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To expect DS17 to spend whole of holiday with us?

(85 Posts)
tumpymummy Wed 06-Mar-19 00:37:03

Had a may half term holiday to Spain all booked (since last Sep), fly out Fri eve, spend w/e with friends, hire car drive to different part of coast, fly home at end of week. However lovely Ryan air have changed our Fri eve flight to a Fri morning which means kids will miss last day of term now. Ds17 doesn't want to miss a day of school (hardworking year 12, expected A* at A level) so he wants to now fly out on his own on the Tues to join us at the second destination. Plus this means he can also go to a small festival at home on the weekend now. Doesn't look like this will cost any extra, but hubby and DD14 are disappointed that he wouldn't be with us for first part of holiday. I'm not sure how comfortable I am at leaving him home alone for a few days, going to a festival, then flying alone. He is a sensible kid, and has stayed home a couple of nights on his own before but this time we would be out of the country (grandparents do live only an hr away). Really torn about whether to Rebook his flights for later? Part of me realises he is growing up and wants to do his own thing, but on the other hand I really value our family holidays when we actually get to do things and spend time together. DS and DD have always got on well together so she will miss him for the time he isn't there. Would welcome others opinions pls?

CrispbuttyNo1 Wed 06-Mar-19 00:38:34

At 17 and by the sounds of it a sensible lad I would absolutely let him decide what he wants to do.

DramaAlpaca Wed 06-Mar-19 00:40:36

I'd let him. Slightly different but I allowed my DS to fly home early from a family holiday at the same age because he had something on that he was desperate to get back for. All was fine.

AornisHades Wed 06-Mar-19 00:41:01

Why not? Better to have him there for half the time fully engaged and happy than all the time resentful and miserable.

IAmNotAWitch Wed 06-Mar-19 00:41:46

I think that sounds like an excellent plan for the changed circumstances.

Why should what DH and DD want trump what DS wants if it is no extra money or effort?

HeddaGarbled Wed 06-Mar-19 00:44:04

Yes, definitely compromise time. I suspect the festival with his friends is bigger than small for him.

Lovingbenidorm Wed 06-Mar-19 00:44:14

I applaud DS for not wanting to miss a day of school.
I HATE people taking kids on holiday during term time..
At 17 he sounds able to handle it, as you say grandparents 1hr away if emergency.
I’d let him

IncrediblySadToo Wed 06-Mar-19 01:18:23

Be grateful he’s going at all. He’s 17 and it’s his half term break, DH & DD might be upset, but that’s their issue to deal with. If you insist on him doing xyz he’ll soon resent it & stop wanting to go att all..

SurgeHopper Wed 06-Mar-19 01:21:42

Sounds acceptable.

MrsTerryPratcett Wed 06-Mar-19 01:58:46

It's a good compromise.

Justagirlwholovesaboy Wed 06-Mar-19 02:03:00

He’ll be at uni soon by the sounds of his grades, he’ll then be a lot and you will worry non stop! Give him and you these few days to get used to it, if you say no it won’t be a great holiday atmosphere, if you say yes he’ll appreciate your trust and you’ll have a better time for the rest of the week

Topseyt Wed 06-Mar-19 02:12:03

Lovingbenidorm, they didn't book a term time holiday. The airline changed the flights from late evening ones which would not have impacted on school to earlier in the day ones if you read the OP.

OP, I would let him do this probably. He will soon be away at uni and you and your DDs will have to accept then that he will often be doing his own thing by then.

He is still intending to spend a fair bit of your holiday with you.

ConstanzaAndSalieri Wed 06-Mar-19 02:16:32

Given the stacks of homework he’s likely to have too it gives him some space for that. At 17 this might be your last family holiday anyway...

Lovingbenidorm Wed 06-Mar-19 02:16:54

Tops yes I did read op, and realise it wasn’t their fault.
My point was that I don’t approve of term time holidays

SugarfreeMe Wed 06-Mar-19 04:17:32

It sounds like your son is sensible & capable, if it's not going to cost you & the logistics of getting him too & from the airport aren't too bad then I'd definitely let him make his own choice.
It's a safer way of allowing him to have experience of independent travelling,
Have a wonderful holiday

Smotheroffive Wed 06-Mar-19 04:29:32

I would be anxious about an empty house, 17 y o home alone/festival, and possibility for house impromptu house party, etc.

