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13 yr old daugher invited on holiday with friend's family

(32 Posts)
EveCharlotte Tue 17-Jan-17 12:50:56

Am I worrying unnecessarily? Our daughter (13) has very kindly been invited on a 2 week holiday abroad in the summer with a friend's family. We know the friend quite well (she's lovely) but don't know the family. We have arranged to meet up with the parents for a chat, what questions should we be asking without appearing to question their parenting skills? I am worried about safety, both physical and personal and 2 weeks is a long time, what if the girls fall out? Any advice really appreciated.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 17-Jan-17 12:53:31

I wouldn't have at 13 but now at 15 wouldn't give it another thought.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 17-Jan-17 12:54:04

** without knowing the family really well.

EssentialHummus Tue 17-Jan-17 12:59:00

Find out what kind of holiday it is - i.e. is your DD a bookworm about to go on two weeks of whitewater rafting, or some such?

Find out their expectations of what you will financially contribute to the holiday, if anything.

Has their friendship been "volatile" in the past - rows etc?

I'd make sure your DD has a phone (with a roaming package if need be) and knows to contact you if she's unhappy.

xStefx Tue 17-Jan-17 13:03:36

AAh that's such a hard one OP. The mother in me wouldn't want her away from me that long in another country ( sorry is it in another country?) But I bet your daughter would have a fab time on holiday with her friend.
As long as your sure the parents are responsible I cant really see a problem with it though. Are the girls likely to argue while away? Is she the type that would miss you and want to come home after a few days?
All children are different so this is really about your dd specifically.

Tumtitum Tue 17-Jan-17 13:13:37

I went away with three friends and one of their sets of parents when I was 13, for two weeks. We didn't have any major falling outs but as far as I remember we basically just did our own thing which included going out and getting drunk and staying out until silly o'clock!! None of us were having sex or anything like that but thinking back we probably put ourselves in a couple of situations, e.g. Going back to hang out with some guys we'd made friends with in their nearby hotel at 4am that could have been dangerous. My mum probably trusted me a bit more than she should have in all honesty! Although I would have been gutted if I couldn't have gone! My DD is only tiny so no experience of this yet but I guess if it bothers you asking about things like will the girls be going out on their own and their attitude to drinking etc, what kind of place it is, resort etc, and also having a chat generally with your DD about safety, making sure she always has can fare back to accommodation etc etc!

Tumtitum Tue 17-Jan-17 13:14:22

We might have been 14 actually.... but still!!

NoMudNoLotus Tue 17-Jan-17 13:24:19

I went away with a friends family at that age OP.

The family sent us out with a "family friend" one afternoon as he had a boat. He took us out to a remote beach , ended up isolating me in some dunes pulled me down & tried to force himself on me sad.

My own DD is now this age & I honestly don't think I could let her go .

xStefx Tue 17-Jan-17 13:29:20

OMG NoMud, that's awful. You have just changed my mind.

NoMudNoLotus Tue 17-Jan-17 13:35:26

I just spent felt the rest of the holiday feeling really lonely & upset. Tried to talk to my friend about it but she didn't believe me & became nasty, so I spent the rest of the time just desperate to come home.

He was married with 3 kids angrysad

EveCharlotte Tue 17-Jan-17 13:59:29

OMG that is the sort of thing I am worried about, how awful for you. I am hoping that there will be an evening curfew, I certainly wouldn't want the girls wandering about at 4am or visiting hotel rooms eeek. We do speak to her about dangerous situations and how not to put herself at risk, also it is covered at school, she is certainly more aware than I was at her age of risks. But, if the parents pass the responsibility to someone else, they don't have control anymore, I will certainly ask them about that, thank you.

NotMrsTumble Tue 17-Jan-17 14:05:27

Depends on the scenario. Dd did this last year, but it was only for a week, and in a villa rather than hotel (so private pool etc, no other guests to worry about). She had a great time though did say she was glad she hadn't gone for longer as it was more of a lounging about holiday whereas we tend to have more active holidays. There was no falling out.

EveCharlotte Tue 17-Jan-17 15:36:01

Yes 2 weeks is quite a long time, but she's suggested that we can facetime, she seems to think she'll be ok. It's a French campsite so loads to do, she'll love it, but I do need to be sure that there will be curfews and general rules. Need to think carefully how to ask without causing offence. It's quite a new friendship (in the last year) which is why we don't know the parents, there hasn't been any falling out so far, so fingers crossed. Thank you everyone for your thoughts.

MakeItStopNeville Tue 17-Jan-17 15:40:24

We're taking DDs friend on holiday in the spring and I would not be offended in the slightest if her parents asked me about curfews and rules. I'd kind of expect it as people parent so differently.

FarAwayHills Tue 17-Jan-17 18:05:49

Is your DDs friend an only child or will there be other siblings going along too? If yes how old are they? Is your DD likely to get along with them? I went on holidays with a friend at age 13 but discovered that the main reason was so I could help to look after the younger siblings while the parents went out and got drunk in the evenings.

cheekyfunkymonkey Tue 17-Jan-17 18:08:12

No chance. Sixteen maybe, thirteen, not without me!!

Hulababy Tue 17-Jan-17 19:43:38

DD is 14 (Y10 so 15 later this year). We are the other side of this.

