15 yr old son point blank refusing to come on family holiday day before we leave

(125 Posts)
mulranno Fri 23-Aug-13 23:14:08

what do we do?....force him into the car at gun point?....he says because it is the last week of the holidays and all his mates are back from their breaks and loads of parties that he doesn't want to miss

exexpat Mon 26-Aug-13 20:33:51

So, what happened, OP? Did he agree to go in the end?

Quangle Sun 25-Aug-13 10:09:40

I think the parties thing is a red herring. It's not as if he'll be missing anything significant - just a get-together from which plenty of people will be missing because they'll be on holiday with their parents...

When you are teenager you assume everyone else is totally cool and practically lives in a flat on their own. I remember being mortified at being seen in WH Smith with my mum as if my school friends actually didn't have mums grin. Actually plenty of his friends will be doing normal things like being away with parents or staying with relatives in distant towns.

Agree that his approach has not been the right one and that long term family plans trump flaky teenage plans.

tiredaftertwo Sun 25-Aug-13 09:38:36

Seems to me that the OP's ds' situation has changed since the holiday was booked. This end of summer party thing can start suddenly - it may not even have been a possibility when the holiday was booked. So it may not be that he has changed his mind, but that the choice he is faced with is now a different one. I know as an adult you would still say tough, I'll come on holiday and miss all the parties but a 15 year old....? I am sure he does realise it is very short notice and unreasonable, but the thoguht of missing it overrides all that.

OP, I hope you had a lovely holiday, and it all worked out well. It sounds like you had a good compromise ready if needed. FWIW, my teens often seem to see a lot of their friends in the last week or two too, and we now tend to go away earlier in the summer. I think many parents of teenagers find they have to go the extra mile to incorporate their teen in family life, you can't take it for granted and you cannot force them.

sashh Sun 25-Aug-13 09:22:52

A bit late for this but.

Let him stay but only if he has arranged his own accommodation with an adult. Not one of his friends saying 'come stay at mine' but a parent of a friend or a relative.

If he can organise that he can stay, otherwise he goes with you.

cory Sat 24-Aug-13 19:06:08

What Cloudkitten said about him needing to learn to anticipate, negotiate and compromise.

One lever I use is parties. I have made it clear to dd that teen parties are potentially dangerous places, and therefore only suitable for mature teens with good judgment. As long as she displays maturity and judgment, I am very happy for her to attend and will try to arrange lifts etc. But children do not get to attend adult parties.

mateysmum Sat 24-Aug-13 18:23:50

I too am the proud possessor of a 15 yr old DS who can be very stubborn and angry when confronted with something he really doesn't want to do. I always found that the worse thing is to escalate the confrontation with any "nuclear option" statements. At this age I think it's all about seeming to be treated as an "adult" or at least someone capable of making significant decisions about their life (even if they're not).
I think you should sit down and have a grown up discussion with him about why you want him to come and why the short notice is a problem. Next year he will be 16 and perhaps the carrot is that subject to certain criteria, he can start planning now for a more independent holiday then. The trick is to make him think he is making the decision to come with you. By avoiding digging you heels in before the discussion, you can always agree that he can stay with relatives in the end, provided you set the ground rules for his behaviour and perhaps assign some responsibility or tasks to him as pay back.
I don't envy you OP, it's such an awkward age.

bigTillyMint Sat 24-Aug-13 18:01:25

I loved The Smiths. What do sulky, weight of the world on their shoulders teens listen to these days?smile

JenaiMorris Sat 24-Aug-13 17:52:24

grin Another Smiths fan here (aka JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar and many moons ago, OtterInaSkoda)

Dackyduddles Sat 24-Aug-13 16:44:49

He wants to be treated like an adult but approached it as a child.

If picking your battles, yes and that's why.

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:39:52

Ha,*un*intentional, not intentional! grin

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:38:35

Sorry mulranno - the first paragraph of my last post seemed to read a bit starkly, it was intentional! (just poor writing).

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 16:34:37

Octopus -- as a Morrisey fan - that has me screaming with laughter....!

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 16:27:34

mulranno you should pick your battles.. and still, considering all you have said (which is but a mere scratch on the surface of "how things are") and without knowing the personalities... I would still say, you need to stand firm on this one.. because it is simply not on to dump this on you at such short notice, without time for discussion, without arrangements being made, the fact that you will have to put upon family at short notice to take him, (no matter how much they love him etc they must have their own things to do), he must learn to negotiate properly and sensibly and that does not include leaving it until the last minute.

Learning to be an adult sometimes means doing things you don't want to do, not saying "I'm not doing it" and then getting the authority figures to rush around making it possible for him to not do. He will have teachers, tutors, university lecturers, friends, colleagues, managers etc all coming up in his life and he needs to know you don't get things by clicking your fingers like that.

I think the lesson you should be teaching him is that, if he has strong opinion on something, then he needs to a) anticipate b) negotiate c) compromise. For next time. This will be far more valuable to him in the long run.

As an aside, at 15 this sounds like the last family holiday you have together. What I would try to do is look at if you can make it any more fun when you get there so it's a really good one!

