To Send DD on a School Trip

(187 Posts)
SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 20-Mar-13 10:59:24

...even though my husband is refusing to let her go?

Our DD is nearly 9 and this year they are having a school residential trip for 2 nights to an activity centre. DD really wants to go as all her friends are going and I think it would be great for her too.

DH on the other hand says there is no way she is allowed to go, that she is just a baby and that she can't be away from us overnight.

I think he is being totally unreasonable, she isn't a baby and if she doesn't go not only will she miss out on a great experience but she will feel left out because all her friends are going.

We have argued and argued about it he wont budge in but I am now thinking of just paying the deposit and saying she can go anyway in the hope I can convince him later.

Would that be wrong? I know it will cause more arguments but she has been so upset at the thought of not being able to go.

ISingSoprano Wed 20-Mar-13 12:45:31

I am strongly of the opinion that independence is a skill needs to be learned and at the age of 8 or 9 a 2 night school residential is an excellent way to start learning that skill! As is said so often here, it is our job as parents to give our children roots and wings.

SashaSashays Wed 20-Mar-13 12:52:31

Has she never been to a sleepover? Can't you sell it to him as a similar thing.

I think he needs to get a grip.

Pinkelephanty Wed 20-Mar-13 12:52:45

YANBU. She is not a baby. 9 is quite old enough to go on a school trip and she will be fine. I dont know how to deal with your stubbon dh on the matter but you should absolutely make sure she goes. It will be a wonderful experience she remembers for ever and her dads over protectiveness would rob her of that.

PommePoire Wed 20-Mar-13 12:54:23

What is he afraid of? Maybe he has heard anecdotal stories from work colleagues, read something sensationalised in the newspaper, or remembers something negative that happened to him, or someone he knows when they were a child on a school trip?

I know you say you've suggested that he talks to the school, but I think this is the avenue you should pursue. He perhaps needs to be reassured that this isn't a case of shoving the kids in an unlicensed mini van, with no seat-belts, before driving off into the countryside with a value pack of crisps and no real plan. The teachers are in loco parentis, for goodness sake. Everything will be meticulously planned and with the students' welfare, health and safety at the forefront.

In the ten years I was teaching, I planned, organised and lead trips at home and abroad for secondary school children aged 11 to 18. During that time there was a much needed revolution in the way such trips are planned, researched, checked and assessed. Even a simple walk to the local shops to do a traffic survey involves a pre-visit 'dummy run,' then filling out detailed forms, designed to make sure the responsible adults have preempted all possible dangers. (Barring genuine, unforeseeable accidents, of course, but those are thankfully very rare.)

The likelihood is that your DDs school will have run this exact trip many times and all the staff involved know, for example, where all the fire exits are and run a fire drill with the students on arrival. Sorry to sound cynical, but we live in a culture where the risk of being sued makes most LEAs very very cautious about giving a school the go ahead to offer any trip that isn't extremely well run and rightly, safety conscious. Your DH might just need to have the level of caution and care involved in the planning and running of your DDs school's trip explained to him?

YANBU she should go!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 20-Mar-13 14:38:13

Thank you for all your replies, I'm glad you all feel the same way.

I am going to pay the deposit and try to get him to go to the school for a talk or at least to the meeting they will have nearer the time.

Our DD has never done a sleepover at a friends house because he won't let her stay away at night. She does lots of things in the day and he says if it was a day trip it would be fine it is just the overnight bit that he doesn't like. I think part of it is because he never did anything like that as a child, he wasn't born in the UK and he thinks it odd that anyone should let their child stay away overnight. He has also been talking to people at work who say they wouldn't let their children go but I have s feeling they are probably quite old and don't have young children.

I think he just has a really old fashioned view of things sometimes, even my mum and dad say she should be able to go on the trip.

