[Solved] 17 year old abroad alone..?
So my eldest has lived with me for about a year now. He didn't really get on with college and got himself a job as a trainee accountant. In his free time he plays online and has made some friends, one boy and one girl - separate cities, in Denmark who he would like to go and visit. He has his own passport and is buying the ticket with his own money...
His Mother is up in arms about it and says it's a safe-guarding issue. She believes that because he's never met these people ( I've spoken to them on Skype, joined in a few games with them and even stalked them on Facebook 😉 ) he's in very real danger and shouldn't go alone. So she expects me to buy a ticket as well and go over to meet them first...
My opinion is that he's a big lad (6' 3" but skinny) operating in an adult world and should be treated like an adult. He pays me rent and contributes toward household expenses like a house-mate ( I still have to lean on him sometimes to do things like washing, making his own lunch etc but otherwise very adult).
I totalled it up and it would cost me £350 plus train fairs as well as at least two days loss of earnings (self-employed) to basically put his Mother's mind at ease. I can't stand the woman and really don't feel it's necessary anyway.
Am I wrong?
It's a tough one, but I think it's down to the maturity of your son. I can see the mothers point, but I can also understand where you're coming from.
If after the checks you've done you feel reassured, perhaps you could arrange for them to speak to her on Skype as you have done and give her access to their FB page so that she can see its above board.
Perhaps ask him to keep in contact with his mum a couple of times a day, just a quick phone call, just to put her mind at rest, I bet you would t mind the same!
As parents we have to let go, it hard but we have to trust them to make the right decisions and allow them to make their own mistakes and learn from them...that's how it works for all of us.
Best of luck
He's 17. What can I say. Mature in many ways but still a kid in some. His Mum has always been over-protected. When he was 11 she still made him wear a flourescent safety jacket whenever he left the house and on my first outing with him then without her chaperoning he climbed a tree. When I looked round, saw him and grinned he almost fell out in surprise that I hadn't shouted at him...
That's my benchmark. So I fear is that I may be *too* liberal almost in retaliation. It is a fear though. I genuinely think allowing him freedom is the right thing to do. I'm just venting my fears here I guess...
This is a difficult one. Albeit I am an advocate of children gaining life experiences to equip them well for when they fly the nest, as a mother, I must empathize with the mother of your son. However capable and mature he is, he is not an adult yet. By virtue of this fact he has a lot to learn and be aware of. If there was a friend going with him I would be more favourable to the idea.
I personally would be very cautious indeed by meeting on the internet. Do we really know who these people are who go on Facebook and Skype? No we don't. We do not see them function in their surroundings, with their friends and family and neither are we able to gauge the trust worthiness of such people, we don't know anyone who knows them to enquire.. You say you have spoken with them, has it occurred to you that being the father of your son it is possible they could purposely have been on their best behaviour? On the other hand they may be very acceptable people BUT you do not know.
I agree with your Son's Mother on this one.
...am I being too liberal, perhaps. I think the previous poster makes some valid points. As I said its a tough one. Maybe you have to ask yourself how you would feel if something happened.
I remember what I got up to when I was 17...just! I was doing my own thing and getting up to all sorts, but it was a different world then.
If you recognise that your reaction is in retaliation, then perhaps you need to look deeper. Is it possible for you to accompany him? Denmark is a long way away and as has been said, he's going alone. You can't put a price on his safety and at least you would be there, of course you would spend much of the time hanging around waiting but I'm sure there's plenty to see, I do enjoy a city break!
Best of luck