I know parenting is about letting them go when they grow up; but I'm not ready yet

(29 Posts)
KatyMac Tue 05-Nov-13 17:10:02

DD is 15 & in yr11; she intends to go to vocational school next year & move away from home.

In anticipation of this she has been studying & travelling to London one day of the weekend since Easter.....from this weekend she will be down there both days staying at a Hall of Residence

& I'm not ready yet; really I'm not

I am way too over protective & will not sleep at all that night; but I won't tell her that. I have even considered staying at a nearby hotel in case she has colly wobbles but I know that is daft

So how do I deal with it?

KatyMac Tue 05-Nov-13 20:38:47

Oh dear - I do sound pathetic

Sorry blush

flow4 Tue 05-Nov-13 20:53:17

You just have to be brave, KatyMac. smile Wave her off cheerfully, then go home and sob into your pillow and do something nice to distract yourself!

KatyMac Tue 05-Nov-13 23:23:46

I know - I just don't have to like it

Thanks for understanding

I don't think you are over protective,... just letting her commute into London is pretty amazing in my booksmile I had the horrors when my 18 yr old girls went to uni!

Flow is right,..you just have to be brave (and resist the urge to stalk!!)

runningonwillpower Wed 06-Nov-13 01:17:50

Our job as parents is to prepare them for independence.

And you are obviously doing a great job.

But it's so hard to let go. In fact, it's easier to cling on.

So you are doing great. You are doing what is right for her; letting go whilst being there for her.

And it will get easier for you. It seems like everything has changed forever. But then she comes home for a break and it's just as it always was.

Hang on in there. It's a time of adjustment for both of you. But adjust you will.

you're not overprotective at all - she's very young to be doing what she's doing. You have my email address - speak there if it helps x

survivingthechildren Wed 06-Nov-13 03:25:16

Oh KatyMac! I feel a little wobbly on your behalf. I know exactly what you mean.

But you must have done a fantastic job to have raised such a self-confident young lady. Hang in there, she'll be fine, and so will you!

KatyMac Wed 06-Nov-13 08:24:58

Thanks everyone

It just seems so big & so imminent; it's not that much different to boarding school really

But I had wobbles at Brownie camphmm

KatyMac Wed 06-Nov-13 22:58:33

I've been reminded I coped when she went to Nursery & when she started school; I coped when she went on holiday with her Nana & her first school trip. Secondary school occurred without a nervous breakdown (but it was close) as did trips to Town, then the City, then the next City & then London. & more recently summer schools & courses requiring stays with family

This is only the next step & there are so many more to come

I will cope - I always have

Palika Thu 07-Nov-13 20:07:27

KatyMac
why don't you try humour - express all your worries to her in an exaggerated funny way, making fun of yourself but also letting her know that a kernel of truth is there as well.
Maybe that is easier than trying so hard to do the 'right' thing and suppressing yourself. I could not do that....

KatyMac Thu 07-Nov-13 23:02:52

Oh I have been & she is teasing me un-mercilessly

I have set 3 rules - do you think they are reasonable?
1)When you visit other peoples rooms or they visit you, prop the door open
2)Don't go off in a car with anyone other than a member of staff
3)Don't go to a cafe or restaurant unless a member of staff goes too (as they might all go off to a pub/club leaving DD to find her own way home)

I guess over months this will ease as she makes friends but I hope they are reasonable initially

Bluebell99 Thu 07-Nov-13 23:13:01

I don't think your rules are practical really sad I think she will risk looking a loon if she insists on propping a door open. I don't think that going off in a car with a member of staff is particularly safe (just remember my pervy driving instructor when I was 17, offering to take me for practice drives when I was 17, I was so gullible sad He made me park up and then started asking me inappropriate questions, he was in his fifties!). And is she likely to go a cafe with a member of staff? wouldn't it be more likely that a group of students would go out together? When will she be 16?

