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Unsupervised post-GCSE hols for 16-year-olds...

(90 Posts)
LaineyW Mon 09-Feb-09 19:49:02

My DD1 (16) want to go away for a few days with a group of friends after finishing GCSEs in the summer. There would be three girls and three boys, all 16.

Is there anywhere that would take them? So far they've investigated Haven holidays (have to be 21) and Youth Hostels (have to be accompanied by a parent).

Any ideas?

GardenersDelight Tue 14-Jul-09 16:50:50

We've made a compromise with DD1 she and 2 friends are going to T4 on the beach which involves getting the train from Ipswich and across London then onto Weston, but luckily thats where my parents live and so will be staying with them. Will probably mean they will be totally spoilt for the weekendwink

piscesmoon Tue 14-Jul-09 17:22:26

The problem is that if you don't let 16 yr olds have some freedom and go away in a fairly controlled environment they don't build up any experience. My 18yr old DS is abroad at the moment-he is an adult and he has paid- I can't stop him. I am quite pleased that he has gone for a week in the sun and not 6 mths backpacking around the world on his own. We trusted him to go camping after his GCSE's and I am glad that we did-it is a very short hop from 16 yrs to 18yrs. I think that it is a bit dangerous not to let them go anywhere at 16yrs, and 24 months later they can walk out of the door for Thailand!

piscesmoon Tue 14-Jul-09 17:25:22

Luckily he hasn't gone to Thailand-only Europe. A couple of his friends have gone to Peru for 6 months and I would find that scary-the parents involved are anxious but you can't stop adults who are paying their own way.

tearinghairout Tue 14-Jul-09 17:31:45

There are holidays and holidays. I went hostelling at 15 with a group of girls & it was fine. Lots of walking etc. I would say daring enough at that age, away from parents etc.

A festival or Ibiza is a different prospect though. Hostelling/caravan in the UK is more reasonable than taking esctasy & pushing the boundaries with Spanish/Greek lotharios, no?

slowreadingprogress Tue 14-Jul-09 18:27:27

exactly pisces; you can't stop an adult, and you shouldn't; but you can stop a child, which a 16 year old is.

As with so many things in childhood, I don't think you need to 'practice' things; you can be equipping a 16 year old to go on holiday alone without actually letting them go alone, IMHO. Not least by GIVING them that 24 months to mature and learn. It may not be much to us but in terms of development between 16 and 18 I think it is pretty big.

I do agree it's important to equip them - but there is more than one way of doing so. IMHO. I think holidays alone are for adults, not children. No child is going to be damaged by NOT be allowed to go at 16. Perfectly reasonable and acceptable to be going at 18 in my view. And as I've said you're equipping them with life skills in that time between 16 and 18 - you're not stunting their growth!

anonandlikeit Tue 14-Jul-09 18:32:30

My first holiday abroad was after o'levels (long time ago) with two friends.
We were all 16 & got the cheepest last minute deal we could find.
I can't believe our parents let us go but we ahd a fantastic time, got very drunk, laughed loads & ahve soem great meemories.

Let them go, if you think they are reponsible enough & you knwo them best.. get them a tent & sned them off on a train somewhere, they will have fantastic time.

piscesmoon Tue 14-Jul-09 19:49:58

The reason that I love the Scouts is that they let them get these life skills. My DS was on Dartmoor at 15yrs with a tent. They were supervised, but the leaders weren't with them.
DS2 is the one that went away after GCSEs. You do have to weigh the risk. In his case he is very sensible and he only went with a small group of friends. At the start it was 20 and I wasn't happy, as I think that that sort of number leads to bravado. I liked the friends (it went down to 4 of them)and they had planned it with one of the mothers who knew the area. They went to a strictly supervised camp site. It was carefully planned and my brother lives 5 miles away and although he and SIL didn't see DS they were on hand for an emergency.
I think they do need to practise under controlled circumstances. I haven't seen a lot of difference between a 16 yr old and 18 yr old. I would be very unhappy if the very first taste of independence was to get on a plane to Peru-in fact I would be utterly terrified! And you can't stop them-if they have the money.

rockinmum Fri 17-Jul-09 21:56:35

Oh my god! People really do think that all teenagers have 'bad intentions' don't they? lol.

