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DS abroad with school - Wibu to ring the hotel to check he's OK?

81 replies

user1498726699 · 04/07/2017 06:38

DS (15) left yesterday AM. Have not heard anything from him since he got on the coach from school. He was given precise instructions to text me when he arrived at hotel just to let me know he arrived safely. I He has no contacted me at all nor replied to a text I sent him last night.

It's the first time he's been abroad without us. I suffer from PTSD due to death of DC2 so am always a bit anxious about all my DC.

Likely his phone may have run out of battery as we realised last night that we forgot to pack a plug converter!

Have rung hotel. They could not put me through to his room as they don't know who's in what room so asked them to pass a message to a teacher asking him to call/text me. Will I be the laughing stock of the staff room when they get back?

OP posts:
SoupDragon · 04/07/2017 07:54

IF you didn't actually see him onto the Coach then ring to confirm he's with them, then leave them to it.

They would have contacted her if he didn't get on the coach.

PerfumeIsAMessage · 04/07/2017 07:57

I am about to start my summer stint as deputy course director for 250 international students and have a school group of my own flying over next week and I think you SHOULD ring the school if only to point out how absurd it is that you have not been given the contact details of the accompanying teacher.
Teenagers don't ring their mums. Fact. And no news is good news. Fact.
We tell all our accompanying teachers on the first evening to get their kids to ring home because we don't have the time for the next 3 days to field the calls from parents who have not heard from their kids and used the emergency number or telephoned our HQ to pass on the "is he OK/can he ring us" messages.
We DO pass them on obviously and we understand the parents' concerns but it's the accompanying teacher's job to sort this out.
When it's just one small group in a hotel it surely can't be that hard! My accompanying teacher has made a whatsapp group where she will keep parents updated as the holiday goes on. Amazing how one photo can set a parent's mind at ease.

user1495025590 · 04/07/2017 08:04

Ime even if they have just given paracetamol the school would ring and let you know. He is 15 . The anxiety whilst understandable to an extent is your problem to deal with.Not the school,s and not your son's

Anditstartsagain · 04/07/2017 08:08

I'm 30 with 2 kids and my mum still expects a text to let her know we arrive safely when we go away I think it's normal.

Our school have twitter all trips lasting more than the day are updated there by the teacher in charge. It was great for the 5 day trip we recently had no need to worry a photo of them all standing outside on arrival put everyones mind at ease. We are told comments won't be replied to we contact the school for anything we need so the teachers on the trip are not bothered. Works well.

blueskyinmarch · 04/07/2017 08:10

They would not call to get consent to give a 15yo paracetamol, they would assume they were old enough to give informed consent themselves for that.

OP- i get where you are at. I lost my eldest DD over 20 years ago and have struggled over the years with my other two being away and being out of contact. My DD1is 24 and now gets my worry about this. She is much better at checking in especially as she travels a lot for work, sometimes to dodgy places. DD2 is 19 and a nightmare for not being in contact but i am learning to leave her be and let her contact me. To be fair to her she does understand why i get worried.

If the teachers that are away on the trip know about your circumstances i am sure they will be very understanding. I am sure all is fine.

PurplePeppers · 04/07/2017 08:11

Does the school do updates on Twitter?
Lat time dc went away, there was very regular updates with photos in Twitter (also put on the school website)

I fully agree that no news is good news. They will ring for ANY minor issue, incl paracetamol.

HotelEuphoria · 04/07/2017 08:13

It is very likely his phone doesn't work abroad. Despite us taking all necessary steps to ensure DD's did, it still didn't. Fortunately she got access to Wifi occasionally so could Whatsapp.

Whilst it is very worrying for you, please rest assured that he is fine, if he wasn't school WOULD be in touch. Failing that, ring the school and ask if any of the teachers on the trip have a school mobile (our school always did) and could you text just to check everything was OK? I am sure that (despite them not recommending it) you won't be the first or last to do it.

user1495025590 · 04/07/2017 08:21

BlueSky first off parents fill in a consent form before the trip,and for that matter before entry into school. to ask parents to authorise OTC medication.secondly if you read my post you would see I said they let parents know if they have administered medication, not ring th to ask consent
Thirdly I wrote 'ime' how fucking dare you doubt what I write abouty own experience

Mulledwine1 · 04/07/2017 08:22

On previous school trips ds has not been allowed to take his phone. But the school has sent a text to say all arrived safely. I think it's a bit rubbish if they have not arranged this - it's a tiny thing to do, but is very important for parents.

It is fine to phone the school and ask them to confirm they arrived safely. No news is good news, but it's not unreasonable to expect a basic message saying that, even if it's the only one you receive for the whole trip.

I still text my mum when I've visited her to let her know I've got home safely! And vice versa. And I text when I am on holiday to say I've arrived safely too. It's just something we do.

VeryButchyRestingFace · 04/07/2017 08:25

I agree that you would have heard if anything had happened, OP.

However, your anxiety is perfectly understandable given the circumstances. Is your son usually good at keeping in contact? If so, his phone is probably just out of service. Flowers

My only sibling died in childhood. My mother never pressures me but I was aware even as a child that she worried. From my teens, I was always very conscientious about letting her know where I was, when I'd arrived somewhere, when I'd be home.

I was selfish in other ways but that seemed like a small thing to do to give my mother peace of mind.

Kewcumber · 04/07/2017 08:31

If you have had any CBT about your anxiety you'll know that what you are doing is reassurance seeking and that it actually makes people more anxious rather than less. Tempting though it is to think that it won't hurt just this once, you must know that all it will do is encourage you to think that you need that text next time to prove everything is alright.

