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Holiday with DSS

(9 Posts)
littlejosh Mon 20-Jun-11 10:25:57

We are considering taking a holiday to see my dh parents (overseas). We have one ds and my dh has another dss (who we have asked to take). Due to costs we were looking at going in early September, we have been told by dh ex that dss cannot go in September (due to final school year...which I do understand, i did ask back in March, so I could book flights etc and school could be informed). Dss has asked if he can no see his grandparents without us, however he is not allowed to fly on his own or under a chaperone.

As dss has very little do with us (though only lives 5 minutes away), I feel quite irritated that he and his mum would experct us to pay for 6 flights (in the summer!, so he can have a jolly!. Dh has said dss can go anytime, but on his own (someone would be at the airport both ends) and it is an hours flight.

I think my question is do i rearrange our family holiday to the summer and include him and incur more costs, when he has nothing to do with us, doesnt make an effort with his sibling (who is 2) and adores him (dont know why!).

I should add he only talks to his grandparent when he is at ours and is always mentioning his last trip was such a loing time ago...but he doesnt seem to maintain a relationship with them independently of us (if that makes sense), told him to get skype etc. When they have been hear, usually for short weekends, weve told him on the Friday night and then he has called on Sunday afternoon, wanting to pop over (when there heading back) to see them (and when you say they gone, hes dissappointed, but was too busy to come earlier)

I should add we usually go out of term on holiday as we are self employed and its quitened down.

Might be rambling now, but we have said each time we see him, he can come over anytime, see his brother but seems to fall on deaf ears (teenager!) but I think like others have said, I dont want my dh and I to incur lots of additionals costs (when we cant really afford it), so a teenager can have a holiday to see his dh will say im overanylasying but Im not sure my feeling is right, or just being pissy.

I should add that I find it quite uosetting that DSS has so little to do with his brother, not bothered about me or dh but wish he was abot more interested (he does have another younger subling who he dotes on).

Many Thanks

titchy Mon 20-Jun-11 11:13:34

I think you're being pissy. He's a teenager - teenage boys are not generally interested in babies or old people. And spending time with his friends is going to be much more fun than seeing his dad (and his mum I expect).

However the gradnparents ARE his family and you should enable him as much as possible to ensure he has a relationship with them.

And were you really thinking he'd be able to go during term time during his final GCSE year shock. If you have kids/step kids you have to pay higher prices if you want to go on holiday! That's just a fact of life.

mummytime Mon 20-Jun-11 11:31:54

Okay. You DSS CANNOT GO ON HOLIDAY IN TERM TIME Okay I will stop shouting now.
In 14 years you will understand.
So you have the options: he goes to visit grand parents by himself, or you arrange your trip when you can all go together.
I do not know the family dynamics to know if the first could work. If not then maybe you need to do the second regardless of cost.

Small children do tend to dote on teenagers, teenagers are easily embarrassed by small kids even if they do actually love them. I would suggest you do a crash course in how teenagers feel and react.

How often do you invite DSS around? How much does he see his Dad? Does he feel pushed out? Does he have a hectic social life, or does he struggle with social contact? Do visits to you involve getting up early? Is he expected to just "fit in" with your family life, which maybe centred around your little one?
Do you treat him like an adult or a child? Do you involve him in conversations about family things?

Maybe you could go on a parenting teenagers course or at least read a book. He does sound like a typical teenager, just because he can't get his act together to contact his grandparents or see them before they are leaving, is just typical teenage (especially boys) behaviour. It doesn't mean he doesn't care.

BTW his mum could be a bit more forceful on his behalf because she will know that sometimes he really wants things (like a relationship with his Dad, Grandparents, you and his little brother), but being a teenager he just finds it too hard to get the energy/courage to do so. He may well also take any negativity from you as a sign you hate him, just ask any secondary teacher.

glasscompletelybroken Mon 20-Jun-11 12:32:46

Crikey - bit harsh I think! The OP is trying to arrange a holiday which she would ideally like DSS to be able to go on - she has said that her and her DH have said many times that DSS can visit them anytime he likes and yet the replies here seem highly critical. It sounds as if he sees his dad as much as he chooses to but - typically for a teenager - doesn't bother much. That's his choice - if he knows he is welcome then he is not being pushed out! Same with his grandparents - he could choose to have a more involved relationship with them - making time to visit when they are here, skyping etc - but doesn't bother. It's not unusual but I don't think it warrants criticism of the OP and her DH.
Not everyone can afford a holiday out of term time - particularly people who are self-employed. You can't just do things regardless of costs!
I don't understand why he can't fly on his own for such a short flight - how old is he? That would seem the most practical answer.

littlejosh Mon 20-Jun-11 12:40:39

Thank you for your responses...has made me think...

