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

exexpat Fri 23-Aug-13 23:19:29

Are there any of his friends' families you know well enough (and trust) to ask if he could stay? Possibly a few days each at a couple of families?

I wouldn't be at all happy about him dictating to you, but a 15 year old who doesn't want to be there could make the whole holiday a misery for all of you (I remember my sister being like that; I think our last family holiday was when she was 15 and I was 13 - from 15 I went on holiday by myself, youth-hostelling with friends).

If you want to make a point, you could make sure your next holiday is something/somewhere he'd really like, and not book a place for him.

mulranno Fri 23-Aug-13 23:43:48

We could leave him with family and/or our friends - but I don't want to be dictated to and I don't want to impose a responsibility for picking him up getting him home in the evenings. My sister left her 15 yr old daughter with our Aunt and she respected the 8pm curfew (which she doent often do with her parents) - maybe I should trust him? Not sure if this is wher we put down a boundary and stick to it - or as in this case he shouts loud enough and gets his own way - I suppose it isa judgement call about picking battles

BeQuicksieorBeDead Fri 23-Aug-13 23:47:14

Does he appreciate how lucky he is to be offered a holiday in the first place?

Chl0e Fri 23-Aug-13 23:49:49

Can you tell him that you've told the police he's there on his own. Deter him from partying. Two weeks of loneliness will do him good.

MortifiedAdams Fri 23-Aug-13 23:51:53

I really dont know how you get to this point. I wouldnt dare have dictated to my parents at 15.

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 23-Aug-13 23:53:53

if I was your close friend I would advise you a firm flat no. He never gave you notice, you had this planned and paid for . It's utterly disrespectful and selfish behaviour. He is still a minor in the eyes of the law you are the boss .

We are in times now where kids have become the masters of their parents. it's all me me me and if I shout loud enough ill get what I want. parents waiting on kids doing as they say, expecting mummy and daddy to line their coffers. I'm not suggesting you are such a parent but its the way of the world sadly I've seen too many kids like this locally and it starts with unreasonable demands, and breaking rules and boundaries . Had he told you at the time you booked the holiday or even soon after maybe you could have done something. But now it is too late.

If they are good friends they can wait, and im sure they'll be plenty more parties he's only 15 many years of that awaits him if that rocks his boat.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Aug-13 23:58:00

It wouldn't be open for discussion the day before leaving in this house!

FixItUpChappie Sat 24-Aug-13 00:04:44

Well if it comes down to it and he wont get in the car....I'd let him stay with approved friends (because what choice will you have?) but he would be heavily sanctioned - tv cut off in the house, internet cut off, phone if applicable cut off, no allowance...whatever his hook is would be seriously pulled because it is extremely selfish behaviour as noted above.

Kendodd Sat 24-Aug-13 00:05:22

I'm guessing he knew about the holiday all along? How did he feel at the time of booking? Did he say then that he didn't want to go or has he been all for it before today? If this is a new thing and the first you've heard, tough, he's got to go. If he's been protesting all along maybe you should have been more sympathetic and made other plans for him?

BTW I'd be quite worried about all these parties he wants to go to.

poppingin1 Sat 24-Aug-13 00:10:57

What the hell???

Be the parent and tell him it is non negotiable.

I would also be worried about these parties.

Is it just me who thinks children should know by this age that they do not dictate what happens in the home? Am I too strict?

Sorry OP, I would not tolerate this.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 00:10:59

If he was asking not to come, I'd consider it depending on how important to me it was that he was there, if I thought he would actually enjoy it once there and who else could have him. If he was telling me he wasn't coming, he would be in that car. End of. I take no prisoners if you piss me off. He would be told that if he spent the holiday with a face on him, he would lose all priviledges for the foreseeable.

LadyStark Sat 24-Aug-13 00:17:05

Very important battle for you to win in my opinion. I'd probably give him two options, stay at home and he pays for his flight and accommodation costs you've effectively lost (so no allowance for months), removal of Xbox, Internet, phone etc until above money is paid off. I'd also make him stay with my most challenging/strict friend or relative.

Or he comes and enjoys himself.

Kendodd Sat 24-Aug-13 00:19:38

I'd probably give him two options, stay at home and he pays for his flight and accommodation costs you've effectively lost

Yes but what if he's been saying all along "I don't want to go, I don't want to go, I don't want to go" and nobody listened?

WeAreSeven Sat 24-Aug-13 00:20:42

I just asked ds2 for his opinion as he is nearly 15.
He was shock and said "Seriously? He can hang around all year with his friends and you only get one chance to go on holiday!"
He also says that none of his friends' parents would allow themselves to be dictated to about something like that and that they would all be told they were going and that's that.

LittleBearPad Sat 24-Aug-13 00:21:59

He can see his friends next week. I presume an airplane ticket, room etc have been booked? Then he sticks to the original plan.

PeriodMath Sat 24-Aug-13 00:23:12

Parties? At 15? I presume he's going into year 11 in September? I think you have bigger problems than holidays OP.

LadyStark Sat 24-Aug-13 00:29:53

Kendodd - he's 15 and it's a holiday, not a week in a torture chamber!

