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I knew this day would come.. but is it too soon?

(79 Posts)

Namechanged for another post, but can't be arsed changing back.

I've just had a facebook conversation with DD, who's upstairs grin asking me whether she can go on a camping trip.... overnight.... in a couple of weeks with the gang of kids she knocks about with.

I am showing you the FB convo, partly because I am grin about it, and partly because I am shock about it

Her: oh yeah, sorry. right ok ive been invited to a camping trip with everyone. On the 22nd till the 23rd. And i know i asked a while ago, but you said "Ask me when your older". And i know you probably thought i never would, but sorry.

Me: Who is going? Who are you sharing a tent with? Where is it, and how are you getting there?

Her: Me, H, J, D, C, maybe C. Sharing a tent with the girls. Not decided on where it is yet. betweent wo local places. Getting dropped off or walking if its the second option

Me: Is there drink? Do any of you fancy each other? Tell me the truth.

Her: oh my god. no and no. except H and C.
and if there is drink, they havent told me and i wont be having any as i look like a fool. and it tastes rank

WWYD? She's a really sensible kid, trustworthy and I'm very proud of her. But is she too young? Is there going to be shenanigans?

She's 16 in November.

tuffinmop Thu 06-Jun-13 21:39:08

No. Too young sorry. I'd be pitching up close by.....

foolonthehill Thu 06-Jun-13 21:43:27

who are the others and what are they like.

I couldn't advise you except to say i was camping unsupervised on Queen's Guide and Duke of Ed around this age. nothing happened, I was sensible and it was fun...and we didn't even have mobiles then!

it's going to happen sometime and personally i would be glad for it to be a short local trip to start with rather then the 2 week trip to italy age 17 that my DB prsented our parents with.

what's your gut saying?

Spaghettio Thu 06-Jun-13 21:57:24

SHe sounds sensible - let her go. It's got to happen at some time. Good luck. grin

foolonthehill, my gut says to let her go. And then I think what I was up to at her age....

She doesn't smoke, she doesn't drink, she's never had a boyfriend. As far as I'm aware, she's never even been kissed. She tells me most stuff, and I know if she didn't feel comfortable with this group, she wouldn't go. She doesn't like staying away from home much.

The group that she would be going with are the group that she goes to the park after school with, into town with, etc. I've had a few of them on sleepovers, including one of the lads, and they're all nice kids.

itsn0tmeitsyou Thu 06-Jun-13 22:18:10

Like foolonthehill - I went camping on Duke of Edinburgh too at 16, though tbf they kept the boys and girls separate. At 16 or nearly 16, if there's going to be shenanigans, there's going to be shenanigans, whether she goes camping, or just out for an hour .... You find a way at that age if you're going to... I think you've just got to trust in your feeling that she's sensible enough not to, and showing her you trust her can only be good for your relationship...

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Thu 06-Jun-13 22:21:29

she's 15, let her go grin

as long as there are emergency protocols put in place - phone numbers etc then i don't see a problem. she sounds v sensible much more than i was grin

Vivacia Thu 06-Jun-13 22:23:06

I agree with itsnotmeitsyou. Talk to her about your worries and negotiate some commitments from her, such as to phone you at a certain time.

Wowserz129 Thu 06-Jun-13 22:23:14

Hell she is nearly 16. I would let her go under strict instructions.

scaevola Thu 06-Jun-13 22:26:40

No adults at all going with them?

There will be shagging.

There will be alcohol.

There will probably be other drugs too.

There will be Far More opportunity than they've had before.

Make sure she knows the recovery position, and that No Matter How Embarrassing, if someone collapses, the must ring for an ambulance.

Feelslikea1sttimer Thu 06-Jun-13 22:29:34

I had this with my 14 year old boy... I said no, but let him take 1 can of beer and said I'd pick him up at 10pm (he's normally in for 9) he huffed and puffed but realised it was a take or leave offer....

I got a phonecall at 8:25 saying they were all freezing and could all 5 of them sleep at ours... Of course I said yes and ordered them all pizzas and he's never asked since!