Even sensible DC need to kick back, so make your expectations clear. Having responsiblility for keeping empty house secure etc.

I thought you were going to say he didn't want to join the holiday, but its all good, he wants to! Good for DD to have time with you both without him around too. Happy holiday smile

kateandme Wed 06-Mar-19 05:23:02

yes.but make sure he knows he can contact you for whatever reason if anything shame or guilt.
make home ground db did similar and this much wanted for festival turned out to be a drugs rave for all his mates becasu there designated camp was in the middle of the horrible part of the camps. and he got freaked out.he was scared and also suddenly felt he couldn't ge tin touch because it was something hed made such a big deal of going to.

kateandme Wed 06-Mar-19 05:24:21

also,you sound really sensible and same for your lad but....last day of term.empthy house.boys and peer careful!

Nothinglefttochoose Wed 06-Mar-19 06:04:18

Let go of the reins mum!!

Mmmmbrekkie Wed 06-Mar-19 06:06:33

I’d let him
Perfect age and opportunity to show him you trust him and respect his hard work and commitment to school

SinglePringle Wed 06-Mar-19 06:10:08

Blimey, at 17 I’d stopped going on family holidays! And I was certainly left on my own with no disasters.

Time to cut him some serious slack.

BridlingtonSand Wed 06-Mar-19 06:13:03

I’d have to leave very clear instructions for leaving the house last- curtains, stopcock, fridge etc.

DameXanaduBramble Wed 06-Mar-19 06:36:28

Yep, time to let go.

Ragwort Wed 06-Mar-19 06:45:32

Totally reasonable & commendable that he is putting his education first.

I gave up going on family holidays at 13, although I appreciate it is more of a trend these days for teenagers to go on family holidays. (Presumably because the oarents are paying grin).

BigBairyHollocks Wed 06-Mar-19 06:46:40

Yeh you should let him stay home.I dread the day my oldest does it,but they have to start things like this,grow up and move might be nice having some one on one time with your DD too.

Yogagirl123 Wed 06-Mar-19 06:57:51

I wonder how many of the mums saying let go have 17 year old DS.

I do and I would be undecided, not that I don’t trust my very sensible 17 year old son, for one thing he has never been left alone at home overnight, and the festival part would worry me too.

I am prepared to be flamed as an “over protective” mum. But I can completely understand where OP is coming from. When we go away on hols I like to know that our home is secure, all exterior doors locked, windows locked, burglar alarm on, food thrown out that will go out of date, electrical appliances turned off that don’t need to stay on, heating turned down or off, nothing dirty left in the dishwasher, etc. I think that’s a lot of responsibility to put on a 17 years old.

allthegoodusernameshavegone Wed 06-Mar-19 07:04:53

I’m surprised he wanted to go away with you at all at 17. Times have definitely changed why can’t we let our young grow up.

Redlocks28 Wed 06-Mar-19 07:07:43

I have a 17 year old and would definitely him do that.

Why should your wants trump his?

DameXanaduBramble Wed 06-Mar-19 07:14:04

I do have a son of that age and you are being a little bit over protective yogagirl not to even allow him alone overnight. What about university etc? You have to let them have responsibility some time. So what if there are dishes in the dishwasher or an out of date yogurt in the fridge, it really doesn’t matter. Let them grow up.

Ragwort Wed 06-Mar-19 07:22:18

I also have a DS of the same age & appreciate it is not an easy decision & the first time I left him home alone for the night (aged 16) I was very anxious. But he will soon be leaving home (hopefully) for uni so he has to learn to cope, to make decisions etc etc. It’s all part of growing up into an independent adult. The Festival part would worry me the most, but again, I have to let him live his own life.

