Home alone with a child

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Home alone with a child

Unread postby yankeul » 05 Sep 2012, 13:56

Hi. I suppose my subject line says it all. Is this dangerous? I'm a 37-year-old man, and the prospective student is a 15-year-old girl. They contacted me for private lessons, not through a school. I've been teaching and tutoring for 4 years at a small private school, mostly adults but a few children.

I hadn't even considered anything strange about it. Both parents work all day. My wife was very cautious when I told her. No contract, nothing written, just a middle-aged man in their apartment with their daughter, they're insisting on 3 times a week. Now they've told me that they have established French lessons on Saturday and Sunday, so they want her to have English during the week. It seems very unlikely they'll be able to have someone at home during the lessons, but my wife is insisting I walk away if they can't.

I've had 3 lessons with her so far. A friend of the family was present in the apartment the first time, but after that no. I don't think it has even occurred to the family that I might have a problem with it.

So, basically, this is my choice. Go to teach a 15-year-old girl 3 times a week with no one else present, or refuse entirely. Is this something to be concerned about?

Thanks for your advice.
-Chuckk
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Re: Home alone with a child

Unread postby kaithegreene » 06 Sep 2012, 06:14

I think your wife has a point.

What country are you in? Is this a normal arrangement in that country?

I used to teach a teenage brother and sister, on separate days - and was surprised that the mother insisted that the lessons be in their bedrooms because that's where they study. I used to leave the door open and she would come along and close it. There was never any problem with it, but my gut reaction is the same as your wife's.
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Re: Home alone with a child

Unread postby Josef » 06 Sep 2012, 07:53

On the whole I think I'd walk away, sadly. Just my opinion.
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Re: Home alone with a child

Unread postby yankeul » 06 Sep 2012, 10:45

Thanks for the replies. I'm in Romania, in Bucharest, and no, I've never come across this type of arrangement before. Of course, she is older than any of the other children I've worked with. I have worked in a situation where I was in a teenage girl's room, and the mom similarly closed the door regularly, but I was sent there officially by a company, and there were always at least 6 other people in the house. I'm not sure, looking back, if even that was a good idea. I'm sure that, from the parents' point of view, it's nothing, as she can easily stay home alone and travel around the city by herself, but I suppose they just haven't considered this angle.

Thanks.
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Re: Home alone with a child

Unread postby yankeul » 06 Sep 2012, 11:11

My wife, however, is a kind of licensed contractor, and can make contracts of this kind. We're going to see if she can do so mentioning me in the contract, as proof that I'm supposed to be there. But based on other people's reactions, I'm leaning towards refusing the job, period.
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