Kendodd Sat 24-Aug-13 00:32:56

I remember feeling like that at 15 though, my view counted for nothing, and it felt like a week in a torture chamber (slight exaggeration!)

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 24-Aug-13 00:34:21

Why not parties at 15 Period?confused

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 00:42:44

He did know about it all summer - and it is just today that he has said NO -- he is not asking - just demanding. His point is that he has been bored all summer missed his friends and the timing is wrong - as they are all back and have now planned lots of get togethers for the last week before school starts and he misses out as this is the one week we choose to to away.....

No extra costs involved as we drive to the same house in France every year. Not sure of the relevance of "Parties? at 15?" - 2 year olds go to parties....!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 00:53:36

Well, as I said, if he was mine he would be in that car tomorrow and would be told very clearly that if he sulked/spoilt it for everyone else then his life would not be worth living when we got home. End of. If you start letting HIM dictate what is happening now, your life will be a misery. Your roof, your rules and all that. He is still a child.

FreckledLeopard Sat 24-Aug-13 01:31:13

I did the same thing aged 16 - refused point blank to go on a schook skiing trip the week before we were due to depart. My mother was not happy.

In my defence, I was miserable as sin at school and the thought of having to toe the line and adhere to school rules and culture in the holidays was too much.

Not sure what to suggest - will your son have a rational conversation?

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 01:55:26

Hmm... it's quite simple

For lots of reasons:

If you are struggling with boundaries at 15 and give in, you will have zero chance at 16, 17 and 18.
Plus no matter where you send him (aunties or whatever) do you really think he won't be back at yours in the day/evening???? Don't you think one of these parties might actually be planned for YOUR house?!?
He is still a minor.
He is too young to be going to the kind of parties I imagine he wants to be going to.
Particularly knowing that his parents are well out of the way hmm
The reason he has sprung this on you is exactly because he is hoping you will cave in with the sprung surprise tactic.
If you want to be able to trust him it should be something that YOU (as the parent) has chosen or at least has been jointly agreed, not something that HE has selected for you to close your eyes and hope nothing goes wrong.

He needs a life lesson or two
a) You do not dictate to your parents and get away with it
b) You should be grateful for getting a holiday at all
c) You do not spring situations upon your parents and get away with it. Occasionally, a mature request, well made, with time for all parties to consider options, may be approved. This is not that mature request.
d) 15 is too young to be going to parties where the parents are not there to oversee what time and what state he arrives back in.
e) Yes - you do whatever needed to get him on the holiday including threats of grounding. It's time to step up, get tough and mean it.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 24-Aug-13 01:59:18

Id be saying tough, you don't dictate at 15 the day before your due to go away

Sunnysummer Sat 24-Aug-13 02:00:23

2 year olds have parties, but the most dangerous substance involved is usually food colouring. I'd be ok with a 15 year old going to parties, but only if he knows that he's going to have to face his parents when he gets home.

Fwiw, people saying it would never happen to my DCs/family/generation may just never have had a naturally tricky teenager - plenty of our grandparent's generation acted out, if ou read old newspaper accounts of 'apprentices drinking in the streets' and the like, and I'm one of 5, with 4 of us being boringly obedient and 1 who had a nightmare adolescence, but is now a responsible family man in a nice steady job in the suburbs wink it just took a lot of patience to get there!

Solo Sat 24-Aug-13 02:09:00

This is such an awkward age! not a child but not yet an adult. I remember it very well and now have a 15yo Ds...it's tricky, but he'd be going with me anyway!

Alonglongway Sat 24-Aug-13 02:12:46

My 15 yr old DD did a bit of this at Easter and I said she could stay behind but with the grandparents. She hated this idea and came with us and had a great time. Tough in between sort of age as others have said and I do think sometimes they push at the boundary and positively need you to push back and say no.

MariaLuna Sat 24-Aug-13 02:20:08

At that age I always suggested him to invite a friend to come along. 15 on your own on holiday with your parents can be challenging/boring etc.

As an LP I could relax while they went and did their thing, meeting up for lunch and dinner etc.

As for putting his foot down the day before, no way would I give in to that.

Monty27 Sat 24-Aug-13 02:27:17

If I had someone trustworthy who would look after him I'd leave him. He really is going to ruin your holiday. i can see the other side of the coin about him dictating to you. It's a hard one.

No help at all sorry. Just hope you have a good break, you probably need it. from ds

flow4 Sat 24-Aug-13 04:26:10

Oh what a pain mulranno!

What you do needs to be determined by how likely you are to 'win' if you push him on this. If he really pushes you to the edge and literally refuses to get in the car, you'll be in an awful situation, effectively forced to do something you don't want to do, and losing a major power battle.

IME it's always better to give control than lose it.

So, if you're confident you can still 'make' him come, then try. There are good reasons why it's not convenient, easy, maybe even possible at short notice, though it might have been with planning... And even 15yo teen logic may see this, I think. No time to sort out alternative accommodation that is going to suit his plans - he'll have to put up with whoever will agree to have him at short notice, and stick to their rules. No guarantee he'll be able to go to the parties he wants to go to, because grandma/aunt/whoever may not be able to collect and can't be expected to make special arrangements. No extra cash to leave him...