PommePoire Wed 20-Mar-13 14:42:19

Good plan and good luck, Sootica, your DD will thank you!

snuffaluffagus Wed 20-Mar-13 14:48:36

We had a great year 5 trip to a PGL (activity) centre when I was at school. It was brilliant - fun, exciting, new, educational etc and we talked about it for weeks and weeks afterwards.. she WOULD be missing out so you're doing the right thing in paying the deposit and keeping the option open. Do try and talk him around!

Mumsyblouse Wed 20-Mar-13 14:51:15

Your Dh's overprotective attitude is exactly why primary schools have started trying to promote greater independence, because in two years time, your dd may be travelling several hours a day on public transport to a school or going on a school trip away- it's way too much of a shock to go from constant surveillance to independence all at once. Our school wrote a letter to all the parents saying that they were gradually working towards increasing the independence of children (subtext- because you lot are all mollycoddling them) by starting with smaller trips, such as this two day one for Year 4, building up to the week away in Yr 6.

I agree with them, I know I'm a bit over-protective myself and it's been good for both me and my daughter to get a bit stretched by her going away in Yr 4, and it was excellent preparation in things like her taking responsibility for putting her hair up herself, or finding and dressing quickly (I often find everything for her and even resort to dressing her myself if she is slow).

Put your foot down on this one by paying the deposit, but equally, your husband could attend the parents evening or see the teacher to discuss it- our trip had an open evening to discuss such issues. He may find it reassuring (or he may continue to resist in which case, this may be one where you just have to be more determined than him).

Mumsyblouse Wed 20-Mar-13 14:54:49

And, I don't know what culture he is from, you say he's not from the UK, but on most of continental Europe, they think we baby our kids terribly- children in France, Germany, Eastern Europe, Nordic countries let their children walk to school from 6/7 and go on school trips away from very young. So, it is us that is out of step.

idococktailshedoesbeer Wed 20-Mar-13 15:04:14

It would be great for her, not sure how you'll convince your DH tho. I did a week away at that age and I still remember how excited I felt and how much fun it was.

I also remember going abroad on a compulsory language trip at 16. A couple of girls who had very controlling parents and had never been allowed out went completely wild, putting themselves into very dangerous situations and doing awful things. It all ended very badly. Made me realise how important it is to give your kids freedom IYSWIM.

CocktailQueen Wed 20-Mar-13 15:06:43

Are you at my dd's school? Year 4 is going on a 2-night activity break too. She's longing to go! And she will. I think they're old enough at 9.

dixiechick1975 Wed 20-Mar-13 15:08:44

Could you arrange for someone at school to speak to him/give him all the info.

2 nights seems a good start. Does he realise that there will be more trips and for longer to come as she gets older.

DD had 1 night away age 6 with rainbows. Now will be having 2 nights age 7 with brownies and so on. The leader was saying the only girl they have had to let come home was a guide (so age 11 plus) who had never slept away from home before.

Remotecontrolduck Wed 20-Mar-13 15:20:37

YANBU, you definitely need to get it into his head now she's not a baby and needs independence. If it carries on to secondary school age she's going to have a miserable relationship with her over-protective dad.

I think you need to force this one through, reassure him she'll be fine but please send her.

Mandy2003 Wed 20-Mar-13 15:40:54

Does DH have any friends from his culture (or relatives) that are parents in the UK? Can he talk to them about school trips?

From my experience, if your daughter is not allowed to go she will be bullied dreadfully. My parents wouldn't allow me to go on school trips because I have had diabetes from the age of 3 and they thought the teachers/residential staff "wouldn't cope if I was ill" sad

monkeycrzy Wed 20-Mar-13 15:45:34

I think I would pay the deposit and broach subject later. DD (yr5) has a trip in May for 2 nights away too, but isn't going - her choice! Most of the other children cannot wait to go, so if your dd wants to go, I would try to convince DH.

hopefloats Wed 20-Mar-13 16:02:41

I was the same with DS about his residential trip at the same age. I imagined all kinds of danger they might encounter as 9 year olds. As it turned out, 18 hours after they arrived , a dozen of them went down with a stomach bug, so I had to drive the hour's trip to rescue him. I didn't imagine that hmm

VonHerrBurton Wed 20-Mar-13 16:36:17

Show him this thread.

