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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?

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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 ?

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?


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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?

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.

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!

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

mumeeee Mon 13-Jul-09 20:18:15

I agree with you slowreadingprogress. All 3 of my DD's just had a day out with thier friends. We bought DD1 a guitar and paid for some guitar lessons as that is what she wantes. I took DD2 and 3 to London to see a musical of hier chioce as that is what they wanted. NO way would I have let them have an unsupervised holiday at that age and none of thier friends did that either.

slowreadingprogress Mon 13-Jul-09 19:25:42

exactly Lainey and mumonthenet. Actualy they are often looking for that boundary - they'll ask because of many reasons - boundary testing, peer pressure - but in fact if they get a 'no' they will often accept it with relief. I think as parents we shouldn't be afraid to say no - otherwise what example are we of how to avoid peer pressure if we feel we must say yes because we don't want to be seen as fussy or precious or overprotective parents?

I think unaccompanied holidays are inappropriate for 16 year olds, they're not adults yet. There are other ways of marking rites of passage such as finishing GCSEs and of giving tastes of independence.

mumonthenet Mon 13-Jul-09 18:20:43

thanks lainey for your's always nice to see what happened in the end.

So often these teenagers are actually quite relieved to be stopped from doing something! A difficult path to tread for us.

LaineyW Sun 12-Jul-09 23:09:37

Hello everyone, I originally posted this so thought I'd update you on what finally happened. I was very relieved when DD's friend's mum said no, took the pressure off everyone. We were coming to the same decision only were much more wussy about it!

In the end, DD has said to me she's so glad they didn't end up going. There were lots of ex-girlfriend and ex-boyfriend relationships within their particular group that by the time they were to have gone away, most of them were then with other people anyway and it would have been very awkward. One boy has also been excluded from school (apart from actually sitting his exams) and seems to be completely at war with the world so I'm not sure how he would have fared away from his parents and any sort of supervision.

Funny how things work out...

RustyBear Sat 11-Jul-09 14:08:28

The boy who died was the younger brother of one of DD's friends.sad

DD went to a house in Devon with a group of friends post-GCSE's - no adults in the house, but it belonged to the parents of one of the girls, so she knew people in the village. They seemed to cope quite well - they arrived to find the house with no electricity, but managed to find & fix the fuse.

I think as Milliways says, it's something you need to decide for yourself, depending onthe maturity level of your child.

Milliways Sat 11-Jul-09 13:45:48

A 16 yr old boy in our town died last week at the Newquay festival

He was not the first this year either!


Having said that, different kids can be trusted at different ages. I would prefer they were over 18 before holidaying without adults though.

mumonthenet Fri 10-Jul-09 21:03:36

don't blame the mum who put her foot down!

I would have suggested that you gently find an alternative....which fits with your idea of supervision.

Trouble with 16 yr olds, is they THINK they can handle everything.

But, sadly for them, they sometimes can't.

motheroftwoboys Fri 10-Jul-09 20:53:21

I know this is an "elderly" thread now but our DS1 who is now 18 has gone away for the past couple of summers to Festivals in this country and abroad and also for city breaks. They always stay in backpackers hostels and have an absolute ball!!

brimfull Tue 30-Jun-09 21:31:46

my dd wnet to reading festival last summer after gcse's

she is sensible and I trust her

she had a brilliant time and is going again this yr,is also going to Paris with 6 girlfriends for 3 nights

cathyed Tue 30-Jun-09 21:10:22

Hi I had the same dilema and i made my husband make the decision as i was so torn.... he decided that he could go and so is currently staying in a lodge with 10 mates the girls are staying in another one down the road.
I was very concerned about him going but i have to say that he could not wait to go and i think its good for him and in a strange way for me as well, trust has to start somewhere and at least they have each other !!
would be interested to know if they went away in the end
cathy x

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