To let DS aged 16 go away for 3 nights with 7 of his friends?
Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:19
He wants to get the train to a city in the UK that is far from ours. Maybe three hours drive. It is a mixed group of girls and boys and they have all finished their GCSEs this summer. They will stay in a flat owned by the parents of one of the kids, and the mum will stay with friends nearby - so she will be in the same city but not on the same premises. I don't know exactly how far away she will be, basically she cannot supervise them but she can bail them out if she is called to do so. I don't know her and have only met her once. She will drive half the kids down there, the others will get the train and the travel costs will apparently be shared equally among the kids. (I expect she will pay for the petrol!) DS has enough in his bank account to cover the train and also his food and so on.
None of them has fake ID and I do not think they stand any chance of buying alcohol. Obviously this does not mean that they won't take any with them. I won't give DS any to take. I don't think any of them has ever taken drugs or has any interest in them. I know I can't know this for sure. They are all conscientious high achievers heading for university. They do drink alcohol but obviously are inexperienced as they are so young. I have spoken to DS about drinking, about what too much alcohol looks like, about what to do if someone drinks too much and how you can tell that they have.
DS is talking to me about it and understands that he needs to have a proper plan and why I might have reservations about the trip. He has researched the train fares and I think he would keep in touch by text if he went. He is reasonably practical and used to getting trains around our local area. He is a sensible boy who has never given me cause to doubt him and has never lied to me to my knowledge.
I am leaning towards letting him go. Am I mad? What do I need to talk to him about if I do let him go?
Savethesm · 18/07/2015 17:26
I think you should let him go. He's not presented it to you as fait accompli, he's researched and understands why you'd worry. It sounds like you've raised a lovely young man who deserves for you to trust him.
At 16 I would have just gone, I wouldn't have even asked.
if he screws up, then the trust is gone. Let him know this in no uncertain terms. I think he'll respect that more than if you say no. And in a year or so he can do what he likes anyway so build the trust up now with these smaller things
Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:28
What did I do?
I could get served in pubs, it was much easier in the eighties. I smoked a bit. I occasionally felt a bit dizzy after too much lager. Nothing ridiculous.
I didn't go away with friends until I was at university. Mind you, then I went to Thailand for seven weeks and of course we had no mobile phones in those days.
Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:37
Ok so maybe I'm not mad
I'll talk about condoms. I don't think asking him if he needs them is quite right, but I'll find out a bit about sleeping arrangements and give a reminder. We have talked in the past about the consequences of having to support a child too young and about how the decision to carry on with a pregnancy or not lies with the girl and is out of the boy's hands.
Do I say how often he should keep in touch?
Do I ask him to ring rather than text?
I have explained the urgent nature of losing ones bank card.
And he knows my mobile and our home number should he lose his phone.
Mehitabel6 · 18/07/2015 17:39
I didn't think that I was liberal until I started reading MN and find that I am- I wish that my DCs had realised it!
I think it a bit silly just to ban it when they will be between 13 and 23 months off being adults and able to go anywhere they like if they have the money.
I wouldn't want mine going to Thailand if they hadn't managed 3 nights in a UK City.
Ikeameatballs · 18/07/2015 17:42
I would let him go but first get him to think through the following:
What do they want to do when they are there? How much will that cost?
What will happen if they fall out?
I would also plan to text him twice/day at pre-arranged times to check all is ok.
Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:43
I'm happy that I've done the chat about too much alcohol.
What do I say about legal highs (apart from just bloody don't!) - if someone is unresponsive then that is when you call for help? Don't assume someone is asleep, if you can't wake them then.... Then what exactly?!
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