How to Prepare Your Teen for Being Home Alone

For thousands of American teens, having a small party when the parents are out of town is a rite of passage.

But one house party in Massachusetts got way out of hand.

Jill and Dan Abbett returned to their East Hampton home after a Paris vacation in February to find their home had sustained $45,000 in damage. Police say as many as 100 uninvited teens crashed what their teenage son said was supposed to be a small gathering of friends.

Police told ABC News word spread after one teen posted word of a "rager" at the house on Facebook.

The party crashers allegedly spilled blood and urine, cracked countertops, punched holes in walls and yanked chandeliers from the ceilings.

It was a scene the Abbetts could never have imagined.

Click here to read ABC News' full report.

So what can you do when you go out of town to ensure your home doesn't also fall victim? Apparently, quite a few things, according to "Good Morning America" parenting contributor Ann Pleshette Murphy. Check out her tips below.

Before You Leave...

Before you leave your child unsupervised, consider his "age." And I'm not simply referring to the number of years he's been on the planet. What matters is maturity and a demonstrated respect for your rules and property.

Know his friends. Does your child have the kind of friends who might exert a lot of peer pressure? If so, don't set your teen up to fail by leaving them alone. Have someone stay with him or find a friend's house where he can stay.

Put your kid to the test. Let him or her host a small party of friends while you're "hiding" upstairs or out for the evening (but due back early enough to intervene if things get out of hand). If all goes well, fine. But if it's not up to your expectations (or worse), then don't leave your child alone.

Spread the news. Tell your neighbors, your friends, your family -- even the local police, who might be willing to cruise by a couple of times. You can also tell your kid that the police have been notified, which should make him think twice about planning a party.

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