Mom Seeking Advice on Issue with Teenager

Updated on April 06, 2011
A.H. asks from Augusta, GA
11 answers

my son is 16, will be 17 in sept. he's mature for his age, always has been, but he's a teenage boy. he's asked me to go to the beach with a group of friends, ages 16 to 18 (maybe 19) for 3 nights, i told him no because he's too young, but part of me feels like it would've been ok to let him go. i'd appreciate any logical/reasonable advice from anyone out there...thank you in advance!! being a mom is a tough job, but being a mom to teenagers is really tough!!

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So What Happened?

well, the departure dates hasn't come yet, it's this thursday. i've decided to stick with my answer of "no" that he can't go, even tho there's stil that part of me that thinks it would've been ok, but i know i'll be glad that i didn't put myself thru the worry that i know i would go thru had i allowed him to go. one of the factors that made me stick to my answer of "no" is if i would've said yes, i think that would've only brought on more situations like this for me to struggle with. i may let him go next year if he asks to go then. thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to give me feedback. it was very helpful and supportive. i was glad to see responses going both ways. this is a great source and i will continue using it in the future! best wishes to all of you!

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answers from San Francisco on


You made the right decision. Minors have no business going away over night without an adult present (other then sleep overs where there would still be an adult present). An exception might be if you know the other family and you know the other kid very well. As far as groups going to the beach with mixed ages, that is asking for trouble.

Many of us think when a kid gets to be 15, 16, 17 that is OK to leave them at the house over the weekend. I disagree because even the best kids, the smartest kids like the idea of having a little party while mom and dad are "out of the house".

He will be 18 in on the way to college soon enough. Just the time between now and then, he will be better able to make good decisions.

A example of letting a kid go on vacation with other kids and no supervision is Natalie Holloway. She never came back.

Lastly, let me add, I had a pretty good kid too, what I use to tell him when he would say, "Mom, you can trust me"....I would say , "Paul, I do trust YOU, it's the people I don't know that I can't trust"!


1 mom found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

My daughter was always mature for her age. When she was just 17 I let her go to NYC by herself to look at universities. She was fine, I knew she would be fine. Sometimes with kids you have to ignore their age and go with what you feel they can handle as a mother. I am not saying let your son go but to let him go if you think he will be fine. Don't let society decide what is best for your kids just because they are raising less mature kids.

My son on the other hand was 22 before I let him go out of town by himself he is nothing like his sister.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You may want to talk to him and express why your first instinct was no. Then if you feel comfortable with his friends maybe you can help him plan out a Senior trip for he and his friends to take the summer after he graduates. It all really depends on how much you trust or know his friends. My husband took a Senior trip with 2 of his closest friends the summer after graduation and 20 years later he still talks about the experience and is very close to the guys he took the trip with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I guess it depends on who he is going with? What type of friends are these? good kids? Will there be some adult where they are staying? I can understand your concern but teenagers will be teenagers and if you're uneasy you have to stick with your intuition. If he were 18 that would be different. I would probably make the same decision you did.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If your first response was to tell him, "no", there is something behind that mom intuition. You may not know why your first response was to say, "no", but it may be the best thing. Personally, I feel our teenagers grow up too fast and by allowing them to be placed in situations where they can "experiment" is something us as parents need to stop. I'm not saying he'll have sex and get a young girl pregnant or try kissing another boy, but you never know what happens when teenagers are left alone, especially for muliple nights in a row. I want my daughters to marry respectable young men, and so it takes good parents to raise a child into a respectalbe adult.

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answers from Dallas on

You made the right decision! At 16 he has no business going to the beach for 3 nights with no parental supervision! You are good mother who cares about her son. I'm a semi-young mother who works with boys in their teens, and all they want to do is get drunk and have sex. Teenagers need boundaries and limitations. Feel confident in your tough decisions!



answers from New York on

My son is almost 16, so a year younger than yours, and I think I would have done the same as you and not let him go. The bottom line is that no matter how "good" your son is, you cannot control the actions or behavior of any of the others. There's just too much potential for something to go wrong, in my opinion. I always err on the side of caution anyway. Just make your decision and stick with it, and try not to second guess yourself - your instincts are usually right!



answers from San Francisco on

Yes it is tough.

Do they want to camp? It's not legal to sleep on the beach, at least not here, so I doubt they can just go sleep on the beach. That may solve your problem.

When I was 19, I hitchhiked down the coast with my boyfriend, and we slept on the beach one night. In the middle of the night we were rousted by a cop, and had to trudge for miles until we found a place we could stay.

But, if it's all legal, and they have the proper gear, if you trust your son's friends, it seems to me that 16 year old boys should be able to camp for a few days.



answers from Athens on

I agree with your decision. I would not let a teenager go to the beach with a bunch of other teens without adult supervision. I don't care how mature he is for his age, he is still a boy. I say let him wait until he is in college in a few years. I wouldn't like it then, but what can you do at that point.



answers from Athens on

Amen to your statements!
It is even more difficult with daughters!
If he is a responsible mature young man then the question is even tougher I would say, because you want to trust him I know. My gut feeling tells me to say this based on having 4 children ranging in 18 - 29. You know what they say - hind sight is foresight?
My suggestion would be to say "no" unless there will be a responsible parent going along at this point. You could tell him that when he graduates high school he will have the opportunity to go on a senior trip at that time (scary I know) but that seemed to work for us. Only you as his mom (and dad?) know your son well enough, if you know his freinds well enough that may count toward your answer also. Not all teenagers are bad and some even make good decisions, but you can't answer for the others only your son, so you know him best and whether he is strong enough to stand up to the temptations that may present themselves in those circumstances.
Best wishes!



answers from Spartanburg on

i agree with most of the responses. you made the right decision. and don't second guess yourself. even great kids can be swayed to do things they know are wrong by their peers. even if an adult was going, i'd want to be sure that adult would really be keeping up with where he was and what he was doing. way too many temptations out there. good luck.

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