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...about teenage DS's day off school or is ExH?

(116 Posts)
EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 21:32:05

My DS1 is 18, a straight A sixth former (hopefully) because he is self motivated and hard working. He spends EOW Thurs after school to Sun evening with exH and his new wife with his brothers, 16 and 13 and new wife's DS, 12.

Today he missed school for the first time in years, he's hardly ever off sick and we don't do term time holidays. He arranged to go up to London with a friend to see a band. This is very new territory for him, he is pretty much a stay at home geeky lad except for Explorer Scout events and has never been to a festival etc.

He told me about this trip before Christmas, but as it was on a weekend he's at his dad's I said he'd have to discuss it with him. I reminded him this week to make sure he or his dad informed school he'd be away. Otherwise, I was quite happy for him to go. I didn't think one day was a big deal and thought the experience would be good for his social development. The friend he's going with us also very hard working and they'd organised a travelodge near the venue to stay in tonight. (Very rock and roll! grin )

I've received an email from his dad who is very unhappy that he has skipped school, and equally unhappy that I haven't informed him about it and appear to approve. Apparently DS1 only told him last week about the trip and had said he was leaving after school. ExH found out this morning it was a whole day trip and that I already knew about it.

Trouble is we parent differently. I trust my DS1 pretty much to do the right thing. He is a well behaved lad apart from normal teenage sarcasm and is after all, an adult. ExH has become a very strict parent since he left us, maybe under the influence of his new wife and her much younger DS. Until recently DS1 has a 10 o'clock bedtime at his dad's and isn't allowed to have friends back unless exH is there etc.

I first met exH when we were 18 and we both had much more freedom than DS1 does. I had a Mini age 18 and drove groups of friends all over the place. We went to the pub every Friday and Saturday evening, both lost our virginity at 17 (not to each other!) and yet we both managed to go to university in the 1980s and get good jobs. In fact, I was much more of a goody goody than exH, who used to drink to excess regularly. I think he's forgotten how old DS1 is and still sees him as the 13 yo he was when he left.

So, AIBU not to discourage DS1 to let his hair down for one day? Is exH BU to expect me to inform him of DS1's plans, when DS1 as an adult, is perfectly capable of informing him, himself? Or do we both just have to accept that we have different parenting styles and standards?

randomcatname Fri 15-Jan-16 21:34:47

It sounds like a storm in a teacup which will pass. I don't think YABU at all. I can see the dad's POV as well. But your ds is 18. That's all there is to it.

RaspberryOverload Fri 15-Jan-16 21:35:06

Your son is 18 and legally an adult.

It's not up to you to have to inform your ex about whatever your son decides to do. Your son can tell him. If he wants to.

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 21:39:17

Yes, I can see DS1 choosing not to spend EOW with his dad at this rate. He's got less than a year before university (hopefully) but DS1 doesn't want to rock the boat. I can't afford to help DS1 out financially at Uni, as my work is low paid term time only to fit around DS2 who has ASD. ExH could, if he chooses to. DS1 doesn't want to piss him off.

EvilTwins Fri 15-Jan-16 21:59:07

I teach 6th form. Kids I teach take days off to go to gigs and think it's ok. It isn't. It's irresponsible and unacceptable. If your DS was at my school, he'd be making up the time next week, after school. Yes, he is an adult, therefore he is old enough to know that gigs are for weekends.

Scholes34 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:01:55

It's not an issue at our sixth form if a student misses a day. It's an issue if they're not performing academically.

handslikecowstits Fri 15-Jan-16 22:05:20

I'd be worried that your DS thinks this kind of thing is acceptable once he's in employment. I'm with your husband. YABU.

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 22:06:20

Oh dear, EvilTwins. What if his attendance is otherwise perfect? Personally, I'd be more unhappy if he'd lied and taken a sickie.

He's predicted A*A*A, Scholes. He has always worked harder than I ever did. (And much harder than his dad did at the same age.)

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 22:07:49

Did none of you ever miss lectures at Uni? Oh, just me then. blush I've never taken a sickie from work, though.

timelytess Fri 15-Jan-16 22:09:05

Which comes first, life or work/school? I know. Do you?

