15 yr old son point blank refusing to come on family holiday day before we leave

(125 Posts)
mulranno Fri 23-Aug-13 23:14:08

what do we do?....force him into the car at gun point?....he says because it is the last week of the holidays and all his mates are back from their breaks and loads of parties that he doesn't want to miss

LaundryFairy Sat 24-Aug-13 12:52:40

Someone else mentioned it already, but could he bring a friend along on your holiday?

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 12:56:14

Think I would let him stay behind, and see how he behaves and gets on.

When I was 15 the idea of refusing would be laughable.

tharsheblows Sat 24-Aug-13 13:00:31

I have a 15yo who I can imagine doing this - he's a good kid and very sociable, so I can see him wanting to go parties. My guess is that they've just planned them, so he didn't know he wanted to stay before now. Like you, I generally know the other parents and he's been completely trustworthy thus far.

Anyway, I'd let him stay (if I had someone to watch him, I mean, like you do). Sounds like if you had known earlier this wouldn't be such an issue, it's just the last minute-ness of it all. Unfortunate and yes, rude, but there you go, it happens sometimes. I'd harangue him about it, though!

JenaiMorris Sat 24-Aug-13 13:02:17

No you shouldn't, val. But I wouldn't judge someone who found themselves needing to - mine is still a little off that stage but I remember being 15 myself. I'd made myself miserable digging my heels in on an almost daily basis.

Btw what is it about OP's subsequent post that has altered some posters' view so much?

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 13:03:14

bigTillyMint - yes the parties have just been recently scheduled - informal spontaneous end of summer get togethers when everyone is back in town before school starts next week.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 13:07:44

Jenai/Valium - it shouldn't have to come to the point where physically forcing them is even any kind of option. In that case the parents real authority has been lost a long time ago. When the children are small you can physically pick them up but you are ideally meant to be combining that with teaching them the mental respect and boundaries so that as they grow the physical power you can lever over them (lifting them kicking and screaming out of the playground because they won't behave) is replaced by the mental power you can lever over them.

I can't think of great examples but.. it's like why a class of teenagers wouldn't (generally, or usually) physically attack a female teacher... they are PHYSICALLY capable of doing so but the authority, or respect,is such that a physical attack (or protest, in this case) is not even a consideration, a possibility or a threat.

lljkk Sat 24-Aug-13 13:11:22

I think I would explore all the options together, OP, and definitely he pays towards any costs you incur.
What Flow4 said is spot on.
I so feel OP's pain. Last few yrs DS always says he badly wants to go some where & then a few days before he baulks & has to be cajoled into coming along. I dread trying to book any holiday that might include him.

13yo DS is nearly 5'7", I challenge anyone to blithely make him do things. We're not talking toddlers any more.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 13:12:47

Jenai because the OP has provided some much-needed extra enlightenment in terms of where and who the DS would stay with; the nature of the "parties" and the general attitude of the DS.

That's the difference.

I still think the DS cannot and should not drop this on OP and expect it to be fine - my answer would still be the same (No) but there is a WORLD of difference between a manipulative, sophisticated 15yo who is possibly already up to dubious stuff behind his parents' backs, who is intending on either having or going to some Facebook type party, who has a bad attitude towards his parents and exhibits a general lack of respect... and the picture OP has now given us of a DS who is far less worldly than was possible to gauge from her OP.

pinkchoccy Sat 24-Aug-13 13:15:04

He has other plans. Trying to force him wont work either. You may have to lock up the house and go without him .

WafflyVersatile Sat 24-Aug-13 13:15:38

Tiny word in his defence. He probably didn't know until the last few days that everyone would be back and arranging loads of fun stuff this coming week.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 13:31:30

OP here again -- ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 12:14:22 post nails it -- my OP post late last night captures my initial anger and my post today at 11.59 is my sensible head -- please judge me on the latter...

MariaLuna Sat 24-Aug-13 13:33:08

He probably didn't know until the last few days that everyone would be back and arranging loads of fun stuff this coming week.

I think at the age of 15 he would know that everyone would be back before school starts and would want to meet up after the holidays....

bigTillyMint Sat 24-Aug-13 13:33:12

I think I would sit down with him and have a thorough discussion about why you would like him to come, why he is being unreasonable (too last minute) and about how you want him to enjoy himself and not miss out, etc, etc and then come to a joint decision which is the best compromise.

I am guessing that next year (aged 16) he will definitely not want to go with you! At least you have a safe option for leaving him behind with familysmile

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 13:39:15

Mulranno - did you know that if you go into your settings, you can highlight the OP's posts in one colour and your own in another? It's FAB. (Of course, yours will be the same thing in this thread - and be your colour - but not on others!).

