Should you leave your teenager alone overnight?

It’s my birthday tomorrow and the hubbie and I are off out and are staying over at a posh hotel. We have never left both teenagers alone overnight before. Whenever we go anywhere, they, or our youngest, have always come too. I know that my daughter is 18 in a few months so she is definitely old, mature and sensible enough. Legally, there is no definite age that children can be left overnight. It is all pretty confusing actually but the NSPCC state that no child should be left alone overnight under the age of 16. I agree with this as if there was an emergency, can you fully trust your child to know what to do? I’m not sure my youngest would, although he is very mature for his age in many respects. No, my worry is not that they won’t cope. My worry is that I don’t quite trust them or should I say, I don’t quite trust the teenager in them! My youngest has already asked if he can have a party, a few friends over, his girlfriend to stay…..

What am I worried about? Well there is a list!
1. The ‘friend that pushes every boundary’
There is always one friend in each teenagers group of friends that causes parents to worry isn’t there? The one kid who seems to push every boundary. Luckily, my own children talk to me but relay tales of that kid that has tried drugs or goes to parties and gets so drunk they can’t stand. It’s that friend who, although is a really great kid and comes from a great family, that I don’t want at my house whilst I’m not here! I don’t want broken furniture or sick piles thank you much! I trust that my children are not going to trash my house but will they be able to deal with controlling a fellow teenager that is also their friend?
2. The teenage predator.
I worry about those teenagers who just want to go to a house party; any house party. I call these the teenage predators! I worry that my children will innocently announce that we are away on social media and the next morning the old house will be on every newspaper due to the fact that 4 million teenagers turned up and partied until the police were called! Ok, that probably won’t happen but you do read about that don’t you?!

3. The crisis
I worry that the dog will get sick or the washing machine will spill out 20 gallons of water and my teenagers won’t know how to turn the water off (where is that tap actually?!). Will they burn the house down or leave the doors unlocked at night? Yes, it’s Mum worry
4. Mum worry
I am allowed mum worry after the exploits of my son. I can now talk about Letting go of the challenges of parenting but there have been times when my son has been difficult to parent and trust, to be frank! I left him on a teacher training day once for a few hours. He was 13. Later, I found out that he had been testing out the knives in the kitchen and broken one whilst seeing if he could chop down a tree with it in our garden. He was 13!
5. Mum guilt
Finally, I know that I need to trust my teenagers and anyway, it’s my birthday! So, I will trust my teenagers tomorrow night although I have told them they are not to have any friends over at all! I’ve also told them that this is my birthday and I would hate for them to disappoint me -I know, I know -mum guilt. The best. Parenting. Card. Ever.
PS. It was fine!

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  • Love this Sophie! You are sooo brave but you are right, its your birthday. And I reckon you can trust them completely. Its quite amazing how mature they suddenly become when they are the ones left in charge… Loving your blog my lovely xx

    • I’m loving yours too Liz! I’m in awe of what you are doing tbh. Charleston- is that where you are? My cousin got married in Charleston and it looks beautiful. Happy travels. X

      • We are now just leaving NYC. I’m loving it but I have to just remind myself to be present and aware… it’s very easy in a trip like this to get caught up in planning the next place, especially when you’re the one doing all the planning! Charleston was beautiful… I’m not a fan of America on the whole, we are here because Brian has family, but it has been wonderful. We fly to Sri Lanka in Jan and then to India. I’m slightly terrified and excited at the same time! Your life also sounds busy?! Are you still teaching or are you a full time blogger now? Hope you have an amazing Xmas, the house looks lovely C

        • My daughter has just come back from NYC and loved it. I’m teaching full time at the moment; it’s too much tbh! I would love to teach part time and earn from the blog but we shall see! Take cares and I look forward to reading about your adventures! X

  • Happy birthday, Sophie. Enjoy your special birthday celebration. It is such a (mum) worry to leave your children overnight, alone, for the first time. But I’m sure they will honour your trust and take their responsibilities seriously. They will do what you ask because it’s your birthday and they love you. (I hope they will anyway!) Have a wonderful evening. You deserve it. I look forward to hearing how much of the house is trashed and how many sick piles you need to clean up. 🙂 LOL. I’m expecting to hear, “None at all.”

        • It was fine, Norah! As I knew deep down it would be. We had a fabulous time and the children went to MacDonalds and hung out at home with the dog! All was well. Happy Christmas to you too. Happy Holidays. Xx

          • Pleased to hear it! All those years of engendering a sense of responsibility and respect have paid off! Congratulations on great parenting. 🙂 Happy Christmas to you all!

  • Repeat after me ‘all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’ …. you have the sound concerns of a mother of teens and you have played the trump card. They love you, it is your birthday and they WILL do you proud. I know this, I have special powers. Happiest of happy birthday day and night to you and may the year ahead be filled with a hatful of wishes come true for you. Much love from France xx

    • ah thank you Osyth! All was well and I had a fab time! Happy Christmas to you from us all. xx

      • That makes me very happy …. be proud mummy bear – the cubs are growing well!! Xx

  • This terrifies me, although it’s a few years away yet (if ever, ha!). I remember house parties when I was a teen, and this was waaaay before social media, so I can only imagine what happens these days! Hope you had a lovely birthday and all was well when you returned? #mmbc

    • It was all good thank you! Just have my sisters 3 as well as my 2 today so just about to make gingerbread men!happychrimbo😃

  • Those are very valid points you made. I think it’s perfectly normal to have these worries and concerns but I think leaving your kids who are old enough to be home just once will come to show how trustworthy they are. You eon’t Know until you try.

    • That’s true and everything was fine. Xx

  • Enjoy your night off preparing yourself for your kiddos being out in the world on their own! I’m sure they’ll make you proud!

  • Well I think I would be quite anxious about leaving them too mainly because I remember well what I was like as a teenager and even though I was very responsible and almost never got into trouble I did like to have a lot of fun! Not sure unwound like my kids to do the same. It’s a tough one. I suppose I’m so far from it still injust can’t see it. Glad it was all ok and hope you had a great birthday. Thank you for linking with #StayClssyMama

  • I found that generally there are always more sensible young adults than idiots. And they tend to help control the madness that will inevitably arise. I used to stress so much about leaving my dogs with a bunch of teens/young 20’s. What if someone left the front door open? Letting go is very hard and you won’t help worrying. Mistakes will be made and at times you’ll be mad. But, it’s all part of the process. Have your phone on but make sure you makeit worth it and have a brilliant night out xx Happy Birthday!! #TriumphantTales

    • You are right. And lets face it….we all learn from our mistakes! They were fab and thank you, the burfday was amazing! x

  • First of all, I hope you had a lovely birthday 🙂 Secondly, I can’t even begin to imagine how this felt. I know that I am a long, long way off the teenage years, but I can already feel the angst just thinking about it. I’m pleased it went well. At least next time you won’t worry so much. Thanks for sharing this with #TriumphantTales.

    • Ah thank you Jaki! It was a wonderful burfday. They were fine. Xx

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