What Would You Do? - Redding,CA

Updated on January 29, 2015
J.Z. asks from Redding, CA
29 answers

Family vacations are very important, we budget and save and penny pinch year round so that we can afford to go on two very nice vacations a year. Every summer sense my husband and I have gotten married we have gone to San Diego. It was where we spent our honey moon and we love it so much we kept going back and never stopped. We have looked into moving but right now we want too keep it a vacation place, maybe retire there. We also travel for Christmas, typically a much shorter trip though and we are always changing up the location. As kids got older they wanted to bring friends so we have let them take turns with typically two of the five bringing one friend each in the summer. (We don't allow friends to come for Christmas.)

My eldest daughter is 17 and has been dating a very nice boy for one year now. The boy is hardworking and well behaved with a good head on her shoulders. The two have a good relationship with communication and respect. My husband and I know they have had sex and while we don't condone it we also don't stop it. She got on the birth control pill at 14 for medical reason and we have had open talks about safe vs unsafe behavior and she is very mature about it. (She is willing to talk to me about it with out saying things are 'gross' or freaking out) I am very proud of how we have raised her.

My daughter wants to bring the boy on vacation with us this summer. She understands that they would have the same rules as at home, that they would not be able to share a hotel room or just go off and disappear together. He has a job and would be able to cover 100% of his own expenses and his parents have already said that they are ok with it as long as we are.

My husband and I are very on the fence about it. We love the boy and really trust the two to be mature and follow any and all rules we give them but we worry about the precedent it will set with the 4 other children. If in a year or two one of our younger children are dating someone and the relationship isn't as mature we don't want them screaming and throwing a fit because we let their sister do it.

My husband and I would really love some insight on how others view this delicate situation. So, What Would You Do?

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answers from Miami on

I'd say no.

Here's why. You have very few family vacations left with her. When she goes off to college, you won't see her very much. She may not be dating this boy very much longer, and then he'll be out of her life. Then there will be another boyfriend.

I would tell her that in the coming years when she gets serious about a college boy, that you will consider it THEN. I would not include a high school boy whom she is unlikely to marry on this vacation. I just would not.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No way. Having friends go on vacation is one thing but having a boyfriend is totally different and would not be allowed; especially when you know they are having sex.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You could say "no friends anymore" but that means NO FRIENDS ANYMORE. It can't just be this year because you don't want him to come. He can come, as a friend. The boys all sleep in one room, the girls in another room. You get to know him better. And the younger kids can bring their serious 1 year dating significant other when they are 17 and not before, same rules.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Um no. I'm pretty liberal but family vacations don't include teenage boyfriends (or girlfriends.) I don't care how sweet they are, and whether or not I'm aware/accepting of their sexual activity.
If he makes enough money at some point to take all of US on a vacation? Awesome. In the mean time, he's a kid, and he needs to stay home and miss/text his girlfriend.
Just like boys have done...
since. the. beginning. of. time.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

"Friends do not mean "boyfriends/girlfriends". See you give kids an inch and they ask for a mile. You let them alternate bringing friends and now they want to bring a boy friend girlfriend. You might feel all warm and fuzzy about this BF but with 5 kids at LEAST 1 of them will have a BF or GF that you do not like.

Also just feels way to mature of a gesture for a teen ...too close to playing house

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would say no. I also have a 17 year old (boy) who is in a stable relationship and is having sex. He talks openly with my husband and I about everything and we are proud of how he and his girlfriend are maneuvering through this new territory. We like his girlfriend very much.

We also take a family vacation every summer, but as much as we like his girlfriend we will not be taking her with us on vacation. We might consider taking her on a short weekend trip, but not on our big family vacation. As others have mentioned, our time with our teens is limited. They will be off to college soon and then will soon be adults with families of their own. I want to enjoy these last couple of trips with my son without him being wrapped up in his girlfriend. They are good about paying attention to us when they are together, but they are still focused on each other primarily. I want to be a little bit selfish during this time. :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

At 17? No way. Family vacation is just that family vacation. I have the right as the parent to decide who comes and who doesn't. I'm the mom.

Personally, we never had the kids bring friends male or female on our family vacations. I wanted to spend time with my kids and husband so we could reconnect as a family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Joanna, welcome to mamapedia!!

This is a great first question!

What would **WE** do? we would state that family vacations are just that, family vacations. I'd stop allowing other people to come along.

State you, as parents, have changed your minds about friends coming along on the trips and it's now family only.

There's nothing delicate about it. You opened the barn door and you can't get that horse back in and close the door in regards to their having sex. DO HIS parents know they are having sex???? No matter how mature they may be? I wouldn't have outside people come on family vacations!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I wouldn't allow it. To me, it sort of grants their relationship a serious status that a high school relationship shouldn't have, and it sets a precedent for your younger children.