KatyMac Thu 07-Nov-13 23:21:38

Well I'd imagine any member of staff with be CRB/DBS as they may have vulnerable adults staying there

She thinks she will have tea & then hide in her room; I'm fairly certain she won't

conkertheworld Fri 08-Nov-13 07:24:26

How is she generally at picking friends? Won't the other people she is with be roughly the same age?

KatyMac Fri 08-Nov-13 08:21:40

Well she is 15 & they will be 18-25

She has a firm friendship group at school but they have been around for years; she is always very popular on Summer Schools and training courses - and often she is the youngest & the 'pet'

I just worry that they will 'forget' she is so much younger; in a lot of ways I'd rather she was ignored (it's only for 1 night)

conkertheworld Fri 08-Nov-13 14:30:52

I think you have to work on her rather than the world at large. Make sure she knows what to do if something happens, who to approach, etc and discuss what she would do if the others left her behind/went to the pub etc. I'm sure they won't do that though, they will probably feel quite paternal to her as the youngest.

Maybe give her a £20 to roll up in her socks or whatever, so that whatever happens she can get a cab. Put the number of a reputable taxi firm (like Addisson Lee for example) in her phone and the number written in her pocket for good measure. Make sure she knows how to reverse charges (do they still have phone boxes?). Tell her to talk to her friends at the beginning of a hypothetical evening out and ask them directly if they're going to the pub, so she knows what to expect. I personally would also explain that if she does end up in the pub she could always order a soft drink.

KatyMac Fri 08-Nov-13 16:55:52

I think that's great advise - I'll work on bits of it

The drinking/pub isn't an issue more that it's likely to be further away & more difficult to get home from

KatyMac Fri 08-Nov-13 19:44:27

We've had a bit more of a chat & I think she understands my concerns I mean she thinks I'm mad but she understands why

herladyship Fri 08-Nov-13 19:50:09

I feel your pain.. my baby son (18 years old) is in Australia for a year!!

dd (13) has an exchange student from Prague staying here.. I'm not sure I can bear the thought of her in Prague..

both my babies out of the country?? I will be awake all night with anxiety blush

It's completely normal to feel like this I keep telling myself

Bowlersarm Fri 08-Nov-13 20:03:37

My DS aged 16 had to move away from home last year to follow his career path. To London! I honestly thought he wouldn't be able to survive it. He went out in the evening using the underground, he went late night shopping, used late buses, walked the streets. I thought he was a mugging, or worse, waiting to happen.

Not to mention emotionally. I wouldn't be there to talk to, mentor, help him with any teenage angst and problems.

But he's a sensible boy. There was really no choice, this was the career path he was following. And to a certain extent it was out of sight, out of mind for me in that I couldn't worry if he wasn't home by a certain time because I didn't know he wasn't home by that certain time.

He has grown up a lot but that isn't necessarily a bad thing as I tended to mollycoddle him, and his upbringing has been quite sheltered.

He has matured and blossomed, enjoys being at home with us because he appreciates us now he's not with us all the time, and we have a lovely genuine relationship.

I wouldn't chose to send a child to live away from home at 16, but I think they're more capable to grow from the experience than we give them credit for.

Does that sound like rambling nonsense??

KatyMac Fri 08-Nov-13 22:03:02

herladyshop "It's completely normal to feel like this" good at least I'm not alone in my panic sad

Bowlersarm "Does that sound like rambling nonsense??" possibly but it's very reassuring rambling nonsense wink

KatyMac Sat 09-Nov-13 20:37:31

I've left her in london <gulp>

PigsInParis Sat 09-Nov-13 20:42:09

Oh KatyMac you're daughter is the dancer at dance school isn't she? She has been so focused and done tremendously well to get her place - I think she will remain such at school.

However sad for you leaving her - I imagine it's hard at 18, let alone 15.

KatyMac Sat 09-Nov-13 21:46:07

Yes she does dance

& she is fine & it's only one night - but she can't sleep sad

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