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12 year old son on skiing trip with school and home sick

(29 Posts)
Nickyjf Mon 09-Jan-17 18:26:08

My 12 year old son set off to Austria with his school on Saturday, arriving at his destination on Sunday lunchtime. He was very anxious and nervous before setting off, but he got on the coach and seemed from his texts to be fairly happy during the trip. Fast forward to Sunday evening and he was sending incessant texts saying how he was missing us and how he wants to come home. All this follows on from a period of a couple of months where he has had difficulty getting to sleep at night, so I'm assuming there is a lot of anxiety associated with this. But after a day of skiing (which I think he enjoyed) he has now just texted and called to say he still wants to come home! Any advice on this topic would be much appreciated.

DearMrDilkington Mon 09-Jan-17 18:27:13

How long is the trip?

scurryfunge Mon 09-Jan-17 18:28:49

Well, there is probably no option to come home without great expense. Contact the group leaders and explain how he' s feeling. What does he honestly think the options are?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Mon 09-Jan-17 18:28:50

I would encourage him to stick it out if at all possible. Can you ring a teacher contact who is there with him, to ask an opinion of how he seems? Assuming there are no additonal needs here.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 09-Jan-17 18:30:44

Being far away from home for the first time can be hard for some kids, but the best thing you can do for him is to sympathize but be firm in that he can not come home. He made the choice to go, and he will be absolutely fine. Tell him to buck up and enjoy his time there.

VintagePerfumista Mon 09-Jan-17 18:36:44

Do the teachers know he is texting?

Usually teachers on school trips limit phone time precisely to avoid this.

Chivvy him along, lovely time, having fun, lots of snow, isn't that lovely. What have you seen/done.

Try to not "see"/respond to his texts.

I'd also give his teacher a buzz and tell them he is never off the phone.

user1483390742 Mon 09-Jan-17 18:42:35

My son (Y10) is off on his 3rd school skiing trip to Italy at half term.
He is, by nature, a shy home loving boy who is happiest at home-doesn't do sleepovers/going out with mates much. When he first went in Y8, he was terribly anxious- V and D the night before, didn't want to get on the coach at school and spent the journey and first 2 days asking us to ring him to discuss coming home early!
By day 3, once he had learnt how to ski, he was much more settled and on his return said he was so glad he had stayed!
He went again in Y9 and is going again in a few weeks!
Your son will settle- if mine could, anyone's will! It is tough to hear him so upset when so far away, but i promise he will have a great time!

Nickyjf Mon 09-Jan-17 18:44:58

The trip is only a week!

riceuten Mon 09-Jan-17 18:46:30

I'd be inclined to let him stay, if you want an honest opinion. Repatriation would probably involve one of you flying out to collect him and return, and would be very expensive, as well as a bit pointless. He may also be the laughing stock of his classmates, as the boy who couldn't hack it.

I speak as someone who was homesick as a child on my travels, but realised that it would be hugely inconvenient for almost everyone concerned if I made my feelings known and wanted them acting upon.

PossumInAPearTree Mon 09-Jan-17 18:49:20

I would send him a text telling him that you're turning your phone off so he may as well stop texting and then ignore all further texts.

But I am the meanest mother going! grin

He will still have been tired today and yesterday after a long journey. I bet he has a much better day tomorrow.

Amandahugandkisses Mon 09-Jan-17 18:53:27

Oh no don't ignore his texts. He is anxious. Just respond as positively as you can. I would say.
It's ok I'm here. You'll be fine it's normal to feel a bit homesick but tell me about the snow, talk tomorrow etc etc

PotteringAlong Mon 09-Jan-17 18:53:29

Tell him to stop contacting you and he'll be much better off.

Hulababy Mon 09-Jan-17 18:58:00

I wouldn't totally ignore him, but don't answer every text immediately. Wait a while so there is only a small window of time - maybe breakfast time and tea time. Tell him you are going to watch TV and won't be able to rely much so he knows you are doing so.

And the odd reply you do send be positive and encouraging. Don't refer to the homesickness really - just the 'hope the skiing was good, bet it looks really cool with all the snow on the mountains, etc.' And if he mentions coming home just respond with 'have fun, see you Saturday' with no hint that he could come home early - practical that just can't happen really can it?

OutDamnedWind Mon 09-Jan-17 19:04:34

Please please please make sure the trip leaders know how he his feeling - they can distract/reassure/judge the situation from their end more easily. It won't be anything g they haven't dealt with before!

Texting unfortunately is only going to make things worse for him, but I think he needs to be coaxed out of that by people who are with him.

Nickyjf Mon 09-Jan-17 19:07:58

Thanks so much for sharing your story! It is very reassuring! He has only been on the slopes for 1 day so I'm sure he will begin to enjoy it. It's just hard being on the receiving end of his texts when I'm so far away! x

BratFarrarsPony Mon 09-Jan-17 19:07:59

You have to tell him that coming home is not an option, and also tell the group leaders how he is feeling.
Do not encourage him to think that he can come home early. He really doesn't want to be the group wimp does he?

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 09-Jan-17 19:08:21

I would ask the school to contact the teachers on the trip. He won't be the first child to be home sick and they can have a chat with him/keep an eye on him. Our teachers used to make sure we were never sat still long enough to be homesick!

TaggieRR Mon 09-Jan-17 19:11:31

I used to get homesick on trips so I feel for your ds. Hopefully when he's had a couple of days skiing he'll enjoy it more which will take his mind off it.

Nickyjf Mon 09-Jan-17 19:19:39

Thanks for all of your advice. Much apppreciated.

BackforGood Mon 09-Jan-17 19:32:09

Exactly why the best advice is not to take their phones with them!
They will be much more homesick if they are in touch with home.
You need to tell him that coming home isn't an option, he's there now, and he needs to make the best of it.
If there is a home contact system, then use it to ask them to let the staff know he's not feeling so happy, and leave it at that. They will make time to check he is ok and to try to cheer him up.

OutDamnedWind Mon 09-Jan-17 19:32:19

Also, can almost guarantee he won't be as bad as the texts are making out - you're his safe person to be a bit dramatic with. This is why phones were banned when I used to lead trip!

FarAwayHills Mon 09-Jan-17 20:05:50

Unless he's is seriously ill I would not even give an option of coming home. The logistics, the cost and him being a huge laughing stock are seriously worse than a bit of homesickness. As PPs have said keep things light and positive and perhaps agree just to text in the evening so he can tell you about his day.

specialsubject Tue 10-Jan-17 13:30:00

contact teacher who will remove phone (ask that this is done) and up activity levels.

hard work on the slopes will wear him out.

Aroundtheworldandback Tue 10-Jan-17 19:27:13

To be honest if he was mine and not happy I'd insist he come back. You just don't know the reason he's unhappy. Does he have good friends on the trip? This would influence my decision. If he does, I'd be inclined to persuade him to stay.

If for example someone/a group were seriously upsetting him and he didn't know how to deal with it, being exhausted after a day's skiing wouldn't exactly help.

Hulababy Tue 10-Jan-17 20:21:12

Aroundtheworldandback Tue 10-Jan-17 19:27:13
To be honest if he was mine and not happy I'd insist he come back.

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How, when and who will organise and pay for it?

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