Seeline Wed 06-Mar-19 07:23:37

I think it's unreasonable expecting a Y12 student to spend the whole May half term on a family holiday. My 17yo is inundated with work, and has exams very soon after the break which he needs to get decent grades in to continue with his A levels. He will need to spend most of the time revising.
I would be happy to let him fly out later, and I would be happy for him to be home alone.

Sparklesocks Wed 06-Mar-19 07:24:28

I think it’s very reasonable, I stopped going on family holidays at 17 myself so I’d enjoy the fact he’s coming at all, as he probably won’t next year!

HomeMadeMadness Wed 06-Mar-19 07:25:57

It won't be long till he's left home for good he should definitely be able to handle a few days alone. At 17 it's a good compromise he's coming on the holiday at all.

TapasForTwo Wed 06-Mar-19 07:27:13

As an aside, is it Slamdunk?

MsTSwift Wed 06-Mar-19 07:30:01

No brainer let him of course he’s 17 not 7. Most 17 year olds flatly refuse to holiday with parents at all

caughtinanet Wed 06-Mar-19 07:31:10

The concept is fine but obviously no one here knows your son so only you can decide whether it's appropriate for him.

Some 17 year olds will be fine, some won't, I don't know how some posters seem to know that your DS will be OK.

What I find a bit unusual is the comment about your DH and DD wanting him to be there at the beginning of the holiday - what is that? I wouldn't have that as a factor in the decision.

LellyMcKelly Wed 06-Mar-19 07:32:56

He’ll be living on his own in 6 months. Some kids are living alone at 16. He’s sensible. Why not ask him to invite a friend to stay for a few nights? Then he won’t be ‘alone’ alone.

Algebraicyourleg Wed 06-Mar-19 07:33:03

Just a thought that it may not just be about missing a day of school, the last day before May half term could potentially be the last day for upper sixth students. I realise that your son is only lower sixth but he may want to say goodbye to anyone he knows in upper. Potentially not and was just a thought.

Danubia Wed 06-Mar-19 07:34:48

Dd and dh’s wants don’t trump ds’s.

Why don’t you use the few days he’s not there to spend some special time with dd? Maybe go out for dinner at a posh restaurant or a shopping trip. She’s going to be spending a lot less time with your ds anyway when he’s off to uni.

Collaborate Wed 06-Mar-19 07:36:13

It won't be that long before he'd rather chop off a foot than go on holiday with you. If you force him to do something against his will that time may come sooner than you think. Let him do as he suggests and make the most of the time he's going to spend with you away.

Pinkbells Wed 06-Mar-19 07:37:40

I'd be inclined to kick up a big stink with the airline to get the tickets changed back to evening ones.

Singlenotsingle Wed 06-Mar-19 07:41:25

He's almost grown we n up. My dp was married at 17.

notacooldad Wed 06-Mar-19 07:41:43

I wouldn't have a problem with this.

oldmum22 Wed 06-Mar-19 07:44:16

I think you should let him join you on the Tuesday and go to the festival. As a back up plan , I might be inclined to speak to one of the mates Mums, to ask if your DS has a problem, they could help or maybe contact you. I totally understand about letting go of the reins but you still feel responsibility for your offspring.

Deadbudgie Wed 06-Mar-19 07:48:19

Absolutely let him. It will also do your DDgood to get used to going away without DB.

Lungelady Wed 06-Mar-19 07:50:54

Let him go!
Dd never came on holiday with us past 16.

sashh Wed 06-Mar-19 07:55:18

Put it this way, do you want a grumpy 17 year old all holiday or your usual sensible 17 year old for most of it?

He's virtually an adult, I'm sure he can get himself on a flight. If you are bothered about him being alone could a grandparents stay? That's what used to happen when I was in my teens, gran moved in for the week - but at 17 I had long stopped going on holiday with my parents.

anniehm Wed 06-Mar-19 07:57:05

Sounds fine, at 17 they will have exams in June so im surprised they want to be away at all (whilst the exams are internal now at most schools they form the basis for predicted grades for university!)

