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advice please!

(17 Posts)
selina25 Tue 15-Oct-13 14:51:27

I have a very lovely shy 17 yr old son, a geeky computer whiz. We live in a very rural location and his dad works away. My son has large group of "friends" but doesn't socialize outside of college, and has struggled to manage his bus commute - couldn't find the bus station etc.
He met a girl 3 years ago on a Scout Explorer trip abroad and they have remained in online contact since. She lives in London and has invited him to visit for New Year so they can go to see a West End show, he has asked what I think? How safe is it for a naive 17 yr old to be in central London on new Years eve ? I am keen for him to be more independent but wonder if this is too much? Am happy for him to go before of after, just the New Years Eve thing is bothering me.

I don't think New Year's Eve is any more risky than any other time. It's all a huge pain in the neck - what with the traffic jams, the stupid prices and the fact that everything has to be booked in advance, but I've never considered it 'unsafe' in any way. And at least the tubes run all night so you can avoid the dreaded nightbus.

What exactly do you worry might happen to him?

Yougotbale Tue 15-Oct-13 16:59:42

He will have a great time. It's busy as fuck but that's just an annoyance. The fireworks are outstanding and plenty of pubs and bars open late to see the new year in.

The friend is a Londoner, she will know London well and be city savvy

Jan45 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:00:36

Well I would say NYE is more riskier, far more people out on the street then so more chance of trouble.

If it was me and with a son like you describe, no way would I allow him to travel and stay in London on his own, esp when he struggles to manage a bus from home to college. He sounds a bit young for 17 so take that into account and do what you feel is the safest thing Can't she stay with you instead, that way you won't worry? Imagine if they fell out, which at that age, could happen.

Jan45 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:01:05

You can't drink in a pub at 17 can you?

NeedlesCuties Tue 15-Oct-13 17:01:10

Can you explain a bit more, OP, about him "struggling to manage his bus commute"? Does he have issues with directions, finding it hard to find places etc?

I don't live in London but the past few times I have been there I've found it tough for a short while finding my bearings and knowing how to get from A to B.... But I'm a savvy 29 year old, not naive at all.

How far away from central London do you live?

I would worry if he were my son, but not sure I'm reasonable or not.

Yougotbale Tue 15-Oct-13 17:04:59

Jan45 - come on, most 17 year olds go out drinking.

But you don't need to order alcohol, just get warm and give the friend a kiss

Jan45 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:11:46

It sounds like this 17 year old is immature, much like my stepson is who doesn't go out drinking, you also will find most pubs nowadays will ask for I.D. to get through the door.

Yougotbale Tue 15-Oct-13 17:18:46

Not pubs that sell food. Some west end pubs may but not all.

Anyway, I think it would be good for him to let him go. Cut the apron strings. Over sheltering him will just bread further immaturity and may have shaped him up till now.

Jan45 Tue 15-Oct-13 17:23:41

I don't doubt that it's good to encourage independence and self sufficiency, but this feels a bit too far, a trip to London on his own with a girl he's only been speaking to online for 3 years.

It's about finding a balance where he feels he's making his own choices but the parent also feels they are doing the right thing as a parent, this feels all wrong to me, there's easier and less worrying ways to foster his independence.

Yougotbale Tue 15-Oct-13 17:26:05

I think he'll regret it if he doesn't go.

NeedlesCuties Tue 15-Oct-13 20:50:05

Could they meet up somewhere else between now and NYE? Maybe a town a middle distance between where you live and London. I think that would be a wise idea.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 15-Oct-13 23:33:27

Where will he travel to, where will he stay, does he have a mobile phone? This could be the making of him. NeedlesCutie had a good idea, let them meet up halfway next month, he can see if he copes.

PumpkinGuts Tue 15-Oct-13 23:38:26

17! He'll be an adult next year and then he will have had no rl experience before going out in to the big bad world. He'll be fine and this girl and some time away will do him good

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 16-Oct-13 11:26:36

I'm also picking up that he doesn't sound very confident for a 17yo. IME London's as safe as anywhere else but why doesn't he arrange to get the train down one weekend and meet up for lunch first... something like that... as a kind of dry run to make sure he can manage timetables and all that kind of thing? BTW... London pubs for NYE are often ticket admission only and West End shows are booked well in advance.

selina25 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:16:25

Thanks everyone -it wasn't if he goes but when. He has decided to go after New Year, and will either fly back from Dublin where his Dad is working or will get the train from here.
I am the one encouraging him to get out and be more independent, but I am also the one he calls when he has a problem, usually resolved by talking him through and offering solutions. I am not keeping him tied to my apron strings and have sent him on his own before to events at Sheffield and Birmingham.
Thanks for all the helpful comments, all much appreciated

Putitonthelist Fri 18-Oct-13 16:00:06

I agree with Needles I think a meet up somewhere else before NYE would be a good idea if that's possible?

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