Can I MAKE my 14 year old dd go to summer camp if she doesn't want to?

(168 Posts)
Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 18:33:32

Here's the background.
DH is going away for seven and a half weeks in the summer holidays. shock
I work mon-fri, 5am until 12pm.
I have four children aged 8, 11, 13 and 14.

I'll need a break. So I've booked a holiday camp for the kids which looks really great. They'd all go to the same camp for one week.

The problem is that my 14 year old DD says she won't go. She's insisting. She points out, quite correctly, that I can't drag her out of the house.

She's very shy. Actually I know this would be great for her and I think it's just what she needs: A week doing kayaking, canoeing, zip wiring, crafts, archery, camping etc etc etc. It would be a great chance for her to leave the lip gloss and straighteners at home and just BE!

But she won't. And I've paid the deposit.

Having a week to myself is the only thing that's keeping me going and I won't cope without it.

What would you do?

HDEE Tue 04-Jun-13 18:38:37

I'd let her stay home. It sounds like a week of hell to me so I'd never force my child to do it either.

And of course you will cope without a week to yourself, what a daft thing to say.

usualsuspect Tue 04-Jun-13 18:39:29

I wouldn't force her to go.

I would have hated that kind of holiday at 14

Merrylegs Tue 04-Jun-13 18:40:04

Bribe her. With cash. Is what I'd do.

I made DS go on a summer camp after his GCSEs, despite the fact he absolutely didn't want to.

To his credit he gave it a go but he hated every minute of it and didn't forgive me for a very long time.

We laugh about it now though...

DeepRedBetty Tue 04-Jun-13 18:42:58

Mine would love this. BUT they are twins and would be together. Any faint chance of sending a friend of hers too? It's possible the parents of one of her school mates are desperate to offload their daughter for the same week!

DeepRedBetty Tue 04-Jun-13 18:44:45

So which of your two identical threads are you going to focus on.... grin

waikikamookau Tue 04-Jun-13 18:45:24

can't she be persuaded.
particularly as you have already paid.
can't you encourage her that she will be in charge of her siblings?

EliotNess Tue 04-Jun-13 18:46:02

its a funny old age isnt it? I dont think many 14 yos I know would like to do it. Maybe take a mate?

alarkaspree Tue 04-Jun-13 18:46:16

Do you think she will enjoy it once she gives it a go, or not? It sounds great to me but it also sounds like the kind of thing that parents think their children ought to enjoy.

Where is it? Would it be at all possible for you to say that she has to try it for 3 days and if after that she really hates it you will pick her up?

And make it clear that if she doesn't go she has to do all her own laundry, cleaning and cooking for the week.

Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 18:51:28

I had wondered about seeing if her friend would fancy going but I'm not sure they'd cough up to be honest. It's a lot of money. BTW there's only one friend she would go with.

I really do think she'd enjoy it. She loved gorge walking in Wales and really seemed to relax and shed the teenage angst. She did rock climbing, sip wiring and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now she mooches around pouting and trying different lip glosses.

HDEE it's not 'a daft thing to say' at all. I will be alone, working 5am til 12pm, then coming home to do all the laundry, cooking, parenting and trying to fit in enough sleep .... for seven and a half weeks. It's a looming nightmare but we can't afford for DH not to take the work.

mamas12 Tue 04-Jun-13 18:51:43

Lay it on the line and say you've paid the deposit so she has to go and you need the break.
Of she is adamant then
1. give her a list of chores that she will be expected to do on her week at home alone whole you're in
work
2. Go and stay with another family member

Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 18:52:24

Deepred I just noticed there are two threads. Grrr! I only pressed it once I promise. Damn computer. I'll stick to this thread.

Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 18:53:45

mamas12 she could go and stay with my mum in Dorset if it comes to it. I just wish I could persuade her because I think she'd love it.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 04-Jun-13 18:56:04

i agree with bribery, would that work?

pollycazalet Tue 04-Jun-13 18:59:22

I don't think you can force her. A week is a long time away from home and not enjoying yourself. Would it be that bad if she stayed? My 13 year old son is pretty independent and I can imagine being home alone with him would be ok as he'd be out and about a lot of the time. Do you think she craves a bit of time alone with you too? Have you any family she could go to for a couple of days? Agree that if she is at home she needs to help out, but she might really love being a flat mate with you!

Blu Tue 04-Jun-13 19:04:54

Is it the fact that she will be with all the younger ones that is partly putting her off?

I know you have paid the deposit, but I wonder if there is another camp she can transfer to that avoids losing her newly attained adult sohistication (sic) in front of her siblings?

I think if you are working all hol it will do them good to have a week off doing something different anyway, and I fully sympathise with your need to send them away!

mamas12 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:05:18

Well I think you'll have to try and talk to her 'adult to adult' so to speak and get her to think she's doing you a massive favour and she's is charge at the holiday vp and also try and think of some reward or something for after she comes back good luck hope she goes

pollycazalet Tue 04-Jun-13 19:09:15

I'm not sure how easy it is at this age to 'just be' especially if you're shy. I think it's extremely stressful for some kids to have to mix and mingle - you're permanently 'on' with a group of people you don't really know. Plus being the oldest one with three younger siblings to feel responsible for.

MortifiedAdams Tue 04-Jun-13 19:12:20

You could drag her out of the house. Tbh a 14yo is incapable of staying home alone (as in, if you went away yourself).

jessjessjess Tue 04-Jun-13 19:16:20

I went to something like this at her age. I was shy and awkward. I hated it. Absolutely hated it.

She's a teenager, can't she stay in the house alone during the day or get a job or something?

Blu Tue 04-Jun-13 19:17:59

Send her on tour with her father for the week?

Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 19:19:54

He's in Japan Blu so she'd have to go with him for the full seven and a half weeks which I'm not sure either of them would appreciate.

Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 19:20:40

Aitch I too am a fan of the bribe but she's remarkably resilient to such tactics. She reminds me more and more of Saffy in Ab Fab.

SgtTJCalhoun Tue 04-Jun-13 19:20:53

I was made to go to Guide camp at 12 and I still remember now how much I hated it. My parents came half way through for a visit but wouldn't take me home because they said I should "stick it out". I can still clearly remember how lonely and sad I was.

At 14 she surely doesn't need that much doing for her does she? You'll still get your break.

wigglybeezer Tue 04-Jun-13 19:22:43

My 14 year always says he is not going to do things, very forcibly, but if I don't engage and just carry calmly on as if he has no choice he usually surrenders at the very last minute ( he is also shy bu often enjoys things when he gets there).
Alternatively get her to do housework and Laundry as a condition of staying at home.

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