FWIW, I wouldn't let my teenagers be the guest on a trip with a boyfriend or girlfriend either. They have both traveled as the guest of friends, but not significant others.

Also, what if they break up or get in a fight or something after the tickets have been purchase? Awkward...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Family vacations are FAMILY vacations.
If/when this boy becomes a son in law - THEN he can come - but by then they'll be doing their own family thing anyway.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'd set the precedent now to say no boyfriends/girlfriends as guests allowed on family trips.

Of course they're going to want to spend some time doing their own thing. Do you really want to argue with them about staying with you 100 percent of the time and monitoring them 24/7? Do you really want to worry/wonder about them sneaking away to get intimate together? Yes, they do this at home, why would they not have those same urges/desires on a relaxing warm weather vacation?

Just me, but I would not have allowed friends on family vacations either because it takes away from family attention to each other and so many issues could crop up. But I'm not judging if it works for you. I know other families typically do this as well.

Believe me, the younger kids are watching, and they are going to want to do the same thing in future years. Do you really want to fight over whose significant other is more/less mature?

If your DD has a BF, they probably already spend a great deal of time together. If it's her turn to invite a friend, why not encourage her to invite a girl friend? A lot of teens (and older people) neglect their friendships when in a relationship, and it's be healthy for her to keep strong ties with her buddies as well.

Plus you can feel better about leaving them to do their own thing or alone for some periods of time (like if they sleep late and you do breakfast) and not have to monitor so closely.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I would say no. I think at that age, you only have so many vacations left as a family together. They go off to college and travel with friends or boyfriends, or have summer jobs. You never know. I tend to cherish those family times.

I find having an extra friend along often changes the dynamic. They usually hang out with their friend and exclude another sibling they would have played with otherwise. For me, family vacations are about bonding. That doesn't always happen if boyfriends or friends are along.

My parents were quite permissive and allowed my sister to bring along her boyfriend on one of our trips. I found it awkward. Us younger sisters found it uncomfortable to have an older guy around all the time. He was very nice and we adored him but we were self conscious and not as relaxed and carefree as we would have been if our sister had just been one of the girls. She acted differently around him. My parents regretted it. And my sister has said she did too. They broke up shortly after and he's in all our family vacation pictures from that trip.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I'm confused about several things. These kids - your daughter and her boyfriend - are legally underage, yet they are having sex. Then you say "they would not be able to share a hotel room or just go off and disappear together". Then where, I would ask, are they having sex? In your living room? It seems as though they're going off and disappearing together now, and having sex. Where else could they possibly be having sex?

Yet you seem worried about a precedent being set for your other children. You want to reserve the right to determine whether a relationship meets your standards for maturity before allowing a guest to be invited.

You've raised a girl who's been having sex at age 17 with a boy she's been dating for a year. Those are the precedents you've established. Condoning an action means that you don't stop it, you don't allow it, you know it's happening. You are condoning sexual activity between very young teens and that's your playbook now.

If you choose to allow a boyfriend or girlfriend to accompany your family, you've got to make some standards of your own. Perhaps you will decide if the dating relationship has gone on for 6 months, the date can come along. Maybe you'll decide on how many breakups and makeups they've had.

You've allowed friends to come along in the past, so that seems to be the precedent you've established. I would not have allowed a sexual relationship to persist when my child was this age, but if you decide to do that, then you've got to relax your other rules too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think I would let him come, since you've allowed him to be such a big part of the family. I don't necessarily see that as wrong either. My parents let my older sister bring her boyfriend on vacations with us when we were younger and it was always more fun having him along.

I completely understand where all of the no's are coming from too, but I would allow it I think. My oldest is 11, so I'm no where near that stage yet.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

Well, I wouldn't know how to answer this, since you've managed this whole relationship differently than I would have from the start.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My parents and my in-laws have never allowed a significant other to vacation with us unless we were married. You are right, it may and will cause problems down the road. You have to have a hard and fast rule for everyone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

They will sneak off and have sex plenty of times. And they will during the night too by whatever means. Are you really going to make sure at least one of them is in your sight at all times? So just accept that if you decide to do it. You're daughter knows you're basically OK with the fact that they have sex. The trip does set a precedence for the younger kids. And it gives a very adult status to this young couple to do this. She is 17 and doesn't need a significant other on a family vacation imo. Plenty of time for that in the future. Doesn't mean you don't like him and all that.

