Thursday 17 June 2021
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Thinking of leaving your teen home alone – Think twice

It’s almost that time of the year again when families prepare to go on holiday to visit family members in their respective villages. Not aware of what happens once they drive out from the drive way, parents basically set their homes up for disaster.

Most teenagers refuse to follow their parents for holiday as the plans that they have already arranged with their peers do not seem to match.

Beyond a doubt  so many of these plans are sinister at best and not something teenagers would tell their parents about. Probably because no parent would agree to leave their kids behind on the basis of their already made plans with friends.

Teenagers tend to use the excuse of looking after the house while the parents are away as a good idea to stay behind because of crime in Windhoek during the festive season. So parents agree as they believe with someone home, robberies and    break-ins are not so rampant.

Once the parents have gone, arrangements for the anticipated “House Party” is brought out of the hidden suitcase of a teenagers imaginary world.

It starts off simple, a couple of friends come over and before you know it the house is filled with drunk teenagers who were invited through a friend, who was invited by another friend which then seems like an ongoing cycle.

The thought of random strangers using precious glasses kept exclusively for guests is something that would rub any parent up the wrong way.

During the party a bunch of teenagers end up drunk breaking anything around them due their intoxicated condition and end up telling themselves that they will deal with it the next day or rather when they are sober enough to solve the problem.

Teenagers indulge in activities which they normally would not do when parents are around and become something that they then tap into. They end up doing drugs among other things.

A few even start experimenting in sexual activities as they feel they are free enough to do what they want.

Some homes end up being turned into beds and breakfasts, where teenagers come and crash for days and end up using and cooking whatever they like in the house because they feel like they have the free will to do so.

Neighbours watch from afar as they do not want to meddle in issues that do not concern them. In any event some parents when told about it would not believe it as most believe their kids are as innocent as white doves.

What to expect upon return
Summing it up in one word – a ‘MESS’. Most parents would be shocked to say the least once they come home and notice that their precious ceramic dishes were broken or are nowhere to be found, because during that house party that one teenage friend that they do not know off came over, used it and never put it back.

A few months down the year some parents would notice their teenage daughters change in body size. Could this be a pregnancy from the holiday perhaps?

To their surprise it is indeed the case, the teenage daughter ends up pregnant or your teenage son has impregnated someone and then parents question themselves on how this could have happened. Of course  their “obedient” children have been so good forgetting that during the holiday they had left the kids unattended.

In a worst case the police may have even been called in by neighbours whose desire for a quiet night is compromised. Complaints about noise pollution coming from the house full of teenagers at midnight leaves not only a bad image of your kids but paints a picture of how irresponsible you may be as a parent.

The Lounge spoke to Olivia Izaaks who is a parent herself to two teenage boys.

Izaaks who constantly always travels as her job requires, leaves her home in the care of her two boys as she believes they are old enough to be responsible.

She explained that she has heard of other parents complain about how their kids misbehave whenever they would go away on holiday. However Izaaks has never experienced this with her children.

“I have groomed my boys to be well behaved and to not go against my teachings that I have instilled in them. Even if they do get up to no good at times they probably have a way of covering it up because I have never received complaints from anyone while I have been away.”

Izaaks urged fellow parents to speak to their children and advise them correctly. She also encouraged teenagers to listen to what they are told and not take it as if parents are against them.

In order to avoid all these things, parents should always educate their children on the need to not misbehave while left home to look after the house left in their care. This is very important as so much trust is handed down from parents to them.

If parents know that they can’t trust their children alone then they should make arrangements with someone older who is responsible. It’s better to have someone there who is sensible enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

In addition parents should inform neighbours that they would be away for some time and should anything happen provide a contact number to avoid inconveniencing the neighbours and themselves in case a situation arise where the police are called in.

This is not to say that teenagers should be kept on lock down forever and be prevented from doing what they want. However teenagers should also know that certain things should not be done because at a later stage this can affect them in a negative way.

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