JudgeRindersMinder Wed 06-Mar-19 08:08:14

We’re leaving our almost 17 year old home alone for 4 nights for the first time too. I’ll admit my heart is in my mouth, but he sounds a lot like your ds. As others have said my concern isn’t so much him as other people knowing he’s home alone. We’re fortunate in having other very nearby, but @oldmum22’s suggestion sounds like a good idea.
I also agree with what others say about dh and other ducks wishes not trumping your ds’s wishes.
Putting your trust in him now could be the the building blocks of maintaining a really good relationship with him as he becomes more independent

JudgeRindersMinder Wed 06-Mar-19 08:08:59

Other dc’s not other ducks 😂

OrchidInTheSun Wed 06-Mar-19 08:11:24

I left home at 17 and moved to another country.

Missingstreetlife Wed 06-Mar-19 08:36:52

Have you a neighbour or friends parent who can be back up if he needs it? If not make sure grandparents are on side but not too intrusive. Don't put it on Facebook, tell him keep it to himself.

WickedGoodDoge Wed 06-Mar-19 08:44:10

My DS will be 17 in May and I would definitely let him join a family holiday late. It sounds like a good compromise.

TapasForTwo Wed 06-Mar-19 09:07:51

Not all 17 year olds are the same Orchid hmm

Some are confident and outgoing and some are riddled with anxiety, dealing with bring bullied and don't have much confidence in themselves. They aren't you.

AnnPerkins Wed 06-Mar-19 09:11:50

It's an excellent plan. By that age I was refusing to go away with my parents at all.

Parky04 Wed 06-Mar-19 09:22:04

My DS17 wouldn't come at all. He stopped comming away with us at 14. He sounds like a very mature and sensible lad. I would let him proceed as per his plan. If he was 18 you would have no say in the matter!

snoozetastic Wed 06-Mar-19 09:22:03

I'd let him come on tues but maybe you need some steps to ensure your house doesn't end up the party house! Maybe Grandparents over?

Smotheroffive Wed 06-Mar-19 09:27:17

Not all 17 yo's are the same, absolutely.

Leaving home or refusing family holidays past a certain age says more about the family holiday to me, tbh, and leaving home is not the same as being left with sole responsibility of your family's house, and all that entails,.combined with festival and catching a flight when family is abroad.

I have first and second-hand experience of things going very wrong when DPs go away for a night, or many, especially when 'usually-sensible-freddie's' friends get to hear of empty house to occupy, and drink and drugs get involved. Over-drinking incidents, alchohol poisoning, pregnancies, rapes, these things are going on all the time in schools, sixth-forms, and uni. Being at Uni doesn't mean it's all good, many don't manage well, tons get hospitalised and very ill with 'fresher's flu' first and second week in, or fritter all their money, dabble in drugs and so on.

So, all very well those saying well I did this, or I did that, and all's fine, but at 17 all individuals are so so different just in how much peer pressure they can stand up to once had a few drinks. It's got to be a measured and managed call. There are idiots out there that adults struggle to manage let alone their peers.

You read the threads on MN all the time. Teens years are not generally known as a time of good self-regulation in any form, be it mood, or drink or inhibiting. That comes with age.

blackteasplease Wed 06-Mar-19 09:29:41

Does he know how to lock up properly after him? Make sure he does know and use the few months remaining to teach him anything else needed. Then let him do it!

TapasForTwo Wed 06-Mar-19 09:52:57

Well said Smother

For the record, at 17 I was pretty independent and capable of being in charge of an empty house, but DD wasn't. I also had a sister, and my auntie lived next door. DD didn't have that safety net.

caughtinanet Wed 06-Mar-19 10:03:53

Not all 17 year olds are the same Orchid hmm

Some are confident and outgoing and some are riddled with anxiety, dealing with bring bullied and don't have much confidence in themselves. They aren't you


There's always one who reared themselves and 13 siblings from the age of 2.5 who thinks that everyone is the same. No one I know IRL thinks like this, ime most parents would give this proper consideration before deciding

waterrat Wed 06-Mar-19 10:48:33

surely at 17 he is also entitled to do something he wants to do on holiday? ie. go to a festival? I was going alone to festivals from 16 and that is very normal behaviour.

