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To let DS aged 16 go away for 3 nights with 7 of his friends?

156 replies

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?

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IHaveBrilloHair · 18/07/2015 17:22

I don't have first hand advice, but my friend let her 16yr old go to T in the park last weekend and he had a great time.
I'd probably let him.


paxtecum · 18/07/2015 17:23

What did you do at his age?
My DCs are their friends picked up their GCE results, then got the train to Reading Festival (250 miles away) and camped there for the weekend.

They'll be fine.


FauxFox · 18/07/2015 17:25

I would let him - he sounds like he has earned your trust and deserves to 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


paxtecum · 18/07/2015 17:26

Remind him about the dangers of drinking, especially spirits, legal highs and drugs.

Ask him if he needs to take condoms?

Don't keep texting him.


Savethesm · 18/07/2015 17:27

Ah yes, condoms


scarlets · 18/07/2015 17:27

My friend's 16 year old went to Glastonbury for 2 nights and was fine. She is sensible like your DC. Friends and I went to a caravan for a night when we were 16, but it was only three miles from home!


Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:28

What did I do? Grin
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.

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kua · 18/07/2015 17:29

I wouldn't let him go. I also have a 16 year old and don't know any other parents who would also allow this and we're a fairly liberal lot!


ChazzerChaser · 18/07/2015 17:30

I'd let him go


Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:30

Don't think that is on the cards. He did tell me when she had a girlfriend and when and why they broke up. Hmmm...
He is a lovely young man, tbh.

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Bonsoir · 18/07/2015 17:31

My DSS2 has just got back from a week in Barcelona with 8 (male) friends. DSS2 is nearly 18 and has just finished school. The boys stayed in a very cheap hotel. DSS2 is back/alive/happy.

I think your DS' trip sounds fine, OP - appropriate for age/stage.


Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:31

When HE had a girlfriend.

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Mehitabel6 · 18/07/2015 17:32

I let my son go at that stage. He was sensible, he had nice friends and they properly researched it.
It was very useful experience because 2 years after that they went abroad and they were adults by then.


almondcakes · 18/07/2015 17:33

I would let him go. DS is this age and goes away camping for weekends with friends, hundreds of miles away on bike and train.

When I was that age I knew sixteen year olds who had moved out and had tenancies in shared houses.


kua · 18/07/2015 17:36

I see I'm the only dissenting voice Grin

If you do allow it, definitely have a full and frank conversation regarding condoms/ booze etc


Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:37

Ok so maybe I'm not mad Grin

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.

What else?
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.

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Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:39

You know he's my PFB, right? Grin

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Silvercatowner · 18/07/2015 17:39

Just give him a packet of condoms. Far too late for reminders - if he hasn't 'got' the unwanted pregnancy/ taking responsibility stuff by now then I doubt he ever will.


StillStayingClassySanDiego · 18/07/2015 17:39

I'd let him go.

DS2 went to Brussels at 16 with his friends for 4 days, all was well and they did drink alcohol, sensible lads which put my mind at rest.

I'm anxious by nature but felt ok about this.


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.


kua · 18/07/2015 17:40

A chat about what to do if someone over indulges on booze/legal highs. What to keep an eye out for etc


Georgethesecond · 18/07/2015 17:41

No, neither would I. I was 20 then, and at uni.

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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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