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Home Alone Stories: What Really Happens?

We’ve all heard the stories about the kid who has a party when his parents go out of town. But is this the norm or the exception? What really happens when parents leave kids at home overnight? Is it possible that they would enjoy their “me time” as much as we do when we get it? Here, Mindy and her virtual family discuss this question as she tries to decide whether or not to leave Ryan home alone when she and Dan take Amnon to college.

Mindy

I would like to expand a bit on the issue of Ryan staying home alone while we take Amnon to college. Before we make a decision, I was wondering whether you would share some home alone stories, both positive and negative. What happened when your friends or acquaintances stayed alone for a night or two?


Ryan

I can’t think of any time my friends have been home alone for two or three nights, but I don’t think that means anything because 8th grade is too young to be left alone.


Amnon

My most recent experiences with friends alone in the house were very laid back and safe. Maybe it’s just because my friends aren’t serious party kids, so we usually just hang around and talk – maybe play some video games. What really differentiates a night alone from a normal night with parents is that we can be a little louder in the house (because no one else is there) and usually we can stay up later. It’s a nice treat to have those two privileges, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most incredible thing on earth. I think it would be nice for Ryan to see friends at night, because then he gets to see people at the usual teen hangout hours, and he won’t feel that because he has to stay alone, he has to be isolated.


Dan

When I was sixteen (a hundred years ago), I stayed home by myself and loved it. I was thrilled by the sense of responsibility I was given. Other than eating in the den in front of the TV, not cleaning up (until right before my parents got home), and walking around in my underwear all weekend, nothing special happened. There were no wild parties or drunken friends vomiting in the living room.

Most kids probably have the same boring (but satisfying) experience when they stay home. Of course, there was one occasion when we were out of town with friends who received a call from the police about a wild party that their daughter was hosting. But I suspect that is the exception.

Have fun staying home alone. Just make sure you clean up before we get back!


Devan

I stayed at a friend’s home one night when her parents were away. Her parents were fine but my parents had issues with it. After much convincing, they let me go and stay over. Nothing bad happened. We had a normal sleepover like any other just minus the parents. The only thing that happened that was unexpected was my friend’s college age brother and some of his friends were there too, later in the night. I was fine with it, but when I told my mom she freaked a bit. But, besides that, it went off without a hitch.

Personally, if my family is going to be gone and I am going to be alone for a night, I prefer to go to someone else’s house for the night. Or I guess it would be nice to have someone to stay with me in the house, but I know my parents wouldn’t be cool with that.

Now that I am older this really isn’t an issue for me anymore.

Mindy Gallagher

Mindy Gallagher is Your Teen Magazine’s social media editor and a mom to three boys.