Remember he is nearly an adult - you are lucky he wants to come at all! I think it is respectful to him to let him relax in the way he chooses.

He is working hard at school - it's important for him to have a life of his own and enjoy himself with his friends. Why would he want to go and spend a weekend with loads of your friends....give the kid a break.

OrchidInTheSun Wed 06-Mar-19 11:59:04

No of course not Tapas. But how are they ever going to learn if we give them no responsibility?

How can we expect our children to be self sufficient when they're 18 when we don't even trust them to stay home alone for a weekend at 17?

OrchidInTheSun Wed 06-Mar-19 12:01:35

Also he is not riddled with self doubt. He wants to stay behind.

TapasForTwo Wed 06-Mar-19 12:10:07

It isn't about trust in my case Orchid because DD is trustworthy. It is more about her feeling isolated and lacking self confidence. We have no family within 150 miles and not anyone that DD would feel comfortable seeking help from if she needed it.

Until you have had a child who has been bullied to the point of anxiety, depression, self harm and borderline anorexia I don't think you have any right to judge.

I can't wait to be able to say to DD I'm off for a week, I'll see you when I get back. In the OP's case I would be happy to leave the DC at home for a few days.

I reiterate - not all 17 year olds are the same.

PinkHeart5914 Wed 06-Mar-19 12:14:13

His 17 a young man, not a child anymore. Yes I’d let him do what he wanted

How do you ever learn anything if even at 17 mummy controls what you can and can’t do

Alsohuman Wed 06-Mar-19 12:16:12

I left home at 17. He’ll be fine.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 06-Mar-19 12:16:43

He sounds like a son to be proud of, and I agree with the majority on here - let him stay home, and come out on the Tuesday.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Wed 06-Mar-19 12:17:54

I’d let him.

Crabbyandproudofit Wed 06-Mar-19 12:18:58

Definitely let him join the holiday later. Have lots of discussion beforehand, re being alone in the house and responsibility for securing and getting to the airport. Run through as many scenarios as you can think of for what could go wrong (friends wanting to come over, loosing his wallet and keys at the festival, transport to the airport) then trust him and yourself. You have raised him, hopefully to be sensible and capable. Having a short break from each other will help all of you get used to the idea that he will probably be leaving home to go to university (and you simply won't know what he is doing most of the time).

caughtinanet Wed 06-Mar-19 12:19:39

I left home at 17. He’ll be fine

That's totally illogical and makes no sense at all

I know this isn't the same issue but two 17 year olds were killed in stabbings at the weekend doing things that millions of other 17 year olds do day in, day out. By your logic that couldn't happen as you went to a park when you were 17 and came to no harm.

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Wed 06-Mar-19 12:24:41

I find it mindboggling that you booked a holiday when he should be using his time off during May half term revising! Surely you book the holiday for after his exams.

Dungeondragon15 Wed 06-Mar-19 12:27:55

I wouldn't be happy about DD doing this at 17, mainly because I would feel stressed about whether they will leave on time for the plane, lock up the house etc. Could he stay at your parents while you are on holiday and leave from there?

KurriKurri Wed 06-Mar-19 12:34:04

Great opportunit for him to have abit of independence and to travel on his own. Next year he might want to go travelling when he finishes school - he's in no way too young to manage this and it's good he has the confidence to think he can do it no problem.

Let him do his own thing and then join you later. And for those saying ' have you got a 17yr old boy ?' I have had one and he was often left on his own if we went on a holiday he didn't fancy much. he'd have his friends over - no problem they were all respectful when staying at our house, smoked outside, didn't get drunk etc.
At some point you have to trust your children to be able to make good decisions and cope on their own. And 17 (very enarly an adult) is as good a time as any.

SunburstsOrMarbleHalls Wed 06-Mar-19 12:46:42

He sounds like a sensible person and I would say he has presented a reasonable compromise. He gets to attend the last day of term and go to a small festival with friends and he gets to spend time with you all when he flies out to join you.