I'm not sure though, if he was 16 I'd maybe be inclined to say yes (and camp in next field to make sure they were safe!) :-0

scaevola - really?? I had lost my virginity by her age, but that was at my boyfriend's house. If I had gone camping with my mates, I wouldn't have had sex, no way.

She's very, very anti drugs. That's something I know she won't do. The alcohol, on the other hand... that's what makes you make stupid decisions, and that's what I'm worried about.

Cabrinha Thu 06-Jun-13 22:31:10

I was only 10 months older than her and I'd left home and rented a flat with my boyfriend.
Depends on her maturity and that of the people going with her of course - but I say yes! Let her go!

edlyu Thu 06-Jun-13 22:37:02

A friend's daughter went overnight camping to an intercity open space festival type of event with a group of friends. She was warned about every evil under the sun and dire warnings about her own conduct were heaped on her head before she went.

She ,unsurprisingly, had a whale of a time and arrived back home safe and sounds.

But shoeless.hmm

One warning that was missing was NOT to put your shoes outside the tent when you go to bed....wink

myroomisatip Thu 06-Jun-13 23:41:33

hhmmmm reminds me of a time I went camping blush I had a great time until my friend told me the following morning that everyone else could hear everything!!!!

Might be worth mentioning that sounds travels grin

AnyFucker Thu 06-Jun-13 23:42:44

she is 15 ?

fuck, no

Selba Thu 06-Jun-13 23:50:33

I camped all weekend at age 14. I'd let her

dontyouwantmebaby Fri 07-Jun-13 00:18:41

I went camping at 14 too but it wasn't just me & my mates without any adult supervision whatsoever. We still had a great time. I think its too young to let her tbh.

Love your DDs response "and if there is drink, they havent told me and i wont be having any as i look like a fool. and it tastes rank".

So there won't be any BUT if there WAS (you can bet there will) you don't need to worry because it tastes rank and anyway, no-one's mentioned there will be any.

onefewernow Fri 07-Jun-13 00:33:32

I was asked this about a festival . I said no as she was under 16 and still at school. At same age, I also refused a sleepover in a barn, a sleepover where mum wasn't present and other events.

Peer pressure is a big issue.

Finally I would say yes this year - nearly 17- but she is over that age hump and actually much smarter.

It us not a conversation to have by text.

You are her mum , not her friend.

AnyFucker Fri 07-Jun-13 06:37:01

My DD is now 17 and about a thousand times more sensible than when she was 15

15 is the age of maximum experimentation , lying and foolhardiness, IMO

OrangeLily Fri 07-Jun-13 06:58:46

At the end of the day if there's shagging or drinking she's going to do it anyway. My parents were incredibly strict and all that ended up happening was that it happened anyway. It also damaged our relationship when they found out.

englishteacher78 Fri 07-Jun-13 07:05:06

At 16 me and some mates camped at Reading festival. I'd let her.

My dd is 15 and tbh I wouldn't let her go.

Yes, I know that she doesn't need a camping trip to do xyz and she will find a place to do it.

But....overnight. No supervision. Peer pressure. Maybe other friends not so sensible. It's just too much oppourtunity in my opinion

But then, my dd just turned 15 in April. And, I suspect if given an overnight camping trip with boys, possibly alcohol, no adult close by, no one in earshot, she might do things that she wouldn't normally do.

That's just my opinion though.

exoticfruits Fri 07-Jun-13 07:15:26

In 29month's time she can go anywhere and do anything without your permission, if she can afford it, therefore it makes sense to start now in a small way. If you don't do it now then definitely this time next year- you could say 'next year instead'.

greeneyed Fri 07-Jun-13 07:17:22

A mixed group of 15 year olds going camping. There will be drinking and shenanigans that's what 15 year olds do isn't it? Doesn't mean you shouldn't let her go as they will always find opportunities for the above.

HappyAsASandboy Fri 07-Jun-13 07:17:44

I would say yes and send her off willingly. You think she is sensible and you have met and like her mates.

For what it's worth, I was going to mixed sex, minimally or non-supervised parties at 15. There wasnt much/any alcohol involved then, but by 16 there was and some people got pretty messy. Some people had sex too.