Not that this matters at all, but when she's in college in a few short years and dating someone different and bringing him home a fiance and whatnot, those awkward conversations will come up when you guys talk about the family trips her high school boyfriend attended..he'll be in photos...seen that happen lots and everyone gets their feathers in a fluff...

Things are so nice and perfect now, don't let them get squirreled up by this trip.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i would absolutely do this. it sounds as if you've done a great job thus far, and you have maintained an open and honest relationship with your teenager. good for you!
i would not prevent your daughter and her boyfriend from enjoying this opportunity because it MIGHT have repercussions with your other kids. there are always future variables, and they might never happen. and if they do, you simply say 'different situation, different parameters.'
you don't parent them all the exact same way now, do you?
trust your good parenting, and have a great vacation.
:) khairete

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I'd allow it. You've made it clear that you believe that your daughter is mature, that you trust and like her boyfriend. So bring him along, with rules of course.

And, if in a year or two, one of your younger children are not as mature but asking for the same treatment, you explain to them that they are not making responsible and mature choices and say no. Children are not cookiecutter and ought not expect same treatment.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Me? I would trust in my Mommy gut that I have raised this responsible young lady & that she will be able to handle being told NO on this one.

I wouldn't want to set that precedent with all the kids & have to deal with this several times over b/c they will not all be equal when the time comes.

She is so close to being 18. I'd play it off by encouraging her to be asking again at 18 for love interests on family vacations. She'll understand.

~I see you are in Redding.
I went to EHS.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Angela and Doris. I would say no, unless you are absolutely certain that her boyfriend would join in with the family instead of detract from your family bonding time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Let him come. If the other kids, when they are older, play the "But you let Ginny bring HER boyfriend" card, tell them flat out if you think they aren't mature enough yet.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I know people who have done it. (My kids aren't quite that age, just yet).

I probably would not allow it. The way I see it, your daughter is 17 and about to be out of the house (most likely... either on her own or at college or something), right? I would view this summer as sort of a "last hurrah" of true family vacations. Because once she flies the coop, your family vacations may not ever really include her in the same way again.

I am very jealous of our time as a "family" and aware of how quickly it goes by. My son is 16, and we are well aware of how short a time we have before he is doing his own thing and not interested in "family vacation" time with us anymore.

And what would your daughter (and the rest of your family) gain from allowing it? Not much, I'd bet. Who even knows if they would still be a couple come summer time? That's months away yet. Just seems like it wouldn't be worth figuring it out and stressing over it. Make it a non-issue. Boyfriends/girlfriends are not allowed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Tell them no sex on the trip period. If you let them bring friends then he's her choice.

IF the rest of your kids want to bring a serious boyfriend when they're older why not set the precedent now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I think it would be healthier to leave the boyfriend at home so your daughter could "miss him" a little bit. If it's a flourishing relationship absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It will distract your vacation if he's there as you will always have them under the magnifying glass. They WILL try to find a way to wander off for alone time if they are currently sexually active.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

My questions are...Is the summer trip her turn to bring a friend? Do you typically dictate or guide which friend your children ask to come along?

My answers are...if it is clearly NOT her turn (based on whatever rotation schedule you have established) then you could say "no" for that reason...end of discussion (if you so choose). If it clearly IS her turn and you don't normally dictate who they can bring, then it would be a bit unfair to do so now.

If it is her turn and you decline her request she will likely rebel in some way leading up to the vacation and/or sulk throughout. She is a teen afterall.

I would say, based on what you have shared, you don't say no just because he is the boyfriend but take this time to establish ground rules/criteria for a boyfriend to be allowed to attend such as "must be at least 17 or 18" or whatever age you choose, must not be a "new" boyfriend, attending as the friend (not boyfriend and therefore they are not to be coupled up) and therefore are basically just there as one of your kids to enhance not distract from family time.

While parents should have basically the same rules for all their kids, each child is different and therefore need to be treated as individuals. Things don't have to always be exactly the same for each child, should be fair and maybe comparable but not necessarily identical. This could be a way to showcase your daughter as a role model for her younger siblings. If you have to tell a younger one "no" later on, your response when they say "well you let Suzy bring Johnny" your response can be "Suzy was mature, responsible, open, etc. and Johnny was respectful. Those qualities are rewarded"...or something to that affect. Telling her "no" because of younger children isn't fair to her because it's punishing her for being the oldest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I seem to be in the minority, and I would let him come.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would let him come. You have let the kids invite friends in the past and it sounds like she is open and honest with you. I think it is great you would get to know her boyfriend better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think it is so strange you would have the BF pay his own way. Do you make all the friends pay their own way after you invited them?

Re: sleep overs...no matter how mature these kids are...they are still only 17yo.

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