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Can I MAKE my 14 year old dd go to summer camp if she doesn't want to?

(168 Posts)
Spidermama Tue 04-Jun-13 18:33:32

Here's the background.
DH is going away for seven and a half weeks in the summer holidays. shock
I work mon-fri, 5am until 12pm.
I have four children aged 8, 11, 13 and 14.

I'll need a break. So I've booked a holiday camp for the kids which looks really great. They'd all go to the same camp for one week.

The problem is that my 14 year old DD says she won't go. She's insisting. She points out, quite correctly, that I can't drag her out of the house.

She's very shy. Actually I know this would be great for her and I think it's just what she needs: A week doing kayaking, canoeing, zip wiring, crafts, archery, camping etc etc etc. It would be a great chance for her to leave the lip gloss and straighteners at home and just BE!

But she won't. And I've paid the deposit.

Having a week to myself is the only thing that's keeping me going and I won't cope without it.

What would you do?

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 20:58:56


Spidermama Mon 17-Jun-13 18:41:33

grin Aitch! SSSSSsssssssssssssssssssssssss.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 11-Jun-13 22:10:36

Glad it all worked out. All that free time to MNet

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Tue 11-Jun-13 22:02:14


cory Tue 11-Jun-13 22:01:45

Glad it ended happily, Spidermama. Enjoy your holiday! grin

Spidermama Tue 11-Jun-13 21:59:42

Wow! Great thread. Some excellent later posts. Sorry I'm only just catching up with it now. Thought it was done and dusted. Hello *Aitch*. You still here then? grin

As for the MNer concerned DD will be in charge in the summer hols -- Not the case. I have a friend who'll come in the mornings most times. MIL will come for a week and my mum another. I look forward to the day I can leave DD in charge but at the moment it's not fair on any of them.

In brief (I should be asleep as am working at 5) DD said she'd go if her friend went but friend's mum didn't fancy it. (Fair enough. V expensive). I called the place and they gave me the deposit back so that was good.
DD is happy to go to Grandma's in Dorset for a week and will be spoiled there.

Oh yes I forgot to mention there is the added bonus that I GET MY WEEK OFF. YES!! YOU BEAUTY! BACK OF THE NET!!

So I think an adequate solution's been implemented for all.

mumeeee Thu 06-Jun-13 17:46:27

I wouldn't make her go, I was very shy at that age and would have hated anything like that. I'm not shy now although am still a bit quite. I have also now tried some of those things and enjoyed them but it was my choice when I did them and I was not forced into to doing them,
I have 3 DDs and the middle one would have hated these activities t 14 she is now a confident adult.

Jimalfie Thu 06-Jun-13 10:40:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jins Thu 06-Jun-13 10:24:06

I've got a 15yo and I'm staggered that the op booked this without several very serious discussions about whether her 14yo wanted to go.

PGL type summer camp is ok if you're in primary school, borderline for year 7, by year 8 they are embarrassed to tell their friends and once they've hit year 9 it would be flat out refusal. Lame is the mildest word my 15yo used when I just tested an imaginary plan on him grin

I'd not send her. But then I'd not send any child to a PGL type summer camp. I've accompanied a group for a week and I still fail to see how the activities are meant to be character forming.

Send her to her grandmothers. She won't get the piss ripped out of her for that grin

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 10:22:01

yars... and where's spidey? not like her to start a thread and not return... we need to know what the plan is now. (and if dd is looking after the kids in the morning, which is a Total Gamechanger).