But it was brilliant fun, and we all looked out for each other. It never got so bad we needed to call for help, because we looked out for each other. When people had sex it was because they were in a relationship, were happy to do so, and were in a safe place at a mates house or camping with friends. IME there is no better place than local camping or mates houses to get all the risk taking, first-time sex, first-time drugs (if its going to happen) and drunken antics done. A teenager that had the freedom to do all those things in that safe, known environment will be far better equipped to cope with it all at university/in life, when suddenly the people are older and not so well known, the places are big cities and the houses of acquaintances.

I would let her go. I think it would be silly to start up a culture of 'doing things behind your back because you'll always say no' over a relatively harmless, controllable, local situation. She needs to know you won't always say no so that she keeps telling you where she is/what she's doing, and she needs to know that your normally say yes so that she respects your opinion when you finally say no over a 4 day festival on the other side of the country at 17.

AnyFucker Fri 07-Jun-13 07:17:46

A lot happens in a maturing teenager's brain in the space of a few months

The difference in my dd is really quite startling

AnyFucker Fri 07-Jun-13 07:21:05

Happy you had very different experiences as a teenager than I did

"look out for each other" "not much alcohol"

"had sex in a safe space when in relationships"

Bloody hell, that bears no resemblance to my teenage years at all

ChristineDaae Fri 07-Jun-13 07:22:28

She's 16 I would definitely let her go! I was going camping with a big group, boys and girls from 15. We just all had a laugh!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 07-Jun-13 07:27:53

One of friends daughters got raped on a camping trip, a man had seen them camping and waited until one of the girls went to use the loo on her own.

It's an extreme example, I'd let her go but they must stay in pairs when they go to the loo.

harryhausen Fri 07-Jun-13 07:33:16

I went camping to the beach for one night at her age. It was a mixed group but only one boy and he was gay.

We had booze (not overly so) had a great time.

My niece, now 18, told me about an innocent sleep over her and her friends had had at 16. They'd all lied and told their parents that adults would be present. They went out to bars all dolled up, got pissed. A group of older men tried to buy them drinks but my Dniece was the only one who was sensible enough to see through the situation. She single handedly got them all a taxi back to the house. She spent the whole night fending off arguements and clearing up vomit. She put two of her friends in the recovery position and stayed awake with them all night to make sure they were ok. Rang her mum at 6am to come and get her.

Put her off her friends for a few weeks and put of off booze for a while longersmile I was really proud of her actually.

I'd let her go. Trust her. Even if there is awful stuff going on (and there will be) trust that she'll do the right things. Otherwise she'll begin to lie and find other ways to be with her friends.

digerd Fri 07-Jun-13 07:33:58

I'm just a bit hmm as to why she sent you a message via FB when she was upstairs and you downstairs? Why didn't she ask you face to face?
Are you so scary/formidablegrin or does she know you can read her like book when answering your questions? hmm

exoticfruits Fri 07-Jun-13 08:53:44

She sent it via FB as she expected the answer to be 'no'.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 07-Jun-13 09:17:39

I was a Venture Scout when I was under 16. We went camping without adults a lot. We didn't do much Scouting, but nothing outrageous ever happened. We were all good kids who were just glad to have some freedom. A bit of drinking and snogging was the absolute limit of our shenanigans.

harryhausen Fri 07-Jun-13 09:25:52

Digard, my sis has 3 dd's all very great kids with a good relationship with their DM - all of them communicate often through FB (as well as face to face). Especially her 16 yr old. Their mum even FB'd one of them last week to get of FB and go to bed!grin

It's quite normal in my eyes and not a significant pointer that their relationship isn't right.

I'll come back & answer questions later after work!

The reason she messaged me from upstairs was because dsd was with us last night & she didn't want to open a can of worms with her, as she's 12 and obviously not allowed the same privileges....She was trying to be sensible smile

MadBusLady Fri 07-Jun-13 11:08:31

Hm. The problem as I see it is they really need one person, minimum, to guarantee to stay sober and be ready for any emergencies or concerns or general hysteria. Actually I think most adults would do that - at parties or well organised stags/hens I've been on there's always someone not drinking for one reason or another who can be "on watch". No-one's likely to volunteer to be that person in this case (and probably not fair to suggest it to your DD either).