On the other hand, since I see you do have people you could leave him with, if you think it's a real possibility that he might actually refuse to get in the car, despite all these good reasons, then personally I would negotiate for him to stay, to ensure you are giving him what he wants, rather than losing control because he's taking it...

Good luck. I think you may need it!

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 07:46:19

flow I see what you mean about giving control etc... but even so, this is 15yo not a 17yo. He is still a child, a minor. It also leaves whoever he is staying with, with the responsibility over the parties, and/or risking being the "bad guy" because they can't take him/don't want to take him.

It really is possible to just say No to what is an unreasonable request and then punish any bad behaviour resulting from the No. The DS should learn that he doesn't demand and get - it is not right when toddlers do it, or children, and it shouldn't be right age 15. I honestly fear for our future generation if we are so frightened of saying No. Besides which, it's damned rude and inconsiderate to ignore the expense and effort involved with going on holiday that his mum has put in. It's really outrageous request. He will almost definitely be going back to the house in the daytime too (unless friend/family lives miles away which I bet they don't) to do ---- what???

Also it doesn't matter how much you dress it up, this was not in the OP's plan, she is reacting to the 15yo's ransom demand (let me stay at home, last minute, or I'll sulk) so she is losing control with her son if she's pressurised into letting him stay. She knows it, he knows it - the window dressing of "I'm letting you stay on my conditions" is superfluous. It is still giving control not taking control.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 07:54:06

And TBH if it's already at the stage whereby the DS would physically refuse to get in the car then that's a bigger problem than just this holiday issue. That suggests that even the verbal argument about the holiday is superflous if the OP has lost authority to the point whereby the DS can trump all discussions with physically not getting in the car anyway. Teenagers might argue and be sulky but to actually carry out a physical protest not just a mental one is dangerous territory. When people say "what do I do, drag him there" umm.. yes! If necessary. She really needs to channel a no-nonsense attitude here. And OP really should know more about these friends and these parties regardless of this holiday matter.

ENormaSnob Sat 24-Aug-13 08:00:20

He would be going on the holiday.

I wouldnt be leaving him home alone and i think its out of order expecting someone else to have him at such short notice.

My ds1 is 14 next year. He has been asked whether he wants to come on holiday next year. He is, but if he'd said no he would've been staying with his dad or my grandparents.

bigTillyMint Sat 24-Aug-13 08:13:06

Oh you poor thing - what a nightmaresad

I sometimes wonder what we would do if either of ours physically refused to leave the house - DH could pick DD up, but DS is already as big as me at 12!

Completely agree with flow, I think you would have to talk it out and come to an agreement one way or the other, but surely this should have been addressed at least a day or two ago - did he really only bring it up on the day you are leaving?
And agree with Norma, I would want their full agreement before I booked them onto the holiday, and if not, a proper plan of where they would stay.

I would not be happy leaving either of ours at home at 15. The only option would be to stay with friends/rellies (and hand the house keys in!)

Tiredemma Sat 24-Aug-13 08:16:28

I tried this once when I was 15.

I was told to get into the car of my own accord or I would be dragged into the car. Alongwith a reminder that I was still a child and had to live under the rules of my parents. It just wasn't up for negotiation.

I have a 13 year old ds who is currently trying to push boundaries with us at home. I'm not tolerating it at all. If I do what the hell will he be like at 16, 17 etc.

AmandaCooper Sat 24-Aug-13 08:19:25

Well ok I don't have teenagers but I would think you will feel the consequences if you don't manage to get him in the car. It sounds like a bit of a watershed moment in terms of jow things go forward in the future. I guess if you absolutely cannot get him in the car, cancelling the holiday and staying home to police him is another option. Maybe it would help if he thought that was your intention?

tigermoth Sat 24-Aug-13 08:19:49

Any chance of you letting him come back alone early from the holiday so he gets the last weekend with his friends? This is on condition he behaves really well on holiday while he is with you - any arguments and he stays for the whole time Effective stick and carrot?

It also gives you time to sort out who he will be staying with - ok a pain to have to do while you are on holiday but at least you are not having to do things within 24 hours notice

noblegiraffe Sat 24-Aug-13 08:33:32

I'd say if he refused to get in the car 'You're too young to be left so if you don't go, none of us can go and I promise you we will make you miserable for making us miss our holiday'. And no, we won't be ferrying you around your mates.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sat 24-Aug-13 08:37:44

Absolutely no effing chance would he be left on his own iiwm. Your house will be trashed. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have parties planned there.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 24-Aug-13 08:57:34

Id be saying the same as noble, except id also be adding that he will be staying in the house for the week so will be missing all the parties anyway.

If he'd decided he didn't want to go a couple of months ago id probably have tried to sort out him staying with a family member. At the last minute not a chance and not on his own in the house. I think if you give in now it will cause nothing but problems in the future

eddiemairswife Sat 24-Aug-13 09:03:47

Too late I suppose, but as someone suggested earlier it might have made it easier if a friend was going as well. We used to take a friend as each of our children got to that age and were too young to be left, and it always worked out really well.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 24-Aug-13 09:08:43

Sorry but he would be going if he were mine. Yes it's crap timing but life's like that sometimes. At 15 you still have to do what your told.

