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Leave young ones alone

2629 Views 81 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  Forrest Mosby
I am about to head out the door for the big weekend, and have booked myself heavy. Because I will not have any extra time, my little cousin will be staying at my farm to take care of those who will stay behind. My cousin is 14, and an accomplished woods girl, so it's not something I am worried about. But it gets me wondering, how do you prepare your young ones to be ready to stay alone? What age is appropriate for being alone, and how do you keep them safe?

I know most here plan on just hunkering down and not going out, but eventually in a grid down, shtf, or even eotwawki situation, you will probably have to leave. If you have young ones it may be safer for them to stay home alone. How have you prepared them, yourself, and their surroundings to keep them safe and make things work for them?

Have a good weekend everyone. It's the opening shot for the tourist season here in the Northwoods. The crazy season is about to begin.
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Deep subject.

Now days I’d say the biggest preparation would be to keep them away from television, and social media. Instead teach, and spend time with them.

That aside I’d say remove the “cult of child” mindset, which is removing all responsibility from them.
Nothing is free. Must be earned.
No work (chores), no eat.
Children are adults in training.

I started hauling hay for pay at 11yrs. From that time forward I had to buy all my own clothing, and taught me fiscal responsibility.
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Are you saying that you are going to leave a 14 year old home alone to take care of a farm?
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16 was always my cut off date..Im old school I guess
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16 was always my cut off date..Im old school I guess
Since we had 11 kids, we never really encountered having to leave anyone alone. The older ones watched and the younger ones would rat them out if they tried to break the rules. :) Later the older ones were married with families of their own so we could farm the younger ones out to them as needed.
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I started staying alone after school as a latch key kid at age 6 without issues except when I was to start cooking dinner which never created any endangerment but some anxiety about say why beans would still be hard. Babysitting at 10 for a few hours at a time was only an issue being handed off an actual baby when I had no experience at all , I babysat others without any issue and stayed alone for weeks at a time phoning a neighbour nightly to check in , in order to save my money up for a horse from 10 onward. Bought my horse at 12 and was soley responsible physically and financially . I did not encounter anything drastic in those times that I could not handle. I would not say I could handle an extremely bad situation at that age, just never did. I would actually say handling early responsibility lead to more successes as a young adult .
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My mom left my brother and I alone and went to Europe and left me 15 and my brother 13. It was the mid 80s, probably a felony now. I had a job, so at least I could by food. My brother ran off and stayed with a friend for 3 weeks. I think she felt guilty because the next time she had us put in a private rehab hospital... She went on 3 or 4 trips while I was in there. I had a clean drug test and they still kept me in there until the insurance ran out. My brother has no relationship with her. I live 800 miles away, but she's talking about moving 2 hours away from me. Her sister's don't talk to her anymore. I don't think she has any friends left.
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My dad died when I was 5. My mom had to work. 3 boys, 5, 7, 9. We were often alone, sometimes someone with us. Knew where guns were, left them alone. We lived in a downtown neighborhood. We did okay. In the 60's

My mom remarried to an Airman. Very good man but gone alot. Best family environment we ever had. Our station in life went up.

My wife and I live in an isolated wooded area. Extremely few visitors. Only baby sitters the kids ever had was my in-laws, and that was infrequent. We spent a LOT of time with our children.

I inherited a boy from my wifes first marriage. Taught him to defend home at an early age, starting with a Marlin model 60. Later a shotgun, then SKS and .38. He could do all this by age 12. By that time he had a 6 year old sister. She was taught same as she grew older.

My kids were both pretty responsible, mature and intelligent for their ages. All children are different and all situations vary.

If we had lived in neighborhoods like I did growing up or had regular visitors/other children hanging out, things would have been done differently. It worked for us.

One child was in military, works in high tech. Both of his kids are now vets.
My other child works in law enforcement.
They both turned out well.
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This is something thats been on my mind as my wife and i are expecting. I think each child is an individual, i know i was ready for higher responsibilities than my siblings/cousins at at younger age and ive met teenagers who are far more prepared and mature/responsible than some of my adult (even middle aged) co-workers.

I think it really comes down to parenting, but also the type of kid youre dealing with, at the end of the day its a judgement call and you cannot put a specific number on it.