Pozzled Wed 20-Mar-13 16:52:36

I think your DH is BU and she should be allowed to go. However, I know that I would be absolutely livid if I didn't want my DD to do something, but DH went ahead and booked it anyway. As her parent he does have the right to be involved in decisions like this.

I think you need to find a way of persuading him that it will be worse for her not to go. Talk to him about how left out she will feel, how she could face teasing, and that she needs to learn independence gradually. I would also say that he has to be specific about his concerns, so that you can draw up a list of pros and cons.

If you do decide to pay the deposit, I think you need to tell him that you're doing so.

Hulababy Wed 20-Mar-13 16:58:48

Your DH needs to think about his daughter far more and stop putting his own feelings before those of his child. Note the word CHILD and not BABY.

At DD's school there are 3 night residentials from Y3 and every single child goes. In the time DD has been at the school I have not known of any child not go, in any of the year groups either (Y3-6 all do a residential). There is also another 2 night one as well for anyone aged 8y or over.

Children benefit massively from these trips.

By not being permitted to go, your DH is going to isolate your daughter form her classmates. They will be all talking about it, being excited about it coming up and then afterwards again talking about it, a shared experience for them all.

A 9y is not a baby and should not be treated as such. He needs to put her first and let her experience this trip as she wants to, along with her friends.

Your DH risks making his daughter very unhappy with him - and I don't just mean now. This could go on for years, the resentment that is.

Hulababy Wed 20-Mar-13 17:00:11

Oh - and in Y5 DD went for 3 nights in France. Again every child went. Would never have dreamed of saying no to it. I trust her teachers to look out for her and I know the risk assessment was thorough.

Hulababy Wed 20-Mar-13 17:03:08

Just considered a compromise if he really does insist on being selfish enough to not allow her to go.

Is he prepared to driver and collect her each evening, just before the bedtime, and then drive her back every morning in time for the first activity?

At least then the poor girl won't miss out entirely ebcause of him.

mowbraygirl Wed 20-Mar-13 17:08:27

My GD2 has today gone on a 2 night residential trip with her school. She has been so looking forward to it since her sister went 3 years ago. It is only about a 40 minute trip from the school.

When GD1 went one little girl in the years father wouldn't let her go it wasn't the cost just didn't want her to be away overnight. GD had a whale of a time and felt so sorry for the little girl missing out on all the fun like the OPs husband don't think he was born in the UK.

Floggingmolly Wed 20-Mar-13 17:22:28

That would be even worse, Hulababy. The "camping out" element is all part of the experience, especially when it's your first time away from home, as it was for my dd.
Get the teacher to have a word if he won't listen to you; he'll be doing your dd a great disservice by making her miss this experience, she's no more at risk from anything untoward than the other 30 odd children going.

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 17:27:14

He is being VU. But don't do this behind his back, I think you've got to persuade him, for instance, that Beavers (age 6-8) & Brownies (age 7+) all do overnight residentials routinely, she'll be fine as long as she wants to go.

lastSplash Wed 20-Mar-13 17:29:28

Going against the flow here - he is a parent as well and it is not on to just disregard his concerns, you both need to come to a compromise. Imagine if you felt uncomfortable with your DC doing something and were concerned for their safety - how would you feel if their other parent sneakily set them up to do it against your wishes? I don't think it is that unusual to not be happy about a school residential at age 9, a bit old fashioned or coming from a different cultural perspective perhaps, but not outrageously overstepping, irrational or whatever. It would be pretty undermining to unilaterally make a decision behind his back though.

BTW - I happily let my DS go on cubs residentials at a younger age than this, so this isn't because I agree with him that she isn't old enough...

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