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Extra Guest For Christmas

(35 Posts)
HarrietSchulenberg Sun 17-Dec-17 16:47:39

I'm really torn on this one as my heart tells me to do one thing but my head tells me to the opposite.

Ds1 is a very unruly 17. We aren't having the best relationship at the moment as he is NEET, takes drugs and has been in trouble with the police. Nothing I say or do will make him look for work and he flatly refuses to go to college. Underneath it all I know he is extremely caring and very intelligent and when he eventually grows up he's going to be a pretty marvellous human, he just isn't mature enough to see that yet.

He has a friend who lives 20 miles away in supported living accommodation. This boy is the same age as ds1 and ds1 goes to visit most weekends, staying over from Friday till Monday. I don't particularly like this arrangement as I'm pretty sure they're spending the weekends off their heads, but the boy always seems polite when I speak with him and seems slightly more mature in attitude than ds1.

The dilemma is that the boy is due to spend Christmas alone as his family are leaving the country to visit relatives. The boy can't go with them as he has no passport and they won't pay for him. Ds1 is upset at the thought of friend being alone for Christmas and has asked if he can come to stay with us. On the one hand I want to say "Yes" as I don't like the thought of a teenager being alone but on the other hand it will alter the whole dynamic of what is often a fragile family occasion. There are 2 younger brothers who don't get on with ds1 and their dad, who doesn't live with us but will staying for Christmas, and is not terribly open to strangers (he's not really a people person).

Younger children are split as 1 says "Whatever" and the other says "No". Dad not been consulted yet.

WWYD, O wise women of MN?

ivykaty44 Sun 17-Dec-17 16:50:29

Whoever pays the bills & cooks the dinner gets to invite who they want

KittiKat Sun 17-Dec-17 16:50:40

Why are you asking the younger children? You are the adult, you make the decision.

For what it's worth, I would allow the other guest. I bet the 17 year old will be really grateful to have his friend there and the fact that he has someone he gets along with.

loobylou10 Sun 17-Dec-17 16:53:47

I would let him come, yes.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 17-Dec-17 16:54:51

Just wondering how your son pays to go 20 miles each way and get off his head if he's NEET. Are you giving him the money to do this?

I really feel for your two younger boys. Why is their dad coming for Christmas when they don't like him?

Margoletta Sun 17-Dec-17 16:55:24

I would only let him stay at my house if I could trust him around the younger children, even when 'off his head' (drunk? Or drugs?)

teaandakitkat Sun 17-Dec-17 16:59:00

I would say yes on the understanding that there will be no drug use and he will go back to his own place if there is.
It might be good for your relationship with your son, it might help you to know his friend a bit better. Better to keep him close I reckon.
But would you be able to take him home if need be? It does sound quite risky if you think there might be drug taking around younger kids.
Do you have a space the kids dad can retreat to and not be disturbed if it all gets too much for him? What would happen if he said no to the friend coming, would he just stay away? And how would this affect the other boys?

Tough one op

savingmysanity Sun 17-Dec-17 17:00:22

My DM let a friend of mine come for Christmas at about the same age, I knew she didn't really want to and didn't particularly like this person but I was desperate for him not to be alone. He has been invited back every year since.

I would say let him come, You might be surprised

Dancinggoat Sun 17-Dec-17 17:01:31

I'd let him stay.
It may make Christmas easier. The two older boys will be gaming , YouTubing in your sons bedroom. Less arguments with younger two.
Often a friend will chat and may play with your younger ones.
State your home rules and be firm. Not just with older son but your ex. It's lovely he comes over for Christmas but it's your house and he needs to fall in with you.

AdalindSchade Sun 17-Dec-17 17:05:39

I think it will be easier and more pleasant if your son has his mate over tbh. And it would be a very kind thing to do. Does your son have a gaming thing in his bedroom? I'd set very clear ground rules such as joining in present opening and dinner but otherwise let them hang out and do their thing. You'll enjoy Christmas stuff more with your younger kids if the older is entertained.

Aridane Sun 17-Dec-17 17:07:08

What is NEET?

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 17-Dec-17 17:07:20

Mybrilliantdisguise, I don't know where his money comes from but I have some very good ideas, none of which he will admit to. He gets £15 from me for doing chores and jobs around the house.

All children DO get on very well with dad, it's ds1 the younger 2 don't get on with.

I'm still indecisive about this.

Emmageddon Sun 17-Dec-17 17:13:27

I'd invite him. As others have said, he and your son can do their own thing (although I'd say absolutely no drugs in the house and limited alcohol) and you may be pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable Christmas is.

Ginslinger Sun 17-Dec-17 17:17:32

I would invite him with big rules set down and I'd explain to the younger kids what those rules are so they know the score

eggandchips5 Sun 17-Dec-17 17:21:49

I would invite him.

eggandchips5 Sun 17-Dec-17 17:22:33

I would, as others have said, put firm rules in place. No drugs and a limit on alcohol.

Firsttimemum777 Sun 17-Dec-17 17:26:46

I would let him come but lay out some conditions like no drugs, stay downstairs with family etc. Your DS1 may be in a better mood during the day and overall, be a better Christmas Day x

Tinselistacky Sun 17-Dec-17 17:30:11

Having him there will assist your fragile relationship with your ds of that I am certain.
Supporting him to support his friend is an amazing thing to do.

DancingLedge Sun 17-Dec-17 17:39:58

Ds1 is upset at thought of friend being alone at Christmas.....

So Ds1, who is mostly doing stuff you disapprove of, has a good idea to help a friend. Yes, I would want to 'reward' this positive thing , by inviting friend. I'd probably be quite nervous, but I'd do it anyway.And tell others in the family, that this is what Christmas is about, and you expect cooperation.

Also, any chance you get to build positive bridges to the life of a troubled teen are well worth seizing.

Makingahome Sun 17-Dec-17 17:54:04

Invite him with a view to get to know him better. Otherwise expect DS to disappear to his. Set some firm boundaries though. No drugs.

KanyeWesticle Sun 17-Dec-17 18:00:19

If there's space and food for this boy, please say yes.

VioletCharlotte Sun 17-Dec-17 18:03:10

I would invite him. You say he's always polite when he comes round so he shouldn't be a problem. It'll certainly help your relationship with your DS, you'd be setting him a good example by demonstrating kindness and compassion to someone who would otherwise be alone for Christmas.

If you don't invite him, the chances are your DS will take off and spend Christmas with his mate.

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 17-Dec-17 18:06:14

Right, I'm going with my heart (and the wise words of MN) and I'm going to invite him. Obviously the no drugs will apply as it applies in this house anyway. Alcohol to a minimum but we're not big drinkers anyway.

Thanks, folks, will update and let you know how it goes.

Snowman41 Sun 17-Dec-17 18:19:32

Good god no. I wouldn't be encouraging this friendship in any way at all. I would be doing everything in my power to keep my DS away from someone you suspect he spends weekends off his head with.

septembersapphire Sun 17-Dec-17 18:20:13

Does the boy want to come?

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