Working when school's out - what do your teens do?
I work at an office two days a week, and at home the other three days. Three of my kids (ages 5, 8, and 11) are in a day camp, but so far my daughter (12) has either stayed with a friend or babysat on the days I am away. So it's worked out OK so far, but she wants to know why I won't let her stay home by herself. Many (if not most) of her friends do, and she doesn't understand why I feel she is responsible enough to babysit, but not to stay home alone.
The truth is, when I was a year older than she is, I slept with a boy in my bed at home. And when my parents were away, my brothers had drinking parties, etc. She is a good kid, and at 12, is definitely not dating or drinking! but I don't want to set a precedent now, then change my standard later when I think there may be more danger of her getting into trouble. (Also, there is a boy her age next door, who frequently has friends over. There again, they are good kids and I am not worried now, but later....)
I know she would be hurt if I told her I am worried about her having boys over or drinking - I know that right now, she would never do that. I don't want her to think I don't trust her, or worse, put ideas in her head.
For now, I've said that it's because she can't drive, and if there were an emergency, I am 35 miles away at work and could not help her. Eventually, though, she (and her friends) will be driving. I want to be honest, yet not convey the idea that she can't be trusted. I worry you may say that I don't trust her, but given my wild times as a teen, I want to be more careful than my parents were. (I do let her stay home when I run errands, take the other kids to ball games, etc).
Any suggestions? What do you do with your teenagers all day?