AIBU or is dd? WWYD?

(33 Posts)
shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 19:40:42

Dd (16) has been with her first boyfriend since November. Both dd & b/f board at the same school (we are a military family) and so see each other every day, although they don't have any lessons together and don't live in the same house. As her parents dh and I haven't really had much to say about it other than the "its important to Be Safe" conversation that we've had with all our kids on a fairly regular basis since they hit their teens and we're quite open to discussion if they need advice or want to talk. B/f is German, joined the 6th form in sept and is only staying a year at the school a year.

Tonight dd has called me, chatted as usual and then said b/f had asked her to go stay with him in Germany either at half term or at Easter and could she go? I replied that dh and I would give it some thought but that I had to say it would be unlikely. She then snapped "so that's a no then" to which I repeated what I'd said and gave reasons that would make me uncomfortable with giving permission - she'd be in a foreign country if something happened which would mean I couldn't be there for her immediately; we've never met the boy or his parents (although ds also knows him) and he won't be at the school very long at all. She seems to think IABU and has said she's not a baby, she's not stupid and I've let her visit friends in other countries before so why not now. Apparently her friend's have been on holiday with their b/fs, stayed at their houses etc. I told her that has no bearing on my decision whatsoever and my role in life is to protect her and look out for her.

I feel I may be being slightly unreasonable as I know at her age I was staying at b/f's house BUT he was in the same city (until we went to uni) and we were together for several years.

As I've said this is dd's first boyfriend and she has always seemed to have a level head when it comes to the opposite sex. But she's made me feel awful and the phone call ended with a very frosty air on her part.

Sorry it's so long but felt I should give all the details in one go. So AIBU? And how would you have dealt with it?

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 14-Jan-13 19:43:29

Oh I usually advocate give them more freedom but I wouldn't want my dd in a different country at her boyfriends when I don't know the family.

RedHelenB Mon 14-Jan-13 19:44:05

I would say i would like his parents to phone me with the invitation & discuss things with them.

JusticeCrab Mon 14-Jan-13 19:44:18

I can see why you have a problem with it having never met the b/f, but I also see your dd's point of view. Do they have exeats? If so, is it possible to have him over to your place on an exeat first, so you can meet him? (If he's in Germany he won't have time to go home during an exeat so would be able to come to your place).

Then if it all goes well you can make arrangements for the German trip.

JusticeCrab Mon 14-Jan-13 19:44:49

RedHelen's advice is also good.

shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 19:55:20

They do have exeats JusticeCrab but we live too far away ourselves for them to come home for one (leave school Saturday afternoon and return for Sunday evening). Dh has suggested b/f come here instead but she seems less keen. I know at some point she will be in a relationship that inv

shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 19:57:39

Oops posted too soon

Relationship that involves sex but I don't want her in a foreign country feeling pressured if she doesn't want to and me being in a different country.

FelicityWasSanta Mon 14-Jan-13 20:00:03

Yanbu at all.

digerd Mon 14-Jan-13 20:00:17

I found the german men and boys very polite and responsible. But will she be staying with his parents and if so, they would expect you to contact them, being the girl's parents. To introduce yourselves and to thank them for having your daughter stay with them. They may not speak english though. Do you speak german?
I would expect the boy to expect you to want to be introduced to him. And they shake hands as a greeting, by the way. I found it rather formal at first, but grew to find it very respectful.

deleted203 Mon 14-Jan-13 20:01:12

I think that as it is a new relationship you would be perfectly justified in saying that you think it is too soon for this - but that if they are still together in the summer holidays you and DH would be much more amenable to the idea. From what you have said they started seeing each other in Nov - and it's only January. So to be going to stay in Feb half term seems a bit rushed, IMO.

tbh she's 16, you can't really stop her.......you can however say no to paying her travel costs wink

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Mon 14-Jan-13 20:09:56

She's 16, she dosen't really have to listen to you, or even ask your permission to do things.

I can't say you're BU as I don't think you are, but technically she's a adult.

shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 20:13:19

sowornout I think you've hit the nail on the head - it feels too soon. I'm worried as he's leaving at the end of this year that she'll feel even more pressured to do something she may not want to or be ready for.

Digerd I visited Germany a few times as a teenager myself and did speak some German but that was a long time ago and I have had no need for it since. Ds knows him too and has said he's "ok" lol but nothing more but hey he's a teenage boy so am guessing he doesn't really want to discuss his sister's 'love life'. grin

She will absolutely know that I would want to speak to the parents first as that has always been a condition of any sleepovers at friend's houses or indeed friends staying with us over holidays etc.

JustFabulous Mon 14-Jan-13 20:14:28

How can 16 be an adult? You can't get married without permission, vote or drink in a bar.

What I would do is say no.

FelicityWasSanta Mon 14-Jan-13 20:14:31

She's 16, she dosen't really have to listen to you, or even ask your permission to do things.

Yes she does, she is a minor, who is financially dependent on the OP.

I can't say you're BU as I don't think you are, but technically she's a adult.

Technically she is a minor.

shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 20:16:02

Yes I am aware of that, which is partly why I feel a little unreasonable but a you point out ACT she will be expecting us to pay for flights etc so that does give us a say. I'd be more inclined to say yes if they were in the same country (I think ).

floweryblue Mon 14-Jan-13 20:19:10

If the options for DD to visit boyfriend are half term and Easter, could the boyfriend visit you at half term and, if you are happy, DD could go to boyfriend at Easter?