TSSDNCOP Sat 24-Aug-13 09:10:16

Is there any chance at all that you could take one of his friends with you?

I agree that 15 year olds can go to adult supervised parties, need increased independence and I'm all for discussion of terms.

But it's a 2 way street. Pulling this little stunt so close to departure is holding you to ransom. It's even more annoying when you think he'll probably sulk all the way there, loaf about pissing everyone off and then have the best time of all of you.

I think he's got to toe the family line this year. Start discussion now on what might be the best situation next year whilst also planning the trip of a lifetime to a place he's gagging to go

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 09:23:38

I've probably said too much on this thread already but I really am aghast at the number of posts who are entertaining this 15yo demand and looking for ways to make it better - inviting friends, letting him come home early.... why is it so difficult to just say NO? In fact I do know the answer to that - to avoid the strop. Well, that's just part of being a parent - stepping up to the plate and taking the strops on the chin. The 15yo has made an unreasonable, last minute demand and it should be met with a flat NO. Any kind of negotiation is going to weaken the OP's authority and the 15yo will be given a lesson in how easily he can manipulate his mother.

I am 100% all for teenagers being allowed some freedom and being given opportunities to be trusted, and treated like the young adult that they are becoming, as much as they are in fact still a big child - but this issue is not the one to make hasty last minute arrangements, negotiations and deals about. It is too much to ask, he's too young, with too little notice or time for discussion.

mummytime Sat 24-Aug-13 09:28:22

Our 17 year old started saying 2 days before our holiday that he didn't want to come. I just told him it was too late to object now and he was coming.

JenaiMorris Sat 24-Aug-13 09:56:04

I'm on holiday at the same house in France we go to every year (it's a family thing - we're obliged). My heart sinks every bloody year as it approaches.

Yes I know that I'm lucky to have 'free' accommodation and I love France, but it's a bit of a double edged sword. I can empathise with a 15 yo feeling less than enthusiastic tbh (albeit for different reasons perhaps).

Sorry, that's not terribly helpful is it? On the other hand I do generally perk up once I get a whiff of moules frites and eventually snap out of princess mode.

flow4 Sat 24-Aug-13 10:14:44

The thing is, Cloudkitten and others, this is precisely why parenting teens this age is such a challenge. The bottom line is that if mulranno's DS won't get in the car, mulranno can't make him. Seriously, even if it were physically possible - and many 15 yo boys are bigger than their parents, so it isn't - using physical force to get him into a car unwillingly would be totally unacceptable, and teaching dangerous lessons about getting things done using violence.

It doesn't matter how outraged a parent is, how they threaten or cajole, how wrong they think/know it is to 'give in to blackmail'... It has nothing to do with 'just saying no' or 'taking the strops on the chin'... It has nothing to do with sanctions and consistency - you can crack down hard and be absolutely firm, clear and consistent... If a teenager refuses to do something, despite all that, you can't make them.

Those people saying "He must come" or "He'd be coming if he was my son" are lucky enough not to have 15 yos who want something so much, or are wilful enough, that they are prepared to defy their parents even though they know they will be in deep trouble.

Those of us who have had teens like this know the op has to find another way. Even if she 'wins' this one, she will have to find another way pretty soon, because his DS will react like this again.

Even if/when you enforce sanctions, that still may not get them to do something they don't want to do. And some of them are prepared to put up with a lot of sanctions, to assert their autonomy!

That's why it's crucial to 'pick your battles'. You pick the ones you know you can win. You still may not be able to 'make' them do what you want - at this age they have to make themselves. If you can't offer them good enough reasons for doing something they don't want to do, then you're stuffed if your approach is just threats and sanctions, because they simply do not work.

In this particular case, the OP's best bet is to give him good reasons for wanting to make himself get into that car. No doubt she's trying that already. If she thinks there are no reasons 'good enough' for him, then she really, really is better off allowing him to stay, however reluctantly, than losing the battle and finding herself standing on the pavement some time today, choosing between driving away and leaving him when she's said he can't stay, or missing the ferry and cancelling the family holiday.

You're quite right it's outrageous, Cloud. It is. That's why some parents of teens like this get so desperate and feel so powerless and angry... But all the outrage in the world will not change the fact that, in this particular situation, the OP can't make her DS get into that car: he is only getting in if he decides he will.

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sat 24-Aug-13 10:23:14

I love the idea of saying, fine, we will all stay at home, and you are grounded for ruining our holiday with your last minute tantrum. Think he might change his tune!

assumpta Sat 24-Aug-13 10:31:10

flow I agree completely with you. I have 2 dds, one 16 and one 13 and a half. We are having MAJOR problems with dd2. She is as tall as me and very strong. She has been putting herself in VERY dangerous situations sexually, through social media, for which I need huge amounts of advice and will post for help later, but I would have been a mum that would have said "for goodness sake just tell him he is going" before I had to deal with my dd's problems. I now realise that it is not that simple.

