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To be REALLY worried about DS going abroad alone?

(16 Posts)
Lorenz Sun 03-Jul-11 15:50:14

In two weeks my 12 year old son is jetting off to Germany with 8 other pupils and two teachers from his school. When I agreed to this, I didn't realise he is the ONLY year 7 going, the rest are all 15 years old. DS's German partner is also 15.

The thing is DS is not very streetwise, has been very pampered and is not independant at all and the trip is very much geared towards teenagers who are capable of taking care of themselves. DS is very forgetful and clumbsy, I'm worried he'll forget to pack essentials when they go to a youth hostel for 2 nights, I'm worried he'll forget to apply his sunscreen/insect repellant etc etc

I also know that in the hostel, the boys (of which there are 3 including DS) have an entire floor to themselves and the other boys are both 15.

Another thing worrying me is that he has no friends amonst the English kids that are going so it really is like he's on his own across there. One of the girls tends to take him under her wing but she might not once they're across there.

I trust DS, I really do but I'm totally thinking he isn't old enough for this sad it's too late to back out. It's all paid for, DS is really excited.

But then many times I've come on here and asked for advice on DS and you'll all sided with him and told me I'm unreasonable!!! grin

AIBU to be dreading and regretting the whole thing?

FabbyChic Sun 03-Jul-11 15:53:22

Your son is excited let him go it will do him good to become independant. I always worried about my children, but if we allow them they are capable.

youmeatsix Sun 03-Jul-11 15:55:46

the teachers will make sure he is ok, and does what he i ssupposed to (sun screen etc) Germany is a wonderful friendly country, very clean, and very hospitable. The food is wonderful, and fairly cheap, but anything else is expensive

if i could offer one word of advice? if he cannot already, teach him to say, "my name is XXXXXXX, i am from england, and cannot speak any German"

we found the moment you could convey that, everyone spoke wonderful English, until then, they couldnt!!!

natural to worry, he will come back exhausted having had the time of his life! and he will always remember it

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Jul-11 15:56:19

I can understand your concern that there's a big age gap, so the 15 yr olds are almost certainly going to be drinking & probably smoking and, given half the chance, shagging grin

BUT if he's really keen to go I'd let him. He has to learn to be independent in stages, and given that there's adult supervision, he's not likely to get into too much trouble.

If he forgets to apply sunscreen and insect repellent, well, he'll get sunburn and bitten, but he'll remember next time.

HidinginaHardHat Sun 03-Jul-11 15:59:22

Why is a year 7 going on a year 10/11 trip? I'm confused! (doesn't take much!)

fluffles Sun 03-Jul-11 16:00:14

i've no idea at all how your DS ended up in a situation where he is three years below all the other kids going.. ?? probably not great organisation on the part of the school

but the teachers will be VERY aware of the age difference and i'm sure will make sure he is looked after appropriately for his age.

Lorenz Sun 03-Jul-11 16:02:42

"the 15 yr olds are almost certainly going to be drinking & probably smoking and, given half the chance, shagging "

shock hides DSs passport

I'm sure he'll be fine, I just know what he's like for not listening and then finding himself in a pickle. I know there is a shopping day planned in schaffenburg where the kids are free to go off unaccompanied by teachers - what if he gets seperated from the group or they leave him behind somewhere?? I asked him this and he said "hmm well I'd obviously call Mrs B!"

Thanks for the tip youmeatsix, I'll make sure he knows how to say that.

diddl Sun 03-Jul-11 16:04:45

I don´t get it either.

rainbowinthesky Sun 03-Jul-11 16:05:00

I would use it as a chance to start getting him to be more independent. At the age of 12 he should be able to pack his own essentials. How much independence does he get at home?

Lorenz Sun 03-Jul-11 16:05:26

The trip was actually organised ages ago and then they found that one more German lad wanted to do it but there were no more English kids that wanted to or were able to. DS got wind of it and begged the teacher if he could go. She said if I were ok with it, he could take up the extra place - I was ok with it but didn't realise the other kids were much older than him. The way DS explained it to me I just assumed it was like any other school trip organised by year. Also at the time, DS's partner was 14. I was under the impression he'd only just turned 14 - however he was about to turn 15!

rainbowinthesky Sun 03-Jul-11 16:06:25

Ds went on a choir trip abroad when he was in y7 and was with a range of ages all the way up to 6th form. Yes, he saw them drinking alcohol etc but I never gave it a second thought.

diddl Sun 03-Jul-11 16:13:00

Will he be staying with his "German partner´s " family then-like an exchange.

What you might find is that a 15yr old German is for want of a better word a lot more tolerant of a younger boy than his British counterpart would be.

Lorenz Sun 03-Jul-11 16:23:09

the German partner has already stayed here with us and he was lovely, very mature and polite and acted like a big brother to my 10 year old! However, at the end of his stay, he went to a party and got drunk!

oohjarWhatsit Sun 03-Jul-11 16:26:39

he will be fine

he will emerge like a butterfly away from his mothers apron strings smile

HidinginaHardHat Sun 03-Jul-11 16:30:49

The drinking age in germany is 16 (or was when i went on an exchange at that age!) it's great, if you're a Year 11...grin i'm not helping am I?

Seriously though speak to the teachers and ask if they are taking into account his age at any point.

redexpat Sun 03-Jul-11 18:39:21

I am very much in favour of tough love. If he forgets to take something, he'll have to do without. However you should talk him through the basic safety stuff like not advertising valuables, keeping pockets zipped etc.

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