ThingummyBob Fri 07-Jun-13 11:15:57

digerd dd and I often communicate via fb/text whilst in different rooms of the house. Not sure its an indicator of anything other than teenage laziness grin

OP, I'd let her go if your gut instinct is that you trust her and her friends, I would.

afrikat Fri 07-Jun-13 11:37:29

At that age I probably wouldn't have asked, I would have done it anyway... Be glad she is asking and if you think she is pretty sensible, let her go. If she comes back hungover make sure you give her lots of horrible chores to do and don't say yes again for a while!

Once I turned 16 I felt like my mum gave me way more freedom and I actually got up to a lot less dodgy stuff. It helps to be trusted

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 07-Jun-13 11:47:22

I'd let her go. You just have to trust her really. There might get up to stuff, but you know where she is and who she is with. It sounds like she's being honest with you.

I'd be most worried about fire. A lad on my son's D of E camp accidentally set fire to his over trousers and boooosh....they saw how quickly nylon catches fire. They were all fine though I'm not sure the leader believed that he had been attacked by a sheep!

I'd say that if she's not got the head to be sensible re booze, fags and sex at nearly 16, then she won't have at 18.

OrangeLily Fri 07-Jun-13 22:17:46

Me and DH also communicate by text when in the house because we are lazy and have an unusual layout in our house!

iwantanafternoonnap Fri 07-Jun-13 22:23:00

I went camping at 16 and lost my virginity when drunk.......I'd only ever kissed one boy before then!!

VitoCorleone Fri 07-Jun-13 22:25:06

Hmm i went camping at that age with friends, lots of alcohol, weed and <ahem> heavy pettting went on.

No way in hell id let my 15 year old daughter go (if i had one)

beachyhead Fri 07-Jun-13 22:33:13

I would let her go.... it will be cold and they won't take their onesies off once the night comes down...

Seriously, depends on how far away it is... I would let her know your concerns and say she can ring you at any time to collect... make sure they have phone network where they go.

chocolatespiders Fri 07-Jun-13 22:43:21

I would let me dd go who is the same age. Sensible talk before she leaves, make sure phone is charged etc and make sure a friend has your contact details should something happen to her phone.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Fri 07-Jun-13 22:47:36

I'd let her go as long as she's normally pretty sensible

There's not much they could get up to that they couldn't do anyway if they wanted to

Poppylovescheese Fri 07-Jun-13 22:51:45

I would let her go. I went away for a weekend at 15 with a mixed group and was v sensible.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 08-Jun-13 00:42:11

I'd let her but:

No one goes off alone, smartphone tracking enabled, coming back hungover=grounding.

Have a pre-trip barbie and leave a meat cleaver out. Yes, really.

PS: has she experimented with booze to the point of stupidity yet? DD got through a bottle of vodka and the resulting faceplant and hangover cured her of drinking more than a glass of wine a month.

blueemerald Sat 08-Jun-13 01:06:16

When I was 15 I went to Spain for two weeks to celebrate the end of GCSE exams (I was very young for my year, didn't turn 16 until after results day) with my boyfriend and 5 friends. Yes, we drank. Yes, my boyfriend and I had sex (and went on to be together for 8 and half wonderful years [cheesy]) but no one else did, I didn't get pregnant and no one died. We were staying in one girl's parents' villa in a teeny tiny village so it was quite safe.

What's the boy:girl ratio? If they only have two tents (boys and girls) then the likely of sex is slim...

I think the safety concerns are much more valid that any sex/drugs/rocknroll concerns.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 08-Jun-13 04:10:43

I'd let her go - it's one night, locally with friends you know and like, and you've said yourself she's sensible.

At 15 I went with a friend to a holiday camp 150 miles away for a week and we both came back in one piece, drink & drug free and still virgins grin !

janajos Sat 08-Jun-13 08:35:34

I'm watching this with interest as my teenage son (16 in September) wants to go for a week with friends in the summer. Have not yet given him my decision...

I went on a 800km bike tour/ camping with a girl friend age 16. In the days before mobiles etc. We took 10days I think, and rang home maybe twice?
We both survived, neither had sex, nobody was interested in us really. It was great fun, and improved my map reading skills no end.

