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To think that hosting a 16-year-old boy for 5 days is not burden-free?

(114 Posts)
KingofnightvisionKingofinsight Thu 20-Apr-17 00:09:31

I have 2 DCs under 7. My DH has a family of close relatives who have teenagers, and they have asked if their 16-year-old DS could stay at ours for 5 days while they go away this summer. My DH said sorry, that week doesn't work, as he will be away for two of those nights and our kids will be in camp. I have some mental and physical health issues, which these relatives are well aware of not that they would ever ask how I'm doing or anything and it's just too much for me to have a teenage boy in the house for 5 days while my DH works. The parents are pushing back, saying he has grown up a lot since we saw him 6 months ago and that he will "take care of himself."

As 16-year-olds go, this one is sweet but on the immature side. He talks constantly and needs a lot of interaction. Plus my DCs get very worked up and tend to show off and misbehave when he is here, which is not his fault but still makes my life difficult. We live hundreds of miles from the relatives so the child won't know anyone here and he has zero experience making his way around a big city alone. He is sweet but clueless, messy and forgetful. At a minimum I would need to shop and prepare meals for him, which is something I just don't do when my DH isn't here. (My kids are fussy and eat very simple/small meals.) It's not the money at all, as this is a close relative and we can afford to feed him. It's just the hassle of feeding a teenage boy and the parents trying to act like it's nothing at all to have him.

There is admittedly a massive backstory here, with this particular family dropping their pre-teen and teenage kids with us for extended periods in the past without ever really asking, and this particular child is frankly annoying, so I'm wondering if this has clouded my judgment. The parents are acting like this shouldn't be a burden at all, and almost as if we should be grateful because he will play with our kids. He does play with them but he gets them worked up and the tradeoff of having him here feels like too much. AIBU to think that hosting a 16-year-old boy for 5 days requires a fair amount of effort, especially for a household with small children?

Fishface77 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:12:40

Yanbu. It's a responsibility that you don't need. Sayno and stick to it. At least DP is on your side!

Sugarcoma Thu 20-Apr-17 00:13:09

The inappropriate expectations people have of other people on here never ceases to amaze me. YANBU - stick to your guns.

Bringmewineandcake Thu 20-Apr-17 00:13:20

Totally NBU. Keep to your and Dh's initial response of it not working for you. Don't engage or try to defend, just no that doesn't work for us.

Dilligaf81 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:13:39

If they cant be bothered to enquiry how you are knowing that you have health issues they can bugger off asking you to babysit.
Also how horrible for their son if you haven't seen him in 6 months you can't be close.
They are taking advantage of you please don't let them as you will suffer.
Keep strong.

limon Thu 20-Apr-17 00:13:39

Yanbu. How dare they push back. "No" is a complete answer.

user1492528619 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:15:31


You don't appear to have the best of relationships with them so why should you? To ask is bloody cheeky, to argue is insurmountably rude. Do not have him, if you agree this time then you will continue to be free child care.

Their son, their worries. If he's so responsible that he is pretty much self sufficient then they can leave him at home.

Girlwhowearsglasses Thu 20-Apr-17 00:19:57

Totally been there. More than once. Having to constantly small talk to a teen you don't know when you'd rather not talk cuz your at home and want to relax or micro manage them to actually usefully help by prescribing every last action to them ('please lay the table for five, please wipe the table, can you give xxx a glass of water') is absolutely exhausting. Sometimes we've been sold this as the teen 'helping' us.

We've done it and will again because we've a few teen relatives and live j a useful place. But it's not easy.

KingofnightvisionKingofinsight Thu 20-Apr-17 00:23:00

Thank you so much! Glad IANBU. DH is totally supportive but at the same time he'd be fine with just giving in, and it would make his life easier. DH does tons for me so I feel a bit guilty putting him in this position but I know (from experience) it would be a nightmare!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 20-Apr-17 00:25:31

If he can look after himself why can't he look after himself at theirs? Clearly they DO think he needs looking after, they just want you to do it.

Just say no.

BackforGood Thu 20-Apr-17 00:31:04

Well, on it's own, to the question "Is it a massive burden to host a 16 yr old boy for 5 days?" I'd have to answer 'no'.

My 16 yr olds can cook, clear up after themselves, would entertain your dc for you, and occupy themselves without bothering you the rest of the time.
However, the point is all the other things you've then said in your OP, change the situation. Even then, until you got to the 'back story' bit, I still thought you were being a bit unreasonable.
I'm just letting you know you are being a bit OTT saying it would be a real burden. You say yourself he's sweet. The extra food issue would be really easy to overcome in any number of ways.

Ultimately though, if you don't want to, then it's totally up to you to just say no. But say no because you don't want to help rather than trying to make out how difficult it would all be.

TenFeetTall Thu 20-Apr-17 00:37:36

You don't need a reason or an excuse. Sorry that doesn't work for us repeat until they aid off.

innagazing Thu 20-Apr-17 00:41:29

I agree with Backforgood!

A teenager that talks eh? even when you give them the wifi code? smile

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 20-Apr-17 00:43:40

What MrsTerryPratchett said. If he's so able to take care of himself, he can stay at home while they're away.

ChasedByBees Thu 20-Apr-17 00:44:13

YANBU. not at all.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 20-Apr-17 00:45:49

A 16 year old who cannot be left on his own at home for a week is obviously going to be a burden. If his parents think he cannot be left on his own they are being disengenuous to suggest he will just take care of himself. He may not be much of a burden, but an immature 16 year old in a big city without his parents could be a huge problem.

Regardless, you aren't obliged to accommodate them just because they say he won't be a problem, if they want babysitting they need to check with you before they set their dates, not after.

user1492232552 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:46:44

I hope you never need a favour from anyone, gee what is wrong with the world. He's family and they don't want to leave him alone for 5 days. It wouldn't kill you would it.
But if it's a no then they should respect that.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:54:53

When my boys were 16 they had plenty of friends they could stay with, even for 5 days. Quid pro quo, their friends would stay with us, too.

Stick to your guns.

Italiangreyhound Thu 20-Apr-17 01:22:58

I certainly would not leave a 16 year old alone for days!

But I recon they would have friends they could stay with.

Just say no, they know you are unwell and you have looked after their kids before.

Lochan Thu 20-Apr-17 01:28:56

user that's harsh! Did you miss the bit where the OP said she wasn't well? hmm

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Thu 20-Apr-17 01:55:08

It's only 5 days... give him a key, an oyster card and the wifi password, point him in the direction of the fridge, and leave him to it.

Sounds like his parents don't allow him much independence. Maybe this is his chance to start learning.

JustMyLuckUnfortunately Thu 20-Apr-17 02:05:29

YANBU. If he were that mature he would be trusted to stay home,

They should have thought if this when they booked to go away without him

user1andonly Thu 20-Apr-17 02:08:33


It totally depends on the teen and the situation. Some would, indeed, be no trouble.

But when my dc were little and dh away I wouldn't have wanted to be dealing with any visitor who talks constantly and needs a lot of interaction and that's without health issues of my own on top.

You have valid reasons to say no. They should have checked first before booking their holiday.

befuddledgardener Thu 20-Apr-17 03:35:03

Why do they need to leave him? Where are they going?

It's always nice to be kind but it needs to be within your capabilities.

And yes some 16 year olds would be more of a help then a hinderance. Mine eldest would cook, help with the kids, be self sufficient.

aurynne Thu 20-Apr-17 04:59:37

user1492232552: "I hope you never need a favour from anyone, gee what is wrong with the world. He's family and they don't want to leave him alone for 5 days".

In that case surely the parents can then take him with them on holiday?

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