ChewingOnLifesGristle Thu 06-Jun-13 10:16:32

This thread has turned very strange.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 10:12:18

excellent, congratulations, that's very convincing. so the only other conclusion then, is that this is personal? because there's absolutely nothing i've said or done on this thread that would require me in particular to shut the fuck up. i was literally replying to someone addressing me directly on that last post (incidentally, it wasn't me who corrected anyone's spelling - not my thing).

after a full 105 posts on MN you should know that taking fights across threads is not nice, so perhaps you should leave it now? you don't want someone telling you to shut the fuck up.

scherazadey Thu 06-Jun-13 10:05:53

New account dear, my email was corrupted - 102 posts on previous :-)

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 10:02:30

nope, not when i checked if you ever posted before i didn't... two posts now. congratulations!

scherazadey Thu 06-Jun-13 09:59:51

Not my first post by a very long way and, oh dear, you spelt my name wrong

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 09:57:28

aye, or mebbe a lone cop gone rogue... wink

TanteRose Thu 06-Jun-13 09:53:49

goodness, the Thread Police are out and about confused

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 09:48:58

replying is The Whole Point of a discussion board, sherezady...

anyway, interesting first post, welcome to Mumsnet. grin

zipzap Thu 06-Jun-13 09:43:51

When I was her age, my sis and I got to go to a camp - my sis wanted to go riding and to do outdoorsy activities which I would have hated. She ended up going with a family friend and has a great time but I would have been thoroughly miserable.

I managed to discover a different camp - computer camp - (about 30 years ago so a new thing and they had only just started to run them). I loved it and had a great time - but my sis would have hated it.

Is it worth looking around to see if you could find a different camp that she would like to go to? Assuming you are able to forfeit the deposit or get it back. Might also be worth checking at what point you become liable for paying what percentage of the overall cost. The linger you leave it the more you might find yourself liable to pay regardless of whether or not she goes.

I think yanbu to want her to go to camp - but maybe yabu to have signed her up at her age without talking to her about it and finding a camp that she would actually like to go to.

scherazadey Thu 06-Jun-13 09:35:14

Aitch it would seem that you think it is a competition because you feel the need to keep replying, why don't you stfu? Please?

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Thu 06-Jun-13 09:13:48

sorry? it's not a competition... it's perfectly possible for two people to be self-righteous on the same thread.

felicity1971 Thu 06-Jun-13 08:53:54

some people would say that coming onto a site and lecturing people how to behave is a tad self-righteous...
Oh dear oh dear AitchTwoOhOneTwo, whereas telling people how to spell is not at all is it! Lol as my kids would say............

Back to the point must say I totally agree with cory

cory Thu 06-Jun-13 08:31:46

I think Oscarville is spot on.

I have every understanding for the OPs need for me time. But it needs to go hand in hand with an understanding that her 14yo dd is growing up too, that she might feel a similar need, and that the clue to getting teenagers to behave in a mature way is to talk to them as if they were mature.

If the OP makes decisions above her dd's head as if she were a baby, she can't expect the dd to suddenly turn round and understand her mother's needs like an adult.

differentnameforthis Thu 06-Jun-13 08:07:08

So a chronically shy 14 year old needs to learn to suck it up, roll with it, get their act together and learn to face whatever the world throws at them, but her mother is perfectly entitled to pack her off to a camp because the idea of looking after her own children for 7 weeks is too much for her?! Doesn't she need to suck it up?

This ^^

Is 12pm 12 noon? Yes. 12am is midnight

differentnameforthis Thu 06-Jun-13 07:41:35

I'm afraid I am a heartless parent, it's paid for, your [sic] going, end of discussion

See, I guess that is where some of us differ, as I would never pay for something like this without asking my child if it is something they would like to do. Whatever their age!

I come at it from the POV that, what if there was no camp to send her to? What if you were a single parent (i.e you had the children 24/7 all by yourself)? What if you couldn't afford it?

Yes, 4 kids is a handful, but I disagree with this Parents need to see their own limits in the context it is used in. I agree in essence, but it is more like parents need to know their limits & not have more children than they could cope with on a day to day basis

I can cope with 2, if dh went away for 7 weeks, I can cope with 2 without the need the ship them off & make them someone else's problem for a week.

Every parent needs a break whether they have 1 child or 7, but you can't force your children to do something they feel massively uncomfortable with for the sake of a break! I disagree also, that it would be character forming! Infact, she wants so badly not to do it, it could go the other way!

You say she would probably sit in her room most of the time, so hardly going to get in your way! At 14 she is more than capable of making her lunch/dinner, so hardly high maintenance! My point being, she is old enough to have her at home & for you to still have a 'break'.

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