Subsequently, DD2 in a few weeks is going to Reading Festival with a group of girls. She is 16.
My parents trusted me, I trust her. She has given me no reason not to.
(I am not stupid, I know they will drink, but not to the point of being incapable)

Oh, and she did DofE last year- camping out unsupervised.

exoticfruits Sun 09-Jun-13 07:43:35

The Venture Scouts send then off camping, leaders contactable but not a physical presence, DS went to Dartmoor at 15 had a great time with a mixed group.

Eastpoint Sun 09-Jun-13 07:57:41

I don't know where they are going but my friends' daughters came across a naked rambler - late 50s in the Surrey Hills about a month ago. There were several groups doing DofE and he popped (snork) up twice. Warn them to go to the loo in pairs even if they are going in bushes. Apparently as long as the person isn't bothering them no offence has been committed - the police were called etc.

itsn0tmeitsyou Sun 09-Jun-13 20:24:22

I was thinking about this a bit (funny what pops into your head when you're sorting the socks out) and I thought this - I was a very sensible 15/16 year old. I did want to do things with boys at 15, but I didn't want to do it with just any boy, I wanted to be in love, and did wait until I was, and I think in retrospect this is one of the few things I got dead right in my teenage years (18, in the end...). If she is that sensible, she might do a bit of snogging, but what's wrong with that at 15... I doubt she would go all the way, and the fact that you're plainly trusting her by letting her go will probably give her a much greater sense of responsibility and 'owing you' to be careful when she's there than she may have if you always forbid her doing things in case there's an element of risk.

I totally agree with you itsn0tmeitsyou Everything you said. I lost my virginity at 14, but I believed I was 'in love' and had a long term relationship - obviously he dumped me shortly after we did it, the shit hmmgrin

She is like me, in that respect.

I didn't put it about until later wink

Thanks for all the advice on this thread, I really appreciate it. I've decided to let her go, she's earned my trust up until now, and never abused it. I'll be crapping myself of course... but I think it's something she needs to be allowed to do. In fairness, she could have lied and gone without me knowing, so I'm eternally grateful that she is who she is.

itsn0tmeitsyou Mon 10-Jun-13 18:45:20

good for you. good luck and hope she appreciates it smile I'm sure she will even more in ten years....

MushroomSoup Mon 10-Jun-13 19:22:15

Aww have you told her yet? Bet she's thrilled!

garlicgrump Mon 10-Jun-13 19:29:35

You both sound lovely!

I imagine it will be angsty for you - but, really, you couldn't ask for a better 'toe in the water' than one night, near home, with friends.

Since everyone else is sharing, I did my first holidays (two) away from home at 16. I went with girl friends; we got pissed and acted stupid, but didn't shag anyone or suffer any harm. Not that shagging would be a massive problem, would it, as long as they know how to stay safe?

Anyway, your DD sounds unlikely to even get drunk. I hope she has a great time smile

ALittleStranger Mon 10-Jun-13 21:33:28

Well done for letting her go. And really, what is the worst that can happen? Am slightly jealous of everyone's else teenage parties where apparently everyone had sex and took loads of drugs, I just remember a couple of shaggers and a lot of vodka vomit. Teenagers do actually need a long leash to experiment, it's an important part of growing up.

She's over the moon grin

So I decided to punish her by having a lovely talk about sex, self respect and safety... Ooooh, she loved it grin

Wellwobbly Tue 11-Jun-13 15:53:59

Ha ha ha!

Well done, good Mum.

I earned a rebuke from my daughter: 'we aren't all sex mad like you were' ! - this after a 'things can get carried away' talk from me.

I also believe in my D and so would let her go.

AutumnMadness Tue 11-Jun-13 16:19:05

I think this depends on the character of your DD. I went camping at 16, with friends and no adult supervision (although there were plenty of older teenagers around, and some in the 20s). We went hundreds of miles away from home, wild camping, and there were no mobile phones in those days. We were fine. I never did any smoking/drinking/drugs/sex at that age in normal life and was not at all going to do it while camping. I had a great time instead.