Hissy Fri 15-Jan-16 22:12:00

The issue is that your ds lied to his dad.

That is something he has to square with his dad AND sort out the issue at school.

If he's big enough to bunk off, which is what he did, he's old enough to fcp the consequences.

This is not your issue.

MrsDmitriTippensKrushnic Fri 15-Jan-16 22:13:25

If he was in employment he'd be able to take a days leave...

He's doing well in school, he's an adult. It's his call to make. I have to say at that age I probably wouldn't have asked anyone, I just would have done it! I'll admit I'd probably be more iffy if my DS wanted to do this, but he's definitely not getting those predicted grades smile

Rebecca2014 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:13:55

Pssh, I don't think its a big deal but your get the school brigade on here having a go.

chantico Fri 15-Jan-16 22:14:29

If he's planning on doing something on a weekend when he is with his father, then he needs to discuss it with his father.

It doesn't sound as if you can yet trust him to do the right thing, despite what you say, as he isn't making the right arrangements with the right adults. So yes, even though he's had his 18th birthday you still need to parent him, including checking he's made all the proper arrangements. Until he really is trustworthy.

Though if he has learned the right things from this, it won't be remotely onerous for you as he'll do it better in future.

This is nothing really to do with you and XH having different styles, more that your DS is still learning.

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 22:14:44

Obviously not, timely! As a one off in 4 years and not one day sick, I'm not too fussed, but prepared that others may think IABU about that point.

Should I be informing exH about DS's plans, though, or is that DS's job?

Caboodle Fri 15-Jan-16 22:15:52

Yanbu at all. In my teacher role I would have to say he should be in college....but privately, as a parent I would think that this is part of what being young is about. His grades are exceptional...and if I taught your son I would tell him to be in class whilst thinking 'good on you for going to the gig'.grin

clam Fri 15-Jan-16 22:16:01

"Which comes first, life or work/school? I know. Do you?"

No, you don't "know." You have your own opinion on it, which others won't necessarily share.

theycallmemellojello Fri 15-Jan-16 22:17:01

Yanbu, I skipped school all the time to go to gigs and I got a double Oxbridge first. School won't like it but that's his problem not yours!

Noteventhebestdrummer Fri 15-Jan-16 22:19:00

Well we need to know what band he went to see before we can judge smile

theycallmemellojello Fri 15-Jan-16 22:19:02

I'm very against missing school at the primary and early secondary level, but once you get to sixth form,
I think it matters a lot less as success is much more about motivation and self study.

Griphook Fri 15-Jan-16 22:19:26

He's 18! He missed a day of school, if he was working he'd be able to take annual leave.
Your dh is being a massive twat and if he continues ds won't want to spend any time with him.

timelytess Fri 15-Jan-16 22:19:48

clam I know.
You have an opinion.

fastdaytears Fri 15-Jan-16 22:21:29

I'd have skipped school or uni lectures but have never done a sickie from work. Totally different.

OP knows her kid. Some kids are easy socially and need to apply themselves at school, this boy is doing brilliantly at school but not really experimenting much socially and that is important too.

Would have been better if he'd told his dad for sure but he is 18 and his dad doesn't seem to have done much to encourage an open and honest relationship. 10 pm bedtime for an 18 year old?

grin at the Travelodge!

annielouise Fri 15-Jan-16 22:21:48

I don't think you or your DS have done anything wrong. He's 18. You left it to him to sort out with his dad, quite right too. You're letting go bit by bit. I think you're right in saying his dad doesn't realise how old he is. He sounds a mature kid, on track to do well. I don't think one day is going to affect that.

EllenJanethickerknickers Fri 15-Jan-16 22:21:59

Yes, DS1 is still learning. I feel he may have thought (quite rightly as it turns out) that his dad wouldn't let him go, so lied to him. And ExH is taking out his anger with DS on me. I'm cross that DS didn't tell his dad the truth until this morning.

I don't want this to turn into a competition between exH and I, who is the 'coolest' parent etc. It's hard after an acrimonious break up to be totally neutral about the other parent, but I try my best to be.

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