I will say though, the younger they can handle it the better- as society becomes more irresponsible the age of adulthood increases... you used to be an adult in your early teens and its odd to me that now in 2023 when we have more access to knowledge and instant communication than ever before we have less capable and responsible young people.

I hope to be able to trust my child at as young of an age as possible and far younger then what more parents my age would be comfortable with, but only time will tell.
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At 14, I did all the housecleaning, and shopping. I wrote checks to pay all of the bills and did the family taxes.
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14 is to young to leave home alone for a weekend.
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Sixteen is our cutoff for girls, Fifteen for boys. We have plenty of kids but it's too easy for boys to burn the house down, or girls to disappear without a trace. I'm kinda fond of the little boogers so I couldn't stand losing one of them. We had neighbors a few houses down that left their 14 and 12 year old boys at home and they set fire to the house. Both died in a back bedroom. I understand that some kids are just awesome at being alone, but they're also in the midst of their little brains disengaging, growing, and re-engaging. Sometimes they don't even know they're being stupid or thoughtless.
Anyway, that's our age limits. But again, we like our kids, which is unusual in this age of wine-drunk facebook moms that do nothing but complain about how they hate their heirs.
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When I was a Junior in high school, my parents went off to Mexico City, for a week. I decided it would be a really good idea to throw a nonstop party at the house. What could possibly go wrong? My parents knew something wasn’t right as soon as they came home. The house smelled like pine oil and everything looked as good as it did when they left.

I thought I was home free. That was until one of the neighbors told dad, he had never seen so many cars parked on the street, in the 50 years he had lived there.
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
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14 is to young to leave home alone for a weekend.
And yet I survived, and thrived. Being self responsible set me up to be a more successful and confident woman .
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At 14, I did all the housecleaning, and shopping. I wrote checks to pay all of the bills and did the family taxes.
At 10, I'd come home from school and put the roast and veggies in the oven or there wouldn't be any supper! Both parents worked and chores were expected to be done or the pittance of an allowance wouldn't be forthcoming.

Today lowered expectations produce lowered outcomes....thanks in part to public indoctrination centers known as "schools" and parents that no longer trust their instincts. I feel for the parents and the kids today trying to navigate the modern world in such a rudderless society.
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My parents used to raise and show GSD's, had around 30 at any one time. I was home, alone all summer from 6:00 am - 6:00 pm, three to four hours when school was going. This started when I was about 10.

I did all the dog chores...let them out of the kennels to the runs, picked up poopy papers, replaced with fresh paper, changed water, let them back into the kennel. Next out side to scrape the poop out of the runs, then hose them down to clean. Back outside for a couple more hours before bed.

We also had several 50x100 ft outdoor pens. We let them out there on the weekends to get exercise. Looking back, those pens only needed to be about four feet wide and not 50. All they did was chase each other up and down the fence line.

Then the mowing of 4-5 acres began. If I ever mow another blade of grass, it will be too soon!

The kennels were heated and air conditioned, they lived pretty well.
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I ripped apart my knee about 25 years back and I had a 14 year old girl we mentored, was dropped off to help me . She managed my two kids , my needs and about 13 broodmares and foals for 3 days alone until family could come help . I am close friends to this day and I hire her to help me with tasks . She in turn now is a very capable woman with a family and business of her own :)
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No way I would leave a 14 year old , Girl or Boy alone especially in a remote area.
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I had an early morning paper route that required me to drive about 30 miles ea morning at 14…back then the license age was 15….I made it home by 7- school was at 8….Nobody said anything but people knew…thing is, that was 50+ years ago…different times then…Im all for responsibility and what people do with their kids is their business…but parents-are-away parties nowadays is likely to involve gunfire…jmo
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No way I would leave a 14 year old , Girl or Boy alone especially in a remote area.
Different times I guess, but from 9 years to 14 years old (‘79-‘84) we lived in northern Maine, eight miles from our closest neighbor….all woods in between. No electricity, running water, or phone.

I would get dropped off after school and be alone until my parents got home in the evening.

There was a whole list of things I had to have done daily before they got home.

Occasionally, the game warden would come by to check on me if he was in the area, but mostly I was alone with my dog.
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