Not allowing my 17 year old son to go to London

(336 Posts)
Toooldforschoolruns Thu 22-Jul-21 10:36:00

Me and dh are away in Scotland for a short holiday from tomorrow. My 19 yr old dd will be home with 17 yr old son and "in charge".

My problem is that ds wants to go to London with a group of his friends while we're away. We live about an hour from London on train so ordinarily if there was a problem we could be down there pretty quick. However, we'll be on west coast of Scotland, so not so convenient.

Are we being unreasonable for not letting him go? He's not happy with us "treating him like a child" but he's a young 17 and not very street smart.

Advice please 🙏

OP’s posts: |
Taliskerskye Thu 22-Jul-21 10:38:22

Personally I think you are being unreasonable
I went on holiday with friends at 17!
What does not being street smart even mean?? Do you think he’s going into a ghetto.
London is somewhere that millions of people live, not some hell hole of muggers and rapists and stabby people.

GreyhoundG1rl Thu 22-Jul-21 10:38:43

The 17 year old's living in London are still allowed out... 🤷🏻‍♀️

flowerpootle Thu 22-Jul-21 10:39:15

Honestly? I would let him go. He can take some sensible precautions like sharing locations and checking in. But he will be an adult soon and the best way to prepare is by taking manageable risks. I live in east London and mostly it is safe and full of sensible people just going about their normal lives.

Polly99 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:40:26

I'd let him go. He will be with school friends and is 17, even if immature.
Admittedly we used to live on the outskirts of London but my 15 yo goes in to meet friends who live more centrally reasonably often and gets herself home on her own.
If things go a bit wrong, the train is cancelled or a station is closed for example, that's how they learn to cope and grow up a bit.

Reallyreallyborednow Thu 22-Jul-21 10:40:29

For the day? Why on earth not?

What exactly do you think will happen that you need to be close by to rescue him?

If I were him I’d go anyway and just not tell you.

Your dd is 19 and can get there quickly in an emergency.

NursePotato Thu 22-Jul-21 10:41:24

Do you have family near by or does your eldest child drive?

I personally would allow him to go, but he needs to have find my friends on or text your throughout the day. I totally know what you mean by "not streetwise" as I grew up in a Lincolnshire village and was totally clueless on the underground the first time I did it. However I went to new York at 19 and managed okay.

I would reiterate that he can go, but he must keep communication lines open, otherwise that privilege will be not so easy to obtain next time.


PurpleFlower1983 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:41:45

I went abroad for a week with my friends at 17 and was the ‘lead traveller’ to all my 18 year old friends. Let him go!

Blossomtoes Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:37

Massively unreasonable, when do you intend to let him grow up? And how exactly do you propose to stop him from hundreds of miles away?

2LostSoulsSwimmingInAFishBowl Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:37

He’s 17 let him get on with it.

bonbonours Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:38

I would be a little anxious but I would let him. I would talk through what their plan is eg train times/stations/what they are planning to do, how to get around, get home etc and make sure he knows what he's doing, and what to do in the event that friends start doing something stupid. And then keep in touch by text on the day to reassure you all is well.

Taliskerskye Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:46

I reckon he might end up in a crack den though, they are located in every other house in London, and there are 25 on Oxford street.

Couldhavebeenme2 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:42:59

I live 3 hours train ride from London and my 16yo went for a day trip last summer with friends (we did used to live an hour from London so he is familiar with the city/transport etc)

What do you think is going to happen to him that is more likely now you are several more hours away op?

ilikeagoodsarnie Thu 22-Jul-21 10:43:51

When I was 17 I went to turkey with my mate, when I was 16 I flew to Spain on my own to live with my mate for 6 months.

Let him go, it's good for independence 😊

Karwomannghia Thu 22-Jul-21 10:43:56

Let him go! Your dd can help if need be and you’re contactable and can do a lot remotely if something happens. Do any of his friends have parents you know well enough to have as a bit of a look out?

ablutiions Thu 22-Jul-21 10:44:14

Christ. I left home at 17. Give the kid a break. Let him go and have fun. He's almost an adult.

Couldhavebeenme2 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:44:28


I reckon he might end up in a crack den though, they are located in every other house in London, and there are 25 on Oxford street.

Never mind all the brothels on Regent Street...

HollyHocks13 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:44:41

Sorry, that's crazy! I went to Rome for a week when I was 17 with friends and i don't think that was out of the ordinary . Of course going to London for the day with friends is fine - he's 17 not 7..!

Retrievemysanity Thu 22-Jul-21 10:44:43

What ‘problem’ are you envisaging? I’d let him go.

GirlAloud Thu 22-Jul-21 10:44:52


Frankly, OP, if my parents had tried to tell me I couldn’t go out for the day with my mates when I was 17, they would have got a very blunt two-word response.

I understand that times have changed, and that young people are treated as children for longer these days, but I still think telling a 17 year old he can’t go out for the day with his mates is completely ridiculous. If you don’t stop treating this young man as a child, resentment is inevitable.

newnortherner111 Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:10

Given that some public transport is limited because of staff self-isolating (no Hammersmith and City trains after 9pm), a lot would depend on when he is going to be travelling and where to in London.

In normal times, no issue to me.

YellowColour Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:22

My 17 year old goes into central London all the time. We live in an area where there are a lot of muggings so he says he feels much safer in London.

ArseInTheCoOpWindow Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:37

I no went to London on my own for a day in 1981 age 17.

I survived and came back. No mobile phones then. And the train journey was 4 hours each way.

I’m sure he’ll be fine…..

audweb Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:38

I can’t fathom my parents having control over where I went at seventeen. I don’t think they would have even known where I went for the day. We used to drive to visit friends in England from Scotland at that age and I don’t think my parents had a day in that. What do you think is going to happen? How old will he be when you allow him to go to London?!

BillyShears Thu 22-Jul-21 10:45:41

I don’t think that’s fair. I grew up around 30 mins from central London on the train and was out and about on my own and with friends from the age of about 13. He will be fine, especially with other people.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in