Here are just some historocal things:

We used to have a schedule to see him (which I drew up, to make it manageable for everyone), about 5 years ago we moved to be nearer to him (my dh has other children) all much older now.

I think we made the mistake of thinking it would be easier to see him, if we were closer, but we didnt carry on the shedule (as he could come over anytime). In between we have set up a new company and had our own family.

We continued to see him (on birthdays and his events eg shows etc) but it was always at his mums house. But since he has had a new sibling, we rarely see him.

I used to see him once a week until the Spring as I would drop him, off to an after school club, chat to him ask how he was doing school etc, but since then we just dont see him.

Our family life is probably centred around our ds, but the normal stuff, food shopping, running errands etc.

I should add he has been to see his grandparents without us a couple of years ago, but his sole focus when he was there, was keeping in contact with his mum and buying his "family" presents, his grandma asked him if he had gotten us anything (small token gift, but he hadn't and she gave him money to do so). Thats why I get upset, as we didnt get a thank you or a card afterwards (to say thankyou) sad. His mums family are all very close by and his social life is centred at home, his dad does wish he was more independent.

We used to have a farily good relationship with DH ex, however we felt dss tried to play oneupmanship (between mum and dad earlier in the year) and when dH tried to discuss it with ex she wouldnt hear about it.

I only asked about taking him out of school (for more than a day), as his mum has allowed it before (not for us though). I do undertand it it hard to take them out but thought whilst we could, I might ask.

I have been with my dh for over 10 years, and have thrown myself into being the perfect "step monster", picking up, buying presents, easter eggs (for extended families etc) paying for trips etc (school and family) but after a disagreement a couple of years ago, I decided theres no point trying so hard.

Sorry I should add other things have happened over the last couple of years, not huge things but not being told the truth about things, having to repeatly ask about school results (becuase no-one will tell you, its up to DSs to let you know) makes you feel abit "oh, its like that then" hmm.

We have gone away with him last year, but we heard him on the phone telling his mum, he hadnt been feed and was starving (but we all ate before we left). I sometimes feel he says things to his mum, so we sound rubbish or not taking care of him. I think this is fairly common buit dont personally undertand it (after all this time).

I will look at resheduling, if he said he didnt want a family holiday with us and wanted to go on his own, i would get that, but I think his mum should be more open to letting him venture out on his own...thank you for listening and reading...

titchy Mon 20-Jun-11 12:51:31

Blimey - it sounds lilke you want him to be grateful shock

titchy Mon 20-Jun-11 13:02:53

So, guessing he's about 15 now. When you moved nearer he was 10, but you didn't think it necessary to have a shedule? You were expecting as 10 year old to what, pop roundon the off chance his dad was in? Big mistake. You shouldhave had a schedule and kept to it. The onus is on the parents to make sure they keep up contact, not on the 10 year old child.

Not surprising he doesn't come round much now, doesn't seem like anyone's really that bothered!And you're miffed cos he didn't get you a holiday present a coupe of years ago?! Do you remember what beinga teenager is like?! Seriously I think you're expecting way too much - try getting a book about parenting teens.

Re the school rsults - just ask school. Your dh has parental rspsonsibily he can just ask the school to send his reports to him as well. Or are you trying to make that your dss' responsibiklity as well?

Oh and playing parents off aginst each other is very common and usually a sign of the child wanting to please both parents - says he's having a crap time at dad's cos he feels guilty at having a good time away from mum.

theredhen Mon 20-Jun-11 13:20:40

Although I think some replies are harsh, I do think your comment about DSS not getting you a thank you card for taking him on holiday to be a bit shock

I take my DS on holiday and my DSC and I wouldn't expect any of them to say "thank you" although I agree it would be lovely if they did.

What I do expect is for them to be respectful and appreciative especially once they are teens. This can simply be by saying they enjoyed themselves or by them pointing out the good points and good times of the holiday.

And yes, a 10 year old would need a schedule. Trying to give a ten year old boy control of contact is not a sensible idea at all!

I think you need to take the onus off of DSS and onto your DP and yourself. You are the adults and you have to have some understanding of his education and life in general to appreciate that you can't take a year 11 student out of school for a holiday. School reports can be obtained through school if ex and DSS aren't forthcoming. You have to be a bit pro-active. Lots of parents who live with their own teenage boys would have to do the same rather than rely on the child who lives with them, so it will be no different with a parent who doesn't live with them.

Although I do think that a 15/16yr old boy can safely be chaperoned to his grandparents without you, does sound like his ex is trying to exert some control over you here.

mummytime Mon 20-Jun-11 17:02:43

Teenagers are usually starving BTW. Mine can eat continiously.

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