think it depends on the maturity of your GS and whether there are others around who can keep an eye on him.

MissAdventure Thu 24-Oct-19 15:46:40

I think it's plenty old enough.
He'll probably not even leave his room.

Calendargirl Thu 24-Oct-19 15:52:49

We left our nearly 17 year old daughter on her own when we went to Cornwall for a week back in 1991. Her 15 year old brother came with us. I think a girlfriend stayed with her, and my mum lived a few minutes walk away. She had left school and was starting college in the September. She wasn’t a goody goody, but I felt she was responsible and mature enough. She didn’t let us down.
Our son however, a few years later! The lounge carpet seemed to have been shampooed before our return😳 and our lovely neighbours said they had been a bit concerned as windows had been left open downstairs for long periods when the house was empty😳😳😳.

lemongrove Thu 24-Oct-19 15:56:15

One of our DD’s didn’t want to go on a certain holiday with all of us ( she was 16) so she was allowed to stay at home, with two phone numbers (of old friends of ours that she trusted) in case anything went wrong.It’s not the age as such, but how mature they are.

GrandmaMoira Thu 24-Oct-19 16:08:06

I left my almost 16 year old for a weekend when he refused to come with us. He was sensible and there were no parties. He would have stayed home playing video games and watching films.
When he was 18 I left him alone with his 15 year old brother.
They knew the neighbours well if they had a problem and they were fine.
I don't understand why your GS can't be left if there is another adult in the house.

BlueBelle Thu 24-Oct-19 16:20:30

My granddaughter 16 had a weekend alone this last month I was just less than 1/2 mile away and could be there in 10 minutes I offered to pop in and out but that wasn’t wanted I thought she might not like the night time alone but she was fine
I always try to put it into perspective because my grandad altered his birth certificate and was fighting in France in WW1 at 16 and three quarters riding a motorbike as a messenger between the officers and front line apparently he was very lucky as I ve been told that most of these young out riders didn’t come home

Chestnut Thu 24-Oct-19 16:23:24

It has much to do with maturity. I rode a London bus on my own aged 8 years. I went on holiday with my friend aged 15 years, no adults with us. Children today are mollycoddled (no criticism here, we all do it) so they are not able to cope on their own until much older. It's up to the adults to judge how mature they are. I'd say just make sure they've had a fire drill, don't answer the door, know what to do in an emergency and can get an adult there quickly if required.

M0nica Thu 24-Oct-19 16:24:41

We left DD at home when she was 16. She was allowed to ask three friends round providing we approved them in advance. She was responsible and everything went as planned.

The time she messed it up she was 18 and had passed her driving test - and no, it did not involve alcohol or sex.

wildswan16 Thu 24-Oct-19 16:26:14

I think that's quite sad, as basically the parents are saying they do not trust him - although he is old enough to vote, marry, earn his own money etc etc.

But it does, of course, depend on his previous behaviour and maturity. If mum is a worrier then it would probably ruin her holiday to leave him at home.

Grammaretto Thu 24-Oct-19 16:29:03

It depends on the individual child IMO. You cannot generalise.
We sent ours on long train and plane journeys from an early age (8,9,10) but didn't leave them alone in the house until they were quite a bit older.

Friends' stories of houses wrecked didn't help!
I begged my DM to allow me to stay home when she went on holiday when I was about 15 but after a couple of hours I was lonely. Luckily an older sister came home to keep me company.

ninathenana Thu 24-Oct-19 16:35:00

My brother was older maybe 17 when mum and dad left him home alone for the first time whilst we holidayed in Spain.
He wasn't the party type and still isn't but he did paint his bedroom while we were away.
Chocolate walls and orange ceiling !!
Mum was furious.
IMO it depends on the child and whether they have someone nearby to turn to.

notanan2 Thu 24-Oct-19 16:39:24

Perfectly old enough to be alone if sensible (there are young 16s and mature 16s) BUT my teens are not allowed to bow out of family gatherings. They have to be polite and come along even if its not their idea of fun.