We are taking one of DD's friends away with us to Florida (Disney and Universal) in February. And we are then taking another friend away at Easter to Portugal. Both holidays are for a week. Florida one, the family are contributing quite a bit of money towards it. We know the friends a fair bit and they are nice girls. Know the parents to talk too, but don't know them well - they are friends DD made at the start secondary school when parents are much less involved.

Neither parent has asked about rules or anything but I would be happy to chat to them about anything like that.

For the Florida trip the parents can know in advance what we are doing each day in terms of which park, which restaurant and even some of the rides - as it is all planned and arranged in advance, and the girl has been involved with this. They also know which hotel, flight details etc. We will be with the girls most of the time anyway as dh and I both like the rides as well.

For the Portugal trip the parent knows the flights so far and the rough region we are staying. But nothing more as yet and we won't have a daily plan beforehand. We do intend giving the girls a bit of freedom in terms of being walking distance to the beach and restaurant areas on the front. We are probably more overprotective than they are anyway, so I doubt they'll b an issue.

We have chosen friends who have been good and consistent friends for a while now (since y7 and now in y10) who we have met on a number of occasions. So hopefully won't be any falling outs etc.

Hulababy Tue 17-Jan-17 19:50:22

Has your DD been away on school trips etc before?

DD has been away with grandparents and on up to a week long school residential in the UK and abroad, and when in secondary they have some free unsupervised time whilst way anyway. DD is also due to do her 'away' part of a Spanish exchange staying with another family - her exchange partner came to us in October, so she knows him but not the family. Her friends are the same, so not a new experience.

Whilst two weeks is a fair bit longer it isn't 'that' long really. It will go quickly. I suspect you will miss her much more than the other way round, in my experience anyway.

I would make sure she has some basic ground rules she knows she should follow, and how to contact you at any time.

I'd usually allow DD to go, though would arrange to meet the parents for coffee and a chat a couple of times beforehand I think.

FrenchDucksSayCoinCoin Tue 17-Jan-17 20:01:47

I'm an only child so had quite a few friends on holiday, and reciprocal trips with their families growing up. The first one we were ten, however, we had been best friends since age six, and had spent many nights and weekends with each other's families by then.
We were never sent off with any other lesser known adults though. I'm so sorry for what you went through NoMud.

NoMudNoLotus Tue 17-Jan-17 23:03:52

French thankyou so much flowers

GinIsIn Tue 17-Jan-17 23:10:38

We were always allowed to take a friend with us on holiday, from the age we were old enough to amuse ourselves, so I guess about 6/7? I'm one of 6 so we'd be 12 kids all together for the holiday and it was amazing!

I would weigh up the likelihood of anything happening to her, which it isn't likely to when she's with a good friend's family, against the benefit she will get from some independence and a lovely holiday.

TeethDrama Tue 17-Jan-17 23:15:53

I'm quite conservative by nature anyway but.... 13? With a not that long-standing friend? You've never met the parents before? Abroad? Two weeks?

No chance!!! (politely phrased of course but, no.)

Absolutely not.


But that's just me grin

OddJobsHat Tue 17-Jan-17 23:17:01

My dd went on holiday with her best friend and her parents for 2 weeks when she was 14, however, I'd known them for years and were good friends with them and completely trusted them. I honestly don't think I would seeing as you don't really know them.

TeethDrama Tue 17-Jan-17 23:21:21

Do you not think she'd get homesick after a week? The first few days are always fun, but after a while it can get a bit boring. Plus how easy is she about eating different foods, can she manage her periods ok (if it happens to be when she's away), is she an easygoing child or would she hate to be dragged around a museum etc if she didn't feel like it? (or vice versa if all they wanted to do was stay in?)

I am a bit wary of it because I think for the parents to ask, when they know you don't know them, and the girls are not long-standing friends, that that automatically makes them far more liberal than I am already.
Does liberal translate to "we'll invite a friend for DD and then they will have company and we get to go off to French markets for the day and they'll be fine looking after themselves by the pool"....

EveCharlotte Wed 18-Jan-17 09:15:58

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts, which are quite mixed. I have no worries about my DD coping with food etc, she is fairly easy going. She has been away on school trips and short trips with friends and never been homesick, but not for two weeks in a foreign country without us. We are taking a (different) friend away for a week at Easter to Wales, but the girls have been friends since 4 yrs old and we know the parents extremely well.

The girls have had lots of sleepovers at both houses with no problems, we have met the mother a couple of times on the doorstep. The friend is very well mannered, confident and easy going, which I think says a lot about the parents.

There is a younger sister, she's about 8 and I hadn't thought about the potential babysitting element... so I will ask about that! I will also ask about other family members, aunts/uncles etc who she may come into contact with, as well as how they would handle my DD getting homesick or the girls falling out.

I'm sort of relieved that some of you would also be cautious, so I'm not being paranoid! I'm also heartened by some of you advocating the benefits of the experience. (DD is the youngest of three, but the other two are boys... my worries would be different with them, breaking their necks falling out of trees etc!!) NB, my husband is not worried about it at all, so maybe I'm compensating for him!

We are meeting the parents for a meal on Friday night, so I will prepare my list of questions. Thank you all so much.

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