Flow4 Perfectly put.
This reminds me a bit of the This is My Child campaign on MN.
Many people on MN with small children say they have learned not to judge a child's behaviour at face value or other parents methods based on their own children.
It's very easy to see badly behaved toddlers and be smug about your own. Teenagers are the same.
After many years of reading on here the dreadful difficulties teenagers can bring and the heroic perseverance of some of their parents I know I am very lucky with my two well behaved and compliant teens and I also know that their behaviour is not a just product of my parenting it's the way they are made.
mulranno I'd listen to Flow.

SESthebrave Sat 24-Aug-13 10:34:56

I would also go with "fine, I can't leave you on your own so we'll all stay and you're grounded."
I would have a conversation about the fact that if he'd got concerns, he should have voiced them weeks ago.

I would definitely not leave a 15yo home alone. Not even for one night.

So tough and I've still got the teenage years to deal with!

LIZS Sat 24-Aug-13 10:35:43

Agree with flow , motivation is key not argument. Maybe he gets to choose some activities or can have independent days. I'd be very wary about leaving a 15yo home to party. Presumably he agreed to come initially so should follow through the commitment. If he agrees to come another time could he bring a mate along ?

mumeeee Sat 24-Aug-13 10:39:40

You just tell him he's coming with you and it's not negotiable. He can see his mates next week.

flow4 Sat 24-Aug-13 10:40:16

The flaw in that plan, BeQuick, is that if you can't make your teen get into a car, you can't enforce grounding either.

lborolass Sat 24-Aug-13 10:46:59

Excellent post flow4.

mumeeee - exactly how do you propose someone makes a 15 year get in a car and stay in that car all the way to France (assuming they are driving)? How are they going to manage stops, ferry, just keeping him in the car safely and what do you suggest they do with him when they get there?

It's just not that easy as tell him he's going, it really isn't.

cantdoalgebra Sat 24-Aug-13 10:55:07

You are right, you cannot force him into the car, if it has got to that, and your holiday is probably ruined. However, if he is being unreasonable, so can you. Get out of car, make flask of tea/coffee/drink of choice, remove any remaining food from fridge, turn off electricity, remove and hide any equipment necessary for operation of any device necessary for connecting to the internet. (if he turns power back on). Phone bank, cancel any payments to son, hide purse, sit down, read book, drink tea/coffee/drink of choice, make vow to never, ever, ever take son on holiday again, open car door and front door and leave open, wait.....

flow4 Sat 24-Aug-13 11:02:24

Nope, sadly you can't do that either cantdo. That teaches him that unreasonable behaviour is actually OK if you're not getting your own way. You will probably then find that you come home from work one day to find yourself locked out, or your own laptop or wine or something else hidden. And he'll say to you "Well, you did it..."

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 11:04:15

Flow some excellent points there. I would say is what we all don't know here is if the horse has already bolted in terms of DS's past assertions of authority (if any), as such, if OP is looking at damage limitation, or still has power to lever damage avoidance altogether.

You have assumed it's damage limitation that is OP's option left, in which case your suggestions are great.

I have assumed there is still a horse in the stable for the door to be bolted smile in which case I wouldn't react in a damage limitation kind of manner.

However, it is extremely concerning, if the 15yo can trump everything, every discussion, everything they don't feel like doing/don't want to do with "you can't physically make me". None of us here know the OP's DS or how he is or what battles have already been fought/lost/won but if this is the first real, big challenge then the OP has a big decision to make in terms of direction of authority. Only she can know if her DS is mature enough to be trusted at 15, or if she should hold out for longer - until he's older, on a matter more sensibly raised, with time for proper negotiations and arrangements to be made.

I do understand that in some personalities it's unavoidable that this will happen - I am not smug about behaviour - I am well aware that what other children are exhibiting in bad behaviour today, mine can well be doing tomorrow. I have two sons, one compliant natured; one, umm strong willed. If I let either of them get a sense of their own power that all they have to do is (ultimately) say "you can't make me (physically) " then it's dangerous territory. It is terrible to think that the psychological relationship had been lost to such a point that there is no armoury left in words/threats/loss of priviledges/assertion of authority from the parents that will do as you are saying would be ideal, ie, them getting in the car of their own will.

cantdoalgebra Sat 24-Aug-13 11:15:04

flow you are forgetting that you are the adult. Parents teach their children to behave by showing them the consequences of actions. These consequences can be the threat of removing the toy of a small, misbehaving child, for example, and then if the behaviour continues, the toy is removed. To the child, this must seem very unreasonable - does this therefore teach them to be unreasonable back? The point is that the adult being "unreasonable" comes after the child has crossed the boundaries. The level at which you pitch it depends on how serious the situation is.

TheYoniWayIsUp Sat 24-Aug-13 11:16:02

Looking at this from the other angle... I had a similar tantrum at 15 (although not so last minute) and my mum allowed me not to go. She then didn't organise a family holiday that included me ever again. sad

I wish she'd have insisted, explained to me that I was a valuable member of the family and they'd miss me if I wasn't there. It's important to remember that reasons for non-compliance can be complicated.

OP, if I were you, I'd show my sympathy for the fact that he has to miss the parties, and perhaps offer a 'sweetner'- could you allow him to have a small party at your house in October half term? Not because you're giving in but because you understand that it's hard to be a teen, dragged in all directions.