A text to say you've arrived at your destination is an illusion, getting somewhere is not significantly more dangerous than being somewhere (though I know it feels that way). It's why I never told my mother I would call her (pre-texting days) because it only set up the opportunity to worry her.

I don't think the issue is whether you are a laughing stock in the staff room (who cares!) but how you manage your very understandable anxiety.

I think the mantra "no news is good news" above is an excellent idea.

sashh · 04/07/2017 08:33


This is hard fr you but it is YOU.

Most likley things

He doesn't have roaming on his phone so can't text.
He is too busy having fun to text.
They have been asked to switch phones off and he hasn't turned it back on.

Thousands of children go on trips every year. We only hear about the occasional ones where something goes wrong but they are so so rare.

Contact the school, get the name of someone (teacher, receptionist, school nurse), explain about your anxiety and ask them if they have heard from teachers with the trip. Ask if it's OKO to call them daily - then don't. You can if you want to but try not to.

tinytemper66 · 04/07/2017 08:35

When I took a school trip to USA last year I had a few texts from parents asking me to remind pupils that they needed to text home as agreed. You are not being silly and will not be the talk of the staff room!

BarbarianMum · 04/07/2017 08:36

No news is good news. I mean this kindly but the more you check, the more you ask him to contact you, the more your anxiety will be fed.

If there is a problem the school will contact you.

My mum suffered from similar anxiety. It got so that no amount of reassuring phone calls/postcards (later texts) helped so now we have a strict radio silence rule whilst we are on holiday. No "we've arrived" texts , no updates, nothing. Although it really upset her the first time we did it she now admits she worries less because she not expecting something.

blueskyinmarch · 04/07/2017 09:40

User Your experience and my experience on this differ then. I am not trying to start any arguments.

scottishdiem · 04/07/2017 09:53

My mum did this to me as I was probably the only one who didnt phone home to say we had safely arrived. This was a 2nd year trip to France and well before mobile phones. It was a 10 second thing and was all fine. I didn't find it embarrassing and no-one mentioned it.

steppemum · 04/07/2017 10:14

We have found several times that our phones didn't work as expected when overseas.
eg I went to germany in May, and my phone could not find and would not connect to the Geman mobile system. Still not sure why, I couldn't use it to speak to dh and kids. It took me 3 days to get on-line as well on my laptop.

One year we discovered ds phone wasn't properly set up for roaming and he couldn't use it when in France. We realised it was our fault, we needed to change his account settings and we hadn't.

So, he may not eb able to text due to a technical hitch.
Or he may just be busy being a teenager.
My ds would have run his battery dry on the journey and be fuming about not plug converter, and not even realised that I might be worrying.

Neutrogena · 04/07/2017 10:17

As it has been said, no news is good news.

They are hardly likely to come home and then (when your child doesn't get off the coach) say "sorry, he was killed on the 2nd day but we didn't call you"

BertrandRussell · 04/07/2017 10:18

Have you rung the school, yet, OP? It's fine for you to do that, I promise!

rightwhine · 04/07/2017 10:18

My phone doesn't work abroad but I can't be bothered to get it changed.

DrinkMilkAndKickAss · 04/07/2017 10:21

YANBU OP but as has been said upthread, no news is definitely good news.

Have you been given a copy of the itinary so you can keep mental tabs of where he is throughout the day? Or - even better - does the school have a Facebook or twitter profile that they might be updating with news of the trip? When the DC have been away with school their school twitter account has always provided more information than they have!

bigbluebus · 04/07/2017 10:25

I understand your anxiety OP but as he's with a school party there is no doubt the school would contact you immediately if there were any issues.

My DS has form for not texting to let me know he's arrived safely and has also been known not to respond to my text asking if he's arrived (hours after he should be there). He has always been fine - just doesn't see the need to bother letting me know - as by his logic he knows he's OK (he has ASD). I have also lost a DC so worry levels about my remaining child are heightened, even though his sister died of a health condition that DS doesn't have.

Try and relax, can you do something to distract yourself - go and treat yourself to something lovely! I'm sure your DS is fine.

britbat23 · 04/07/2017 10:32

They are hardly likely to come home and then (when your child doesn't get off the coach) say "sorry, he was killed on the 2nd day but we didn't call you"

Grin Hopefully they didn't leave the kid alone on the coach at a petrol station, who knows what could have happened...

Blissx · 04/07/2017 10:57

They will be out now for rest of day according to itinery so either message was not passed on/DS couldn't phone so waste of time calling them anyway. Oh well.

It wasn't a waste of time you calling, OP. The hotel have pretty much confirmed they have all arrived safely, they just don't know what room everyone is in, do they not? At least you know he has arrived, which was your point of calling in the first place.
Now, I'd just leave your DS to enjoy the trip.

Very very sorry about your DS2.

MrsEricBana · 04/07/2017 11:09

Oh you poor thing, I am so sorry about your other child and of course it is 100% ok to call under these circumstances. While I'm in no real doubt he's fine I do know from personal experience that the school do not necessarily call you if child is ill or injured on a school trip (my d's was v unwell on a trip when he was 9, the school did not call me and he has never been on a residential trip or sleepover since and had to pull out of CCF and DofE because of it. He is an older teen now. Also Dd was injured on a sports tour and I found out she was in hospital with facial injuries from another parent! She is on sports tour abroad now, she has texted me as she knows I worry). I know this isn't helpful and I'm sorry but I do think that while your ds is bound to be fine it is not unreasonable for you to want reassurance xx

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