School holidays and FT parents

Looking for some insight here. My wife is due to go back to work from 20 hrs pw to 30 hrs pw in March. She'll be working 8-2 each day. We have one DS age 13 (and stepson age 20 but not local) We both get 12 weeks of hols between us so can manage some of the school hols. We've no close family nearby. DS has been left for few hours before as usually gaming. He's a sensible kid and we've a few good neighbours.Would you be happy leaving them at this age? Appreciate each child is different and ours is a mature, sensible one.

My wife feels very guilty about all of this but needs must unfortunately from a family perspective. 👪 
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Comments

  • Not on a regular basis and certainly not overnight 
  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,686 Forumite
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    A number of teenagers would be fine with this but it would be an individual choice. Shorter holidays of 1 to 2 weeks would not be the same as summer holidays where he could become bored. Would he like to attend a summer camp or go to visit family? Is he the sort who would like a volunteering activity? Does he belong to a youth organisation such as scouts or cadets?
  • annabanana82
    annabanana82 Posts: 3,014 Forumite
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    edited 12 February 2023 at 8:58AM
    I leave my 13 year old Son for several hours, but I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving him for a week or even several days of a week alone for 6+ hours. Not because I don't trust him, but that it just doesn't feel a nice thing to do. 


    Is it possible to have him spend a day or two at a friend's house and you return the favour?
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  • The summer holidays we've got 4 of the weeks covered ourselves. The wife would be home around 245 and I will probably go into work for 9/10am so he'll only be left for a few hours.Of course we would want the time off with him but the reality is a good 50% of the school holidays he wants to be gaming with mates!  It is possible he can stay with my in laws who are an hour away but they're in their 80s and whilst this may be good as a short term thing its not ideal.Asking the DS he's happy to be happy with him and our dogs so we shall see.

    Important thing is in the school hols he gets some time with us too and myself and the wife will make sure that happens one way or another even if we can't manage every day.
  • Of course we would want the time off with him but the reality is a good 50% of the school holidays he wants to be gaming with mates!  
    I remember this stage - it’s the age where they start to want/have more of an independent social life.  Could you do a swap with parents of his friends, so when you’re off you have their offspring for gaming/lunch, or maybe include them in a day out, and then vice versa?  Even just to break up the week.  The teens may start doing this on their own initiative if friends are local - but this way you’re not left thinking ‘Why did I take a day off, when he’s only interested in his mates?’  Plus it helps you know when to fill the fridge!

    I had a ‘Who you gonna call?’ drill with mine so they knew what to do in the likely minor emergencies.  I still used to get texts like ‘we’re making toffee, it’s okay we’ve got a recipe’ and ‘can you tell X to stop putting her feet on me’.

  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,136 Forumite
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    edited 11 February 2023 at 4:24PM
    Mine are almost 23 & 20. There's no childcare here once child reaches age 11/yr7 for that reason I had to have them ready to be left by this age. I was fine leaving them at 13. If they're anything like my 2 they won't even be awake and up at 8am, more likely to laze in bed until lunch time .  You say he's sensible, just put some ground rules in place, eg id anyone allowed round, what is he allowed to use/make himself to eat. Who does he go to in an emergency etc. 

    BTW- Have you changed the post since you first typed it, because I see a couple of replies saying not overnight and from the times you've put,  I didn't think you were asking about o/night, unless I've read it wrong and you mean 8pm till 2am rather than a morning shift of 8am-2pm. 
  • Thanks for the comments. No, I never mentioned anything about leaving DS on his own - that would never be a thing and wouldn't happen so not sure why that was mentioned. 

    I think the point we were making as a family that on the odd few days he would be left till the wife gets home just before 3. The whole secondary transition was difficult leaving behind a lot of friends from junior. New friends at secondary school are there but it's not what I'd call an established friend network so difficult to do that friend swap thing. That said the wife and me have friends who would happily stop by and check in on him or sit in the house on the odd day till we're back. Sure it'll be fine.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,007 Forumite
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    Spendless said:
    If they're anything like my 2 they won't even be awake and up at 8am, more likely to laze in bed until lunch time .  You say he's sensible, just put some ground rules in place, eg id anyone allowed round, what is he allowed to use/make himself to eat. Who does he go to in an emergency etc. 
    My thoughts exactly.

    You say transition to secondary left friends behind. Is this a chance to reconnect?
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  • 13 is fine to leave at home alone for a few hours. Just make sure to leave him easy things for lunch and obviously your phone number. At the end of the day by the age of 13 many kids will be walking/busing to school on their own and ready for some responsibility. 10am to 2:45pm sounds fine for a 13 year old to be left on their own. 
  • The wife has tried really hard to get him reconnected with the children from primary school.She invited a few over for several birthdays since leaving but it is never reciprocated. They live quite far as his primary school covered a very wide catchment. They are all on a whatsapp group but that's it. Such a shame. That said a few have moved to different counties and a few of the parents have separated u believe. Real shame.
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