I'd also consider allowing him to 'save face' with his mates if necessary- he may be having the piss ripped out of him because he's missing Dave's party due to his mum dragging him to a boring old Haven park! (Or whatever!) Try to include something that sounds awesome, as well as actually being fun, like a trip to a fab theme park or waterpark.

I don't usually advise bribery or giving in, btw, I'm rather strict normally, but I remember what it's like to be a teenager and it's fucking hard.

specialsubject Sat 24-Aug-13 11:20:44

this entitled child is hardly the subject of abuse, he just has to do something he doesn't really enjoy. Tough.

he goes, and he is advised that if he doesn't behave reasonably throughout then it is six months without the stuff he enjoys. He is advised that if he had said something a lot earlier, then arrangements could have been made, but whining at the last minute DOES NOT WORK.

is there a last minute PGL or similar you can book him on to? That is the only possible alternative for him. Give him that choice.

he cannot be left at home, you'll come back to a house stripped of all valuables and ankle-deep in vomit because he will get his mates round.

Chl0e Sat 24-Aug-13 11:37:42

Maybe he's insecure, and worried that he needs to nurture these friendships a bit so that when he gets to school he hasn't been sidelined over the summer. yes if they were real friends they'd wait for him blah blah blah but it can be nerve wracking as adults to face a bunch of peers.

OP, can he stay with your sister who also has a 15 year old? do they live near?

god knows how you make your kids do what they don't want to do.......

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 24-Aug-13 11:42:16

This thtead has made me feel sad for the parents of teens and teens themselves. So much judgement.[hmm

mumeeee Sat 24-Aug-13 11:54:49

I know it's not easy to get him to get in the car, I was really thinking that if the OP said it was non negotiable and refused to discuss or get into any arguments with him then perhaps he would just come. That's what would have happened with our DDs. But I can see that would be difficult if he really refused to get in the car. OP can you talk to him and explain it's a bit to late to object and also explain his mates have been on holiday as they haven't been around earlier in the holiday. If he still refuses you tell him that you are all going to stay at home but he'll have to pay for the lost holiday. Before anyone says I'm too strict. We did discuss holidays with our DDs and they did have freedom to do things on thier own they didn't always have to come with us when we were on holiday.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 11:59:54

OP here -- there is absolutely no way that there was ever an option of him being left home alone.

One option is that he stays with his grandmother (no keys or access to our house) or my sister has offered to stay at ours with her children to supervise (we live near her inlaws so this suits her well - she often stays when we are away).

And the parties - which has seemed to rattle a few - are all small private social get togethers at the homes of families we know with parents present. We live in a rural area with no evening transport - so we have evening curfews of 8pm which he respects and we arrange lift shares from parties at 11 with other parents.

To date he has always respected our boundaries - we talk openly about drink and drugs (his grandfather died an alcoholic, he saw this and we talk about possible family risks of addiction). I have not seen him drunk (but have dealt with a friend of his who was on a pick up) and we offer him a small lager at family gatherings.

He is head strong, stubborn and feisty - but we know that when we take the time to work things through he does comply eventually. I know that I can get him into the car if I NEED to - the consequences are always phone removal or escalated to phone account closure - but do I WANT to?

I am cross that he has sprung this on us at the last minute - very disappointed that he doesnt want to spend time with us (but it is to a dull place where we go all the time) - and am torn between wanting to to square up to him and frog march him to France - or find a sensible, safe solution that works for all.

He is sensible and very sociable and I really respect him for that - so this is where as I have said at the start -- should I pick my battles?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 12:14:22


If you had posted that at the beginning, your replies might have been a bit different, but it's hard when you are cross! smile

Without having been there, I really don't know.

IF he was shouting, refusing to go and generally stropping instead of asking nicely & talking to you, he would be coming. I would think it more important to remind him that I deserve respect and that acting like that is not going to get him anywhere - that HE will ONLY be listened to when he acts like an adult and not like a stropping child.

I would also tell him that you want to spend time with him, that you have been looking forward to it and that it's important to you to have a family holiday and as he is part of the family he needs to be there. Tell him that if he doesn't want to come next year you will make other arrangements for him, but that having this 'last' family holiday is very important to you and that's that.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 24-Aug-13 12:15:56

I know it's not always the case (as illustrated above) but the vast majority of the time, when kids this age are made to partake in family events, despite their huffing and puffing, they do enjoy it and they do look back in years to come and are grateful for being made to do it.

gamerchick Sat 24-Aug-13 12:22:09

Don't you have room to take a mate as a compromise?

bigTillyMint Sat 24-Aug-13 12:25:00

It doesn't sound like he is an unreasonable teen, more that the holiday sounds boring (to him) and clashes with catching up with friends. I guess these parties have only just been planned? I think I would have felt the same in his shoes. I worry that if you frogmarch him to France, he will be very miserable, grumpy, stroppy, etc, and ergo, so will you and the rest of the family.

Could he come for part of the holiday, or would it be too difficult to send him back home on his own?

If he is having a reasoned discussion with you (though why so lateangry) then I think you could come to some compromise with him about him staying at home with his grandparents/aunt.

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 12:32:28

I would need to know how your relationship is with him in general before deciding which way to play it.
And also how he behaves in general before deciding which way to play it.