TinyDancingHoofer Mon 14-Jan-13 20:21:53

I think YABU because you've already said yourself that the school is quite far from where you live and Germany really isn't that far. At 16 i would say she is old enough. But i would definitely want to talk to the parents and make her earn half the cost of flights to see if she is actually serious about the idea.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 14-Jan-13 20:27:32

I would compromise and say summer holidays and cross my fingers they have split up by then wink

Nanny0gg Mon 14-Jan-13 20:29:05

Can't you go for the weekend near the school and meet him that way?

Fenouille Mon 14-Jan-13 20:32:45

Just one additional point about cultural differences. Unless I am very much mistaken sex between teens is not seen in the same way as the UK. If both are under 16 then it is not illegal or treated as statutory rape as in the UK. Having lived in a house share in Germany with the 14 year old daughter of my landlady I can say she was given considerable freedom to bring her boyfriend home and have him spend the night in her room.

I personally would want to speak to the parents to find out what their expectations of their son's relationships are/have been with previous girlfriends.

I should add that I have no recent experience of teens and was brought up by strict parents in the 80s so am hopelessly out of date about current teen behaviour grin

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Mon 14-Jan-13 20:41:54

Technically she may be a minor, but she can leave home, leave school, (If she is not in the 18 leavers year group). Rent a flat, receive some benefits etc...

But as I say, I don't think your BU.

JusticeCrab Mon 14-Jan-13 20:46:07

Hmm. So exeats are a no-no. As a side note - Saturday school, co-educational boarding, lots of pupils from military families... sounds a lot like my old school, this!

floweryblue's idea is good but would need discussing with his parents first.

Whatever happens, I think the only way to be satisfied he's a good egg is to meet him in some way (perhaps get him, dd and yourselves together for a meet-the-parents meal near the school, just after everyone breaks up for half-term? Not so easy given that he'll be travelling to Germany afterwards). Until that happens then your dd can't reasonably expect you to give her the go-ahead to do this.

shhhgobacktosleep Mon 14-Jan-13 21:02:24

Oh justicecrab that's a really good idea. And I 'think' (although would need to double check) that there is a parents meeting set up at some point soon (ish) and presumably one or both of his parent's may be there but at very least we could take him out for something to eat smile will suggest that to dd.

NonnoMum Mon 14-Jan-13 21:50:52

Alternative suggestion - you saying 'not sure/don't think so' and your DD's reaction could be masking her thinking, "Phew, not allowed this time, maybe I can put this off a bit longer and besides I'm not that keen on ham and cheese for breakfast" and then see if she asks again.
Sometimes teenagers WANT people to say NO to them so they can sit in their room and listen to The Smiths and MOAN.

FelicityWasSanta Mon 14-Jan-13 22:07:00

Technically she may be a minor, but she can leave home, leave school, (If she is not in the 18 leavers year group)

At 16 she IS in the year group which is not legally able to leave school/education/work/training.

As for the rest of the 'freedoms' she's entitled to, I doubt shed trade them for the benefits of being one of the OPs children.

16 year olds cannot IMHO say 'I'm an adult I'm doing whatever I like' and then still expect to be kept at boarding school, fed, clothed and holidays paid for.

The provision for 16 year olds to live independently is only supposed to benefit children not safe in their own homes- very very few 16 year olds strike out into successful independence without a pretty harsh push.

lubeybooby Mon 14-Jan-13 22:15:33

My 16 yr old DD has been to stay with her bf 200 miles away. I spoke to his parents first and made sure it was ok and all that.

I didn't have a problem with it, this is her time now... she's very sensible and deserves some freedom.

Plus at her age I was living alone with her as a baby.

StuntGirl Mon 14-Jan-13 22:24:56

I don't think YABU in the slightest OP and you've given perfectly valid reasons.

OkayHazel Tue 15-Jan-13 00:36:06

I really don't want to antagonize OP - but you talk of 'not wanting to rush into anything'. Are you just assuming they've not had sex? At a boarding school there will plenty of opportunity.

Narked Tue 15-Jan-13 00:46:59

I was going to say exactly that ^. I'd assume they're already having sex.

sashh Tue 15-Jan-13 07:16:17

I flew to Australia at 16 to stay with people I'd never met but was related to.

Germany is what? 1 or 2 hours away? not far at all. How long would it take you to get to her at boarding school if 'something' happened?

Ask for the parents' details and talk to them, they may not have been asked.

Then make a descision.

Itsnotahoover Tue 15-Jan-13 07:25:14

At 16 she IS in the year group which is not legally able to leave school/education/work/training.

Is this definitely right? My friends daughter turned 16 last June and left school to go into a job (not an apprenticeship or anything, it was a shop job).

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Tue 15-Jan-13 07:25:33

Knowing Germany well, and knowing German parents, they may not consider it imperative to have contact with you/have met you before your dd comes to stay. German kids/teens are given considerably more independence than UK ones on the whole, and at 16 I think the parents might assume your dd being there was more or less her decision, i.e. you didn't have much input. I think they would be concerned to give her her own bedroom etc., though.
Just saying this to indicate that you might have to be proactive in speaking to the parents, but they are likely to (if they are nice people) be reasonable and listen to you. Most Germans of their generation are likely to be able to speak quite good English, so there should be no linguistic impediment to a conversation.

IIWY I would arrange a conversation (phone or skype) with the parents and then make your decision according to your feeling after that.

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