That's the way I was with mine Wellwobbly grin

I believe I even uttered the phrase 'you can get pregnant even if they don't ejaculate, you know. That stuff is EVIL. It gets EVERYWHERE' grin

MrsHoarder Tue 11-Jun-13 20:04:35

And tell get that even if the rules are broken, if she's frightened our worried about her friends then if she rings you immediately she won't get in trouble and you'll help.

I was always told that as a teen, and its a good safety net that I was never in two minds about ringing for help.

That's a great idea MrsHoarder. I need to make that clear.

itsn0tmeitsyou Wed 12-Jun-13 19:50:57

Love the sex 'lecture' ProperStumped. I remember my Dad shockblushwine trying to do that at 16. There is nothing a girl of 16 can be told any more about sex, even if they haven't done it, did you forget that? wink

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 12-Jun-13 20:06:38

So - which weekend do we all need to be on standby for a bit of handholding??

LOL - it's actually no worse than going to a friends place for a party or a sleepover and at least it's only one night.

BUT definitely stress that no matter what she/they have done, she wont be in trouble and you will help. Tell her about the recovery position and not to light anything in the tent - a lot of people die trying to keep warm by lighting BBQ's, gas lamps etc - it's a real danger, especially with teenagers.

It'll be 21st.... I'm not entirely sure that it'll happen - those of you with teenagers will be aware that they can't organise a piss-up in a brewery between them hmm

But either way, I'm a great mum for saying yes. Yay! grin

pajamapants1 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:43:58

My parents were very strict with me growing up. To be honest it just made me speak to them less and less, by the time I was 16 I was pregnant.
My mum spent so much time checking I was safe and been well behaved that she never bothered asking me about my life/feelings and that left me feeling mixed up and alone.
What I'm trying to say is you have to trust your daughter, if your constantly trying to stop doing things (sex, drugs, drinking) she'll think what the hell she's expecting me to do it anyway.
You know your daughter, just ask her to call you at midnight so you can assess the situation.

pajamapants1 Thu 13-Jun-13 00:49:58

Oops bit late for my post! Well done on saying yes btw.

ushush Thu 13-Jun-13 00:54:51

I think you trust her, she is sensible, but of course you worry.....but let her go, please....

It will be good for her and at 15 she knows the score. My first camping weekend was when just turned 15. All great fun, nobody got pregnant!


So. She decided not to go camping this weekend, she wants to go to a house party instead....

I had said that's ok, as long as there is an adult somewhere in the vicinity. Except there isn't, as I found out this morning. I pressed her for details, and the mum's number - and she admitted that the parents are away on holiday in Thailand. Apparently the aunt is staying there while they're away, but she's going out on Sat night, and has no idea about this party.

There are about 100 people going and none of the adults know anything about it.

So I've said absolutely no way. And predictably, she hates me now sad

Parenting teenagers is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do... I feel like shit about it, although I know I'm doing the right thing, it's caused a massive rift. She's hurt, because she feels like she's being punished for telling the truth. She wishes she hadn't told me about it and lied - next time, maybe she will just lie.

Ugh. Crap.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 19:09:33

It sounds as if you are in for a rough ride! I thought camping was OK but you are sensible not to allow the house party- the poor parents!

PattyPenguin Thu 20-Jun-13 19:48:52

ProperStumped, is it worth pointing out news stories about parties like this that have got out of hand? Like one in North Wales recently

Can she be sure every one of the 100 people (and the rest) who are going to the party will behave themselves? Does she really want to be involved if the house gets trashed, or someone is attacked?

It's not easy, is it? My sympathies.


She's so naive. I'm glad she is, in a way, but she hasn't got a clue what goes on. Getting spiked is my worst fear for her. Anything could happen. That shit gets out of control, I can remember it well grin

I just feel sorry for her. She's gutted, and she's a good kid and I can't let her go. Obviously I'm not going to change my mind, and she's just going to have to suck it up - and that is craperoo at that age. At any age actually!

I know, exotic If I knew them, I would tell them. I cannot imagine coming home to something like that, I would hit the roof angry

Little shits. Teenagers though, innit. I'm just really glad it's not mine. Yet wink

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:06:25

You have to hope that they are not naive enough to put it on FB.

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