55 answers

Would You Let Your 12 Year Old Go to England ?

My father in law and new wife want to take my daughter and wife's 15 year old daughter to England for two weeks. In laws are world travelers and know where they are going. However, they are not great supervisors. Ive told them under no circumstance will the girls ever go anywhere without an adult but its bound to happen, such as within the hotel to go get a snack. this is the chance of a life time for my daughter and she may never get to go otherwise. i trust her to make good decisions, she is not a risk taker. But she is also not "street smart". What would you do? Let her go and pray everynight? Follow them? Tell them no?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You bet I would. My oldest daughter started traveling right around that age, first to Quebec for 3 weeks, then Sweden for a year, then Holland for 7 months, etc., etc. She is the most well rounded kid I have ever met (really, not just saying that because she is mine).

However, I think the other question is, does SHE want to go? It sounds cool and everything, but 2 weeks is a long time (especially when dealing with jet lag) to be away from mom if she hasn't been before. Be realistic when you discuss that issue with her.

I hope you let her go and I hope she chooses to go! Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I'd let her go with relatives. Start teaching her "street smarts" right away. At 12, she needs them at home, too.

2 moms found this helpful

My son wouldn't want to be that far from me for that amount of time.
He's a responsible kid and he's smart and he'd probably be fine.
But he's very attached to me right now (and me to him) and an occasional lock down overnight at taekwondo a few times a year is enough.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I'd let her go. At 12 yrs old, she's old enough to start acting like a young adult. Most people start hiring kids her age to babysit other younger children for short periods of time. Give her a cell phone and make sure she can make international calls/texts. Have her keep it on her at all times. Not only will she be able to call the grandparents should they get separated, but most phones also have a GPS in them should something happen that she gets lost, she can be more easily found. If you have the finances and the passport--perhaps you could make it a family outing. If not, just remember this IS your FIL...I'm guessing he did an OK job raising your spouse if you're even entertaining the thought of letting her go with ;)

4 moms found this helpful

Yes, let her go. Arm her with a phone card so she can call you every night. Talk with your in-laws about your expectations of supervision and safety. Pray like crazy.
Then let her go and tell her to have a great time and take lots of pictures.

4 moms found this helpful

IF you do let them go (what a great experience!!), tell the girls BUDDY SYSTEM!! They are absolutely not to let each other out of their sight no matter what. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for your daughter. My parents let my baby brother go to Paris on a school trip when he was 11... the chaperones were 1 parent per 12 kids!! I think that your in-laws can (and will) handle 2 just fine... those girls are old enough to know that they need to stay with the grown ups. Have your daughter call as often as possible to calm your nerves. Oh, and might I add, my baby brother, who is now 20, just got back from studying in Morocco for a year, and his experience in Paris has sparked something huge in him. It was really, really good for him! I would asolutely lay out non-negotiable ground rules, and be proud that your little girl is growing up and has such amazing opportunities available to her!! Best wishes :)

4 moms found this helpful

If the girls get along well, and if your child interacts well with her grandfather and step-grandmother, I'd let her go.

BUT, I would do some preparation of my own beforehand.

1. Go to a large metropolitan bank or airport and get her a few coins and some paper currency that she'll see and use over there. Figure out a way to give her a rough estimate of equivalencies. For example, tell her "one of our dollars is equal to two of theirs (or whatever the ratio is). So if a candy bar costs one dollar here, how much would you pay me in the foreign currency?" (Don't worry about the little percents, just a basic whole number estimate. Go online to a UK site and show her the symbol for pounds and whatever else they use, and have her pretend that she's buying something from you. Set up a little pretend snack bar on your kitchen counter but only use signs labeled in British currency and only accept British currency for transactions, just for fun.

Role play: Come up with different scenarios. Like, the other girl wants to sneak out of the hotel, or try going to the pool without anyone knowing, or someone offers her something on the street, or she gets separated from her group and is lost. Actually pretend that it's happening. What should she do? What do the police look like? (google photos). Teach her some basics about safety, staying with her group, not getting distracted by strangers who may be pickpockets, etc. If she and the other girl go around in the hotel, what would be the boundaries (lobby, snack area, restaurant, etc., but not outside, for example).

Buy her one of those travel pouches that can be worn around the neck like a necklace or around her waist like a belt. (Airport gift shops are good places to find a wide variety of these things). Tell her to wear it 100% of the time, underneath clothes (not visible). It should contain her passport unless her grandfather puts it in a safe or assumes responsibility for it, a clearly labeled ID with contact information (both here and there) in permanent marker (I'd laminate it to make it waterproof), some money (not for spending on trinkets but for emergency cab fare or other emergency use).

Go to your cell phone provider and tell them where she'll be traveling and make 100% sure that her phone will work there, and make sure your plan is activated for that. Then teach her the proper way to make an international call, and program it in advance (and remember all the international codes and country codes and area codes) with your phone numbers and her grandparents' phones and the hotel phone. Practice using the phone. I know she probably is like a lot of kids and knows the phone inside and out, but dialing in and to a foreign country often involves extra numbers.

Provide her with a good quality but disposable camera (or 2 or 3). That way she doesn't have to worry about the camera being stolen, and if it got lost or dropped, it's only a few bucks from the store that you've lost. But she can still have a good time taking pictures.

If they know where they're going, have your daughter look up the region or city online and learn something about the cuisine, landmarks, climate, etc.

If she hasn't flown before, take her to the airport just to observe. Point out the security line and show her what to expect.

We've lived overseas, and my son has traveled to several countries with small groups. I think the role playing and practice beforehand for anything that might come up helped him have safe and happy trips every time. Just make sure that you don't come across as nervous. Tell her "just like we pack clothes for a trip, we also have to prepare in other ways. I want you to have a wonderful time, and that can happen if you are prepared, and familiar with the money and phones and some basic information." Act and speak confidently and she'll pick that up from you.

4 moms found this helpful

I'd let them go. You have from now until then to make your daughter aware of what could happen, but you should not think in the negative and be happy they gave grandparents that can give them this opportunity. I travelled all over the place with my gran and gramp from a very young age. They love your children and will not place them in jeopardy I'm sure.

3 moms found this helpful

She should totally go! This would be an amazing trip for her and I think it would give her an excellent opportunity to have this memory with her grandfather and "aunt". The girls will have a blast and even if they do go to the hotel lobby to get a snack, I think it will be okay. I would start talking to her about some of those "street smart" things now b/c you're right, she should know them, regardless of the fact that your FIL and wife aren't 'great supervisors'. It's just smart to have some of those thoughts in the forefront of her mind before any trip. I know it will be scary for you to have her gone and you'll miss her, but I think the right thing is to let her go and encourage her to have the best time ever! Don't let her know how worried you might be, let her go guilt free!

3 moms found this helpful

I'd let her go with relatives. Start teaching her "street smarts" right away. At 12, she needs them at home, too.

2 moms found this helpful

let em go and just make sure that they know to stay together if they go anywhere and just be happy that your daughter gets to go on an amazing trip

2 moms found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.