When I was 15 I spent the night in a field with about 30-40 of my friends boys and girls. I only told my mum where we were going at the last minute and who would be there because I thought someone should know in case the woods caught fire or something lol.

All we did was listen to music, talk and have a few beers. No pregnancies came of it! Scouts honour lol

They'll be fine, there must be somewhere that will take them that would be more comfortable than a field

LaraFordy Sat 01-Dec-12 18:06:02

I have no idea where you have got these ideas of what teenage holidays are like from. Unless you know this womans child there is no way you can judge whether they are old or mature enough to go on holiday alone. Not all sixteen year olds are the same. You should make a desision on whether your child should go based on how responsible etc you think she is. Not what others whom haven't even met her beleive. It would be unfair on her, if she has never done anything which would make you not trust her to be okay on her own then by all means let her go! If on the other hand she has then of course be more wary.

If you don't allow your child to grow up and make mistakes then they are never properly growing up. That's what being a teenager's about, making mistakes, messing up and getting into trouble. It is our job as mums to make sure we are there for them when it does happen. By never letting them kae mistakes how can they possibly learn from them?

They all grow up eventually. We have to make sure we let them.

mumblechum1 Sat 01-Dec-12 18:08:55

Do you realise this thread is 3 years old??

As with so many questions, the answer to this one is, depends on the maturity of the teen. DS went to the States with a friend at 15 wild camping in the Rockies with no humans never mind adults for miles around.

At 17 he did Newquay, Ibiza and Reading festival with no ill-effects smile

Jimalfie Sun 02-Dec-12 16:59:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Misfits13 Wed 27-Feb-13 01:50:18

Hello! I know this post is old but I only just found it so don't want other people to find it without another view point as it feels a little one sided. it actually made me a little bit angry (Don't worry this isn't a rant just saying my piece hehe)

I'm currently 16 & going away with 2 boys and 2 girls to a holiday let in 2 months. My parents said yes straight out, no persuasion needed because they know they can trust me.

I slightly resent the person who said "She's just testing the boundaries, it's good to say no" type thing. Although of course it depends on your child's maturity level I think if you trust your child you should let them...if you think the area they are visiting is safe of course...The only reason I can find is that you think YOUR CHILD would do something wrong? Surely if you think they your relationship can't be too good?

I realise I'm slightly different because my family worked festivals until I was 8 so I'm used to the independence and we had a gap year travelling where I was out alone quite often when I was 10, but still I feel like perhaps you should have enough faith in your child by the age of 16?

Just my opinion of course...I know lots of 16 year olds that I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them but...surely your own child? You've gone wrong somewhere if you can't trust them?


Fimitch Fri 15-Jan-16 20:31:27

I know that this post was a long time ago but I would love to hear from parents that have let their children go on this trip. My son wants to go and the alternative is reading festival. I hear the parents saying just say no but much as I don't want him to go I worry that if I said he could go the following year he would say that all his mates were off to Kavos or malia then. Do they cope? Can they get in to clubs anyway or buy alcahol. Surely they would need an ID card . Where do they stay,who puts up groups of 16 yr olds ?

GloriaHotcakes Fri 15-Jan-16 20:36:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigTillyMint Fri 15-Jan-16 20:45:08

Fimitch, I would say let him go to Reading. DD went post-GCSE's last year and they had a ball. But it did seem to be pretty well supervised with security passing round the tents a lot and supported with First Aid/Crisis stations, etc. Most of the DC there will have just finished GCSE's/AS Levels/A Levels.

They aren't supposed to take alcohol in, but they do! However, an adult who apparently bought the girls drinks, got them taken off him when they saw who he was giving them to. There are also drugs around, however DD and her mates had paid for their own tickets, so they didn't want to risk missing any of the bands they wanted to see/be thrown out, etc.

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