WafflyVersatile Sat 24-Aug-13 16:21:03

MariaLuna

I disagree. He quite possibly didn't know or didn't think about that and even if he had in theory he didn't have them dangling temptingly in front of him in a more tangible way until the last few days.

birdybear Sat 24-Aug-13 16:15:08

I don't blame him if you go to the same dull house every year. Why don't you go somewhere where there is something for him to go and make holiday mates??? And have fun!

Tortington Sat 24-Aug-13 16:08:43

if he hasn't been shitty about it - and you have somewhere for him to stay and its not a PITA to organise - i'd leave him.

KittieCat Sat 24-Aug-13 16:03:06

Fuck it, leave him and take me, promise I wknt sulk...It's you or Noah to the rescue as the rain is awful here.

Sorry to dive in unhelpfullly...

In all seriousness I'd suggest you should fight this battle but let him know that you're willing to discuss in future with a little more notice.

unlucky83 Sat 24-Aug-13 16:02:07

Not saying we had a 'normal' relationship - but resolved now...
My parents knew my sister was in the house, my grandparents and uncle lived in the same village and in the note I'd said I was staying with friends and was coming back after the holiday...so they had tried to find me - but (bar getting the police involved) not really much else they could have done but deprive my brothers of their holiday...not really very fair.
I was a nightmare - had realised that if decide you are not going to do something there is little anyone can do to actually make you...and I think I was determined to see how far that could go
Shouting wouldn't have worried me/grounding I would be out the window I stopped going to school regularly - and neither they nor the school could make me go...
My mum during 'a living under this roof, our rules' type rant said something about 'eating our food' - so I started buying my own food - already had got a part-time job because they stopped giving me money.
I didn't steal/take drugs/do anything illegal or overtly dangerous so not really a police/social services issue - I think they didn't really know what to do ..except never getting to stage in the first place...easier said that done maybe...
Just hoping my DCs don't do that to me ...

Octopus37 Sat 24-Aug-13 15:57:50

Not meaning to trivialise it, but you have just brought back a funny memory for me. Remember going on a short family break to Anglessey when I was 15 which I really didn't want to go on (btw knew it wasn't negotiable but sure I sulked). I remember sending a postcard to my friend with the following lyrics from Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrisey) on it
"Hide on the promenade, etch a postcard, how I dearly wish I was not here, in this coastal town that they forgot to bomb down". Song is playing on youtube as I speak.

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 15:54:42

I would close the phone account. He can pay for it himself.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 15:51:47

Cloudkitten - To date he has always respected our boundaries - he is head strong, stubborn and feisty - but we know that when we take the TIME to work things through he does comply eventually. I know that I can get him into the car if I NEED to - the consequences are always phone removal or escalated to phone account closure - but do I WANT to?

He is sensible and very sociable and I really respect him for that - so this is where as I have said at the start -- should I pick my battles?

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 15:36:21

That was a good post Cory.

I would tell him how his last minute change of mind has impacted on you. TBH I would be furious and upset.

Does he have a job? If not I would be making him get one super fast because if he wants to be treated like an adult then it is time for pocket money/lifts to end.

(I grew up in a rural area and had a job at 13 and never got a lift because my parents did not drive.)

Cloudkitten Sat 24-Aug-13 15:31:13

mulranno I agree - yelling for two solid weeks was disrespectful/abusive and it's not how I would or do treat my children. There is a middle ground (if only we were all given a map and compass to find it, hey?! wink) and also a lot depends on the personality of a child. In my case, my sister and I were perfectly normal, not rebels, not goody-two-shoes types, but intelligent, sensible (but normal) teenagers. I mean I didn't even get a late mark at school let alone a detention in 7 years of senior school. I was that sort of teenager! I had a natural respect for authority - some kids do. We (my sister and I) didn't actually require the heavy handed tactics that my parents (mainly my mum) sometimes employed, but she had had a different upbringing to us in a tougher area so she employed less, perhaps, subtle means of control. However. Any thought of wrong-doing was totally squashed, so perhaps it was a "just in case" philosophy of hers hmm to give her the benefit of the doubt.

However. There are definitely some kids out there who are a lot more "spirited" than I was, who would need firmer boundaries and controls set in place, and I guess what I am saying is that it's knowing your children, but if you do get to the stage that nothing you can say or do will make them get in a car (ie words alone) then that's a dangerous place for you and them to be. Once they have passed that barrier of "Mum and dad can't make me" I don't think it stops there in terms of respecting other forms of authority either.

poppingin1 Sat 24-Aug-13 15:25:16

unlucky I don't think its a case of what you did to your parents but more a case of what your parents did to you.

mulranno Sat 24-Aug-13 15:17:37

Cloudkitten - I absolutely agree that leaving to go on holiday not knowing where your 15 year old daughter is "is not quite a common or healthy relationship" - I would also go further and say it is irresponsible and and neglectful abuse - but equally I would describe "yelling for two solid weeks" as abuse and disrespectful of another human being.

unlucky - I am so sorry to hear your story of a vulnerable you girl in flight. has the relationship with your parents been restored?

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