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 12:33:51

oops, sorry, didnt see your latest post.
Will have a read.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 12:43:18

NOW you tell us, OP! grin

JenaiMorris Sat 24-Aug-13 12:46:54

I have an almost 13yo and cannot imagine physically being able to force him to do anything against his will if he was that determined. A 3yo, yes. But 13? Ha!

Tilly and Cl0 (and indeed flow) - good posts.

Of course he's being thoroughly unreasonable but that's part and parcel sometimes. The buggers.

valiumredhead Sat 24-Aug-13 12:49:36

You can't physically force a child that age to do something but you shouldn't need to.

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.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 15:17:37

Cloudkitten - I absolutely agree that leaving to go on holiday not knowing where your 15 year old daughter is "is not quite a common or healthy relationship" - I would also go further and say it is irresponsible and and neglectful abuse - but equally I would describe "yelling for two solid weeks" as abuse and disrespectful of another human being.

unlucky - I am so sorry to hear your story of a vulnerable you girl in flight. has the relationship with your parents been restored?

poppingin1 Sat 24-Aug-13 15:25:16

unlucky I don't think its a case of what you did to your parents but more a case of what your parents did to you.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 15:31:13

mulranno I agree - yelling for two solid weeks was disrespectful/abusive and it's not how I would or do treat my children. There is a middle ground (if only we were all given a map and compass to find it, hey?! wink) and also a lot depends on the personality of a child. In my case, my sister and I were perfectly normal, not rebels, not goody-two-shoes types, but intelligent, sensible (but normal) teenagers. I mean I didn't even get a late mark at school let alone a detention in 7 years of senior school. I was that sort of teenager! I had a natural respect for authority - some kids do. We (my sister and I) didn't actually require the heavy handed tactics that my parents (mainly my mum) sometimes employed, but she had had a different upbringing to us in a tougher area so she employed less, perhaps, subtle means of control. However. Any thought of wrong-doing was totally squashed, so perhaps it was a "just in case" philosophy of hers hmm to give her the benefit of the doubt.

However. There are definitely some kids out there who are a lot more "spirited" than I was, who would need firmer boundaries and controls set in place, and I guess what I am saying is that it's knowing your children, but if you do get to the stage that nothing you can say or do will make them get in a car (ie words alone) then that's a dangerous place for you and them to be. Once they have passed that barrier of "Mum and dad can't make me" I don't think it stops there in terms of respecting other forms of authority either.

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 15:36:21

That was a good post Cory.

I would tell him how his last minute change of mind has impacted on you. TBH I would be furious and upset.

Does he have a job? If not I would be making him get one super fast because if he wants to be treated like an adult then it is time for pocket money/lifts to end.

(I grew up in a rural area and had a job at 13 and never got a lift because my parents did not drive.)

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 15:51:47

Cloudkitten - To date he has always respected our boundaries - he is head strong, stubborn and feisty - but we know that when we take the TIME to work things through he does comply eventually. I know that I can get him into the car if I NEED to - the consequences are always phone removal or escalated to phone account closure - but do I WANT to?

He is sensible and very sociable and I really respect him for that - so this is where as I have said at the start -- should I pick my battles?

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 15:54:42

I would close the phone account. He can pay for it himself.

Octopus37 Sat 24-Aug-13 15:57:50

Not meaning to trivialise it, but you have just brought back a funny memory for me. Remember going on a short family break to Anglessey when I was 15 which I really didn't want to go on (btw knew it wasn't negotiable but sure I sulked). I remember sending a postcard to my friend with the following lyrics from Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrisey) on it
"Hide on the promenade, etch a postcard, how I dearly wish I was not here, in this coastal town that they forgot to bomb down". Song is playing on youtube as I speak.

unlucky83 Sat 24-Aug-13 16:02:07

Not saying we had a 'normal' relationship - but resolved now...
My parents knew my sister was in the house, my grandparents and uncle lived in the same village and in the note I'd said I was staying with friends and was coming back after the holiday...so they had tried to find me - but (bar getting the police involved) not really much else they could have done but deprive my brothers of their holiday...not really very fair.
I was a nightmare - had realised that if decide you are not going to do something there is little anyone can do to actually make you...and I think I was determined to see how far that could go
Shouting wouldn't have worried me/grounding I would be out the window I stopped going to school regularly - and neither they nor the school could make me go...
My mum during 'a living under this roof, our rules' type rant said something about 'eating our food' - so I started buying my own food - already had got a part-time job because they stopped giving me money.
I didn't steal/take drugs/do anything illegal or overtly dangerous so not really a police/social services issue - I think they didn't really know what to do ..except never getting to stage in the first place...easier said that done maybe...
Just hoping my DCs don't do that to me ...

KittieCat Sat 24-Aug-13 16:03:06

Fuck it, leave him and take me, promise I wknt sulk...It's you or Noah to the rescue as the rain is awful here.

Sorry to dive in unhelpfullly...

In all seriousness I'd suggest you should fight this battle but let him know that you're willing to discuss in future with a little more notice.

Tortington Sat 24-Aug-13 16:08:43

if he hasn't been shitty about it - and you have somewhere for him to stay and its not a PITA to organise - i'd leave him.

birdybear Sat 24-Aug-13 16:15:08

I don't blame him if you go to the same dull house every year. Why don't you go somewhere where there is something for him to go and make holiday mates??? And have fun!