When were you meant to be leaving? I'd assumed it was this morning.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 13:43:31

No room for a mate sadly - car full of the rest of his younger brothers and sisters...

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 13:45:33

Had planned to leave today or tomorrow

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 13:47:23

Chip that sounds good - where are settings?

exoticfruits Sat 24-Aug-13 14:04:49

Since your sister has offered to stay I would go for that option, but say that he was very lucky at such short notice-in future he needs to bring it up early or you really can't accommodate it or change arrangement to suit.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 24-Aug-13 14:09:36

My eldest is 18, he could be a real pita at times from the age if 14-16. He was also over 6 foot by then so no chance of physically forcing him to do anything

if he'd come to me and said he really didn't want to go id probably have left him with his nana, if he'd told me he wasn't going and point blank refused it would be a different matter, I don't care how big they are I wont be told by a 14,15 year old what he will or wont do

cory Sat 24-Aug-13 14:13:29

Me, I am quite happy to treat a 15yo as more or less an adult, somebody who gets listened to and has a say and is allowed a certain amount of freedom.

But it is a two-way thing: I would also expect them to behave like an adult, voicing any concerns at an early stage, come up with an alternative plan that works for everybody and to accept that once something is booked it is booked. Just like adults have to accept that once a decision has been made you usually have to stick with it. Do you never make a decision and then something even nicer comes up and you are already engaged elsewhere? Of course that happens to all of us, being grown-up involves accepting it and not throwing silly tantrums.

Behaving like a child and wanting to be treated like an adult is not on imho and I would certainly make that opinion known. You show me how you want me to behave and I shall do so.

Obviously, I could not force a 15yo into the car with me. But I think I would do my utmost to exert any authority I might have, and to make it clear that if he demonstrates that he can't behave like a grown-up this will have repercussions for a long, long time in terms of how I would view him.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 14:20:45

If you go to the top of the right hand side of the page into 'My Mumsnet' you will easily find them smile Let me know if you can't find them and I'll talk you through it step by step.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 24-Aug-13 14:20:52

Cory put it much better than me grin

unlucky83 Sat 24-Aug-13 14:22:52

For those saying you can make them ...and maybe a bit of a warning ...
I didn't want to go on holiday with my family when I was just turned 15...Dsis at 17 wasn't going either but parents feared a blood bath leaving us together - lead to massive arguments etc.
I ran away blush- arranged to stay in a boy's flat I hardly knew, packed a suitcase and hid it in a friends shed. The day before I went 'shopping' in the local town - they didn't suspect a thing cos I left with no case ...didn't know what was happening until they eventually found the note I'd left under my dad's pjs.
As it happened -didn't make it to the boy's flat (probably a good thing)- ended up staying with the family of a friend I hardly knew - (I still think it was odd their parent's didn't try and contact mine -I think if a 15 yo turned up at my house with a suitcase and a story about my parent's being on holiday and having no where to stay I would be a little more suspicious...)
My parent's delayed their holiday for a day or so - and were actually leaving when they saw me walking along a road (I thought they would have left so I was safe)- they did stop but left me because I'd ruined their holiday enough and I would have to go and pack etc and they knew I had somewhere safe to stay...
Did something similar when I was 18-19ish - decided to go to live in London (300 miles away but had a friend there). They had told me I couldn't go and if I did I couldn't come back. (Long story -had left -been back - thrown out -homeless and jobless so took me back etc etc etc) I left when they were out and phoned them later saying 'Guess where I am? -I've just arrived at Euston'
Hope my DCs never do to me what I did to my parents....

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 15:01:26

unlucky it all depends on the dynamics of the family.

I had friends with pushover parents who wouldn't know a cigarette if they saw one, who would think the smell of a joint was an incense stick or something, who accepted their children saying "Oh I stayed at X's house" without ever checking, that sort of thing.

In your case, what gets me is that your parents delayed their holiday for a day or so but then were actually leaving when they spotted you. To be honest I know nothing of you and your family (obviously) but deciding to still go away anyway, without them knowing you were at this friends house? without them even speaking to you? - is not quite a common or healthy relationship to have with a 15 year old daughter.

If I had done what you did at 15 - or even 17 - I would have been yelled at solid for two weeks, probably sent to my room before and after dinner etc, made to do endless chores, grounded for months etc if I had ever even dreamed of doing what you did. In other words, the consequences and fury of my parents did not bear thinking about. That's the kind of deterrent that stops kids from getting to the "you can't physically make me get in the car" stage and it is gained from YEARS worth of authority-making. It doesn't just appear that at age 15 you decide you don't dare challenge your parents like that - it is absolutely ingrained in you from years worth of trying it on (in smaller ways) and taking the punishments.

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