At 15, Florida teen Slader Pich is probably old enough to stay home alone during the day. But that didn’t stop trouble from finding him.
The teen was home sick from school when he heard knocking on the front door. In typical teen fashion, he ignored it. When the banging continued, he reached for his cell to call his parents, when suddenly he heard someone running up the stairs.
Thinking quickly, Slader dove behind a couch and hid under a large plant. Then he texted his parents:
dont come home
hurry theyre taking everything
The story ends well enough. Slader’s dad raced home, confronted the robbers in the driveway with a baseball bat, and thieves drove off leaving Slader undetected and unharmed. They did get away with about $3,000 worth of the Pich’s belongings, though.
This story is the kind that puts fear in a parent’s heart, but it’s also a good time to remind ourselves that even teens need lessons in what to do in an emergency.
“Slader was very brave,” Slader’s mom, Lisa, told the St. Petersburg Times. “He made every decision right that day.” But she and her husband acknowledge there were tips they wish they’d passed on to Slader — calling 911 immediately, for example, or using the home security system’s panic button.
KidsHealth.org has some great tips for helping teens plan for the unexpected, including strangers at the door, kitchen fires, and severe weather. Whenever we have one of these difficult conversations, I tell my kids, “It probably won’t happen, but you need to know what to do if it does.”
And Family.com has questions that every parent can ask herself before leaving a teen home alone: Does your teen often take responsibility for things like homework and chores? Does your child make good decisions independently? Do you have a trusting relationship with your teen? Answering no to these questions might mean that your teen still needs a little supervision.
Is your child old enough to stay home alone? Share some tips with our readers on how you decided it was time and how you prepared your child.