WafflyVersatile Sat 24-Aug-13 16:21:03


I disagree. He quite possibly didn't know or didn't think about that and even if he had in theory he didn't have them dangling temptingly in front of him in a more tangible way until the last few days.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:27:34

mulranno you should pick your battles.. and still, considering all you have said (which is but a mere scratch on the surface of "how things are") and without knowing the personalities... I would still say, you need to stand firm on this one.. because it is simply not on to dump this on you at such short notice, without time for discussion, without arrangements being made, the fact that you will have to put upon family at short notice to take him, (no matter how much they love him etc they must have their own things to do), he must learn to negotiate properly and sensibly and that does not include leaving it until the last minute.

Learning to be an adult sometimes means doing things you don't want to do, not saying "I'm not doing it" and then getting the authority figures to rush around making it possible for him to not do. He will have teachers, tutors, university lecturers, friends, colleagues, managers etc all coming up in his life and he needs to know you don't get things by clicking your fingers like that.

I think the lesson you should be teaching him is that, if he has strong opinion on something, then he needs to a) anticipate b) negotiate c) compromise. For next time. This will be far more valuable to him in the long run.

As an aside, at 15 this sounds like the last family holiday you have together. What I would try to do is look at if you can make it any more fun when you get there so it's a really good one!

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 16:34:37

Octopus -- as a Morrisey fan - that has me screaming with laughter....!

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:38:35

Sorry mulranno - the first paragraph of my last post seemed to read a bit starkly, it was intentional! (just poor writing).

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:39:52

Ha,*un*intentional, not intentional! grin

Dackyduddles Sat 24-Aug-13 16:44:49

He wants to be treated like an adult but approached it as a child.

If picking your battles, yes and that's why.

JenaiMorris Sat 24-Aug-13 17:52:24

grin Another Smiths fan here (aka JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar and many moons ago, OtterInaSkoda)

bigTillyMint Sat 24-Aug-13 18:01:25

I loved The Smiths. What do sulky, weight of the world on their shoulders teens listen to these days?smile

mateysmum Sat 24-Aug-13 18:23:50

I too am the proud possessor of a 15 yr old DS who can be very stubborn and angry when confronted with something he really doesn't want to do. I always found that the worse thing is to escalate the confrontation with any "nuclear option" statements. At this age I think it's all about seeming to be treated as an "adult" or at least someone capable of making significant decisions about their life (even if they're not).
I think you should sit down and have a grown up discussion with him about why you want him to come and why the short notice is a problem. Next year he will be 16 and perhaps the carrot is that subject to certain criteria, he can start planning now for a more independent holiday then. The trick is to make him think he is making the decision to come with you. By avoiding digging you heels in before the discussion, you can always agree that he can stay with relatives in the end, provided you set the ground rules for his behaviour and perhaps assign some responsibility or tasks to him as pay back.
I don't envy you OP, it's such an awkward age.

cory Sat 24-Aug-13 19:06:08

What Cloudkitten said about him needing to learn to anticipate, negotiate and compromise.

One lever I use is parties. I have made it clear to dd that teen parties are potentially dangerous places, and therefore only suitable for mature teens with good judgment. As long as she displays maturity and judgment, I am very happy for her to attend and will try to arrange lifts etc. But children do not get to attend adult parties.

sashh Sun 25-Aug-13 09:22:52

A bit late for this but.

Let him stay but only if he has arranged his own accommodation with an adult. Not one of his friends saying 'come stay at mine' but a parent of a friend or a relative.

If he can organise that he can stay, otherwise he goes with you.

tiredaftertwo Sun 25-Aug-13 09:38:36

Seems to me that the OP's ds' situation has changed since the holiday was booked. This end of summer party thing can start suddenly - it may not even have been a possibility when the holiday was booked. So it may not be that he has changed his mind, but that the choice he is faced with is now a different one. I know as an adult you would still say tough, I'll come on holiday and miss all the parties but a 15 year old....? I am sure he does realise it is very short notice and unreasonable, but the thoguht of missing it overrides all that.

OP, I hope you had a lovely holiday, and it all worked out well. It sounds like you had a good compromise ready if needed. FWIW, my teens often seem to see a lot of their friends in the last week or two too, and we now tend to go away earlier in the summer. I think many parents of teenagers find they have to go the extra mile to incorporate their teen in family life, you can't take it for granted and you cannot force them.

Quangle Sun 25-Aug-13 10:09:40

I think the parties thing is a red herring. It's not as if he'll be missing anything significant - just a get-together from which plenty of people will be missing because they'll be on holiday with their parents...

When you are teenager you assume everyone else is totally cool and practically lives in a flat on their own. I remember being mortified at being seen in WH Smith with my mum as if my school friends actually didn't have mums grin. Actually plenty of his friends will be doing normal things like being away with parents or staying with relatives in distant towns.

Agree that his approach has not been the right one and that long term family plans trump flaky teenage plans.

exexpat Mon 26-Aug-13 20:33:51

So, what happened, OP? Did he agree to go in the end?

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