My DS was sad when his older sister stopped coming on family holidays I think it was the fact he missed her company and though he would be bored if it was just him and his parents and when they are teenagers they don't always find it as easy to make instant friends with others like when they are younger.

DS is 17 now and this May we are going on a week long cottage holiday in the UK. We have given DS the choice if he wants to come or not and he is still yet to decide.

Last August my DD22 had graduated and came home for a month before moving full time to London and DS decided to not come on a cottage holiday with us then as he wanted to spend the week with his sister. Both were given the choice to either come with us or stay home. We stocked up the fridge with some nice meals and treats for them and they had a great time together. It was great for them to spend some quality time together as siblings and it was a nice opportunity for me and DP to have a week away alone.

He has decided that he wants to come with us on a two week holiday to Turkey in summer though but we are realistic that this may be one of the final holidays he decides to join us. We have booked him a separate hotel room so he has his own space as we all felt he was too old to be sharing with us in an all inclusive family room and he grinds his teeth.

OrchidInTheSun Wed 06-Mar-19 12:50:52

With respect Tapas, we're not talking about your child. We're talking about the OP's who is perfectly happy to join his family after the weekend.

recklessgran Wed 06-Mar-19 12:51:44

Definitely let him grow up OP. You've said yourself he's a sensible 17 so for goodness sake let him do his thing! If it helps, at 17 I went on holiday to Spain with three girlfriends for a week and no "adult" in sight.

TapasForTwo Wed 06-Mar-19 12:57:42

With respect Orchid, you leaving home at 17 and moving to another country was irrelevant to the OP's question. We weren't talking about you either grin

I agreed that it would be fine for the 17 year old to join his parents later.

Smotheroffive Wed 06-Mar-19 15:13:16

@waterrat as you can read in the OP, it isn't simply a matter of.going off to a festival. Leaving an empty home, and weighing up his ability to responsibly manage his alcohol levels around peers that he can't control, and more... It's not as simple.ple as DPs being home and him heading to a.festival... which actually is a big step in itself, I've seen and heard all the car crashes that are festivals done badly, by organisers and festival goers. The hospital admissions and worse. It's not a blithely made decision as a responsible dp.

Smotheroffive Wed 06-Mar-19 15:17:00

Can PPs not see that each 17 yo is so different in terms of.maturity attitudes and behaviours.
It entirely irrelevant who went on holiday, its about the considerations, and doing it well so everyone can enjoy their activities.

OrchidInTheSun Wed 06-Mar-19 17:51:17

Good point tapas grin

LightDrizzle Wed 06-Mar-19 19:41:22

I understand your concern about the festival, but as for your disappointment that he doesn’t want to spend the whole holiday with you, I’d be very careful to keep that to yourselves and not let him see it.
I think the harder you pull, the harder they pull. It’s really frustrating to spend time with parents/ nanna/ MIL and instead of them just enjoying the time and being in the moment, there is the cloud of recent or imminent guilt tripping because you’re not there more, or on the dog's birthday or whatever.
You want him to choose to spend time you because he enjoys your company. At 17, parents take a back step to peers, but if you give them freedom and respect their increasing autonomy, they stay close.
My relationship with my adult daughter, now 27, is one of the unexpected joys of my life.

MsTSwift Wed 06-Mar-19 19:50:41

Wise words light.

ssd Wed 06-Mar-19 19:53:39

He sounds a nice sensible lad, I'd let him go

tumpymummy Wed 06-Mar-19 23:37:22

Thanks all for your replies. I have booked the later Tuesday flight for DS. Revising isn't an issue for this holiday as both kids have their exams after Easter. Lots of you have given good advice about setting boundaries, managing the festival - Thank you. Grandparents will be on hand (Just in case) No parties will be allowed. Thank you to the PP who mentioned making sure he realises he can ask for help if something goes wrong. I will also ctc one of his friends mum's to let her know the situation. Locking up the house correctly isn't a massive issue thankfully as a neighbour will need to come in and feed the cats once he has left. Of course DD14 then asked if she could go to the festival too and fly out later with him. That was a No! (Which she understood why!) Thanks all for helping me make my decision.

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