Dunno why really but that is our rule. I think because teen cousins are also expected to be there.

fiorentina51 Thu 24-Oct-19 17:31:30

Our son was 17 when we left him at home whilst we went on a caravan holiday with his younger sister. Halfway through the week he turned up at the caravan and stayed for a couple of nights then headed home.
The following year he again remained at home and had a small party. No problems apart from finding the large cast iron bench from the garden had been relocated to the garage. 🙄

Callistemon Thu 24-Oct-19 18:09:18

Does he have to look after the aged resident or is aged resident capable of looking after him/herself?

It would be difficult to have a party if there is an older person in the house too.
I trusted my oldest DC at 17 to be sensible and left her whilst we went on holiday.
However, a neighbour felt the same about her 15 year old, telling her that she could have a sleepover of trusted girlfriends, only to find that word had got out and lots of young people turned up with drink etc and the place was trashed.

I just wonder if his grandparents will be disappointed not to see him over half-term? Sometimes we have to do things we don't particularly want to for the sake of the happiness of others - it's a good lesson to learn.

Hetty58 Thu 24-Oct-19 18:49:03

As people above have said, it depends on the individual child, maybe also on how much the parents worry. I holidayed with friends at 15 (UK) and 16 (France) then left home at 17. I do think that we had more freedom and matured more quickly back then though.

pinkquartz Thu 24-Oct-19 18:51:20

It is your DD's house as well as her son so it is really up to her.

I would not think of commenting to my DD on this

Hithere Thu 24-Oct-19 18:58:19

Another vote for depends on maturity.

Your dd could be overprotective or knows something about your gc that you do not know.
Maybe there is something going on with your dd's ils that your gc doesn't like?
Maybe your dd thinks her son is almost 18 so there are only 2 years left for travelling together as a family?

You are wise leaving it alone.

BradfordLass72 Thu 24-Oct-19 19:15:03

I remember when my grand-daughter got to this age and wanted more independence. She was, and still is, a level-headed girl (of course she is, she's my grand-daughter smile) and there was no problem at all.

Two years later, she had the wildest, craziest 18th birthday party you ever saw. grin thlgrin party

(of course she did, she's my grand-daughter smile)

notanan2 Thu 24-Oct-19 20:21:04

I just wonder if his grandparents will be disappointed not to see him over half-term? Sometimes we have to do things we don't particularly want to for the sake of the happiness of others - it's a good lesson to learn.

I agree with this. Visiting family isnt just about whether its fun for you . You go to give something to others too.

It might upset the ILs to know that the GC would rather stay home aline rather than see them.

Unless there are "issues" I would make them go. Not wanting to miss out on mates or x box is no good reason.

So for me, whether they were capable of being left alone or not in this instance would be irrelevant

Callistemon Thu 24-Oct-19 20:23:28

He can take his iPad, x box or whatever - I'm sure the DP won't mind as long as they get the occasional smile and grunt.

Callistemon Thu 24-Oct-19 20:25:36

flutterby do you see a lot of your DGS, does he live nearby?

If so, I hope you can understand the feelings of the other DP who may not see him very often.

Anyway, it is up to your DD to decide and negotiate with her son.

notanan2 Fri 25-Oct-19 10:51:00

He can take his iPad, x box or whatever - I'm sure the DP won't mind as long as they get the occasional smile and grunt.

He's lucky if he is allowed! Mine are not allowed devices at family gatherings/visits. If theyre bored ot wont kill em..

newnanny Fri 25-Oct-19 11:01:43

I left my ds home when we went for a weekend break when he was 17, he was fine. I left plenty of food in fridge and takeaway money for Sat evening and he played games and watched blu rays with friends. He could call us if there was an issue and he knew our neighbours were aware he was home alone.

notanan2 Fri 25-Oct-19 11:24:31

That is different to bailing out on family visits though