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Growing up is difficult, especially when you become a teenager. With all the pressures that teens face these days, it’s easy for them to disconnect from their families and want to break out of the mold they’ve been living all their life. Most teenagers go from sweet-loving children/pre-teens to full-blown teenagers real quick, and that’s pretty normal.
When children get to their teen years, they want to surround themselves with friends and start to become more independent of their family and those family vacations! One Redditor has been dealing with their teenager’s first experience with this and wants to go on spring break with her friends versus going on the planned family spring break trip.
The original poster (OP) is the mother of a 15-year-old daughter, a 13-year-old son, and a 12-year-old daughter. The family lives in the pacific northwest, and their Spring Breaks mostly have been very low-key and nature-oriented. They booked a trip to a natural hot springs area for the upcoming spring break to do some hiking and outdoor activities.
OP says her 15-year-old loves this sort of thing and was very excited to go the previous time the family had gone. The trip has already been paid for, but there’s enough time to get a refund for her spot if she did not go. But OP feels the trip wouldn’t be the same without her.
OP’s daughter wants to spend spring break with her friends this year instead of doing the family trip. The OP’s daughter has been invited to fly to San Diego for 5 days, stay in a hotel, and go to the beach. Along with OP’s daughter, there would be 3 friends that are the same age and would be accompanied by two of their mothers.
OP is unsure if she is willing to let her daughter go because although OP and her husband have spoken to one of the mothers going on the trip on a number of occasions, they do not know the other mother of the girl that is going on the trip.
OP has reservations about this beach trip because, at the nature resort, they will not have a solid cell phone connection for emergencies. OP says she would have her cell phone at all times and would like to check in with her daughter once or twice a day but would have to find a spot with a solid connection and feels like she wouldn’t be able to answer if there was an emergency while the family is on a hike or elsewhere.
The flight and hotel are paid for, by OP’s daughter, but she would be expected to pay her own way for food and other trip expenses. OP said her daughter has about $500 saved up from allowance, babysitting, and other jobs she has done throughout the year.
Spring Break Decision
She and her husband have a trusting relationship with their daughter. She talks to them about everything, even romantic relationship stuff, peer pressure, and the pressure to party/be social as a teenager.
When OP, her husband, and their daughter recently talked about her going on the trip, OP said she’s not very comfortable with her bailing on the family vacation to fly out of state with people she doesn’t know well.
OP’s daughter feels she’s being unfair because she’s always been responsible and made good life choices, so she shouldn’t be denied her first “real” spring break.
OP said that she’s nervous about her daughter being in a bikini on a beach around a bunch of guys at 15 and ending up on the evening news after something bad happens to her while the rest of the family is enjoying their spring break trip unaware. She also said she wouldn’t be able to enjoy their spring break if their daughter went away and is out of contact. OP and her husband have said no, but they’d think about it and talk it over.
The Masses Weigh In
Redditors gave great vacation advice to the parents and offered many suggestions.
One Redditor responded with, “Tough one, but I’m going to go NTA. Your concerns are valid, particularly since you don’t know the mothers well. In fact, you don’t know one of them at all. I’m not enamored of your other justifications, however. “Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! I just won’t enjoy it if you don’t come with the family.”Grow up. That is emotional blackmail, and it’s a form of abuse. You have valid concerns. Let’s not throw petty manipulation into your strategy. Is this how you plan on dealing with your daughter for the rest of her life? “Oh, you’ll make mommy sad.” But if you do decide to let her do the trip, I would suggest you get better acquainted with the mothers who are going on this trip.”
A second Redditor said, “OMG, petty manipulation and emotional blackmail were always my mother’s MO. It took me decades to get out from underneath all that and make my own decisions without worrying about damaging my mother’s fragile emotions. For me, fortunately, my relationship with my mom weathered all that, and we are fine now, but no child deserves that.”
A third Redditor said, “NAH. This is definitely a family decision. Personally, I would probably let my daughter go if she is as trustworthy as you describe her. It’s San Diego, not Jamaica or another destination with sketchy safety protections for young women or girls, so that she will be fine. But forcing her to attend your family camping trip is fine too, even if she doesn’t want to.”
Another user shared, “NTA. It would be irresponsible to let your child go on an out-of-state trip with people you don’t know well. I used to be mad at my mom for this sort of thing, and then I got older and realized she was protecting me. Your daughter will do the same.”
A user also said, “NTA, she’s responsible, and you trust her, but as someone from that area and also living in another spring break destination, It’s not for the underage. Definitely not for 15, and those moms will probably not be responsible if they are okay with taking the kids on this trip. Even if she keeps her head out of trouble, she could be exposed to things that are upsetting and uncomfortable, things she won’t be able to reach out for help with..if your gut says no, I would stick with it. Let her know why, honestly. Say it’s not that you don’t trust her. It’s just the situation that isn’t a good one for this trip.”
A Redditor had this to say, “NTA – the fact that you would have little to no way of contacting her for such an extended period is absolutely a deal breaker. Even if you trust her to be completely responsible, even if she IS completely responsible, anything could happen to her, and you would have no way of knowing. She can have “real” spring breaks when she’s in college. For now, she needs to accept that her safety HAS to be your priority over her having a good time.”
Finally, a Redditor dropped this point of view, “OP as another young woman from LA, you are perfectly in your right to say no. While we do have nice things here, it’s not appropriate for young teens to go without parents (I know there are other parents going, but you can’t trust anyone nowadays). I wouldn’t be comfortable with letting any of my kids go (if I was a parent) to a holiday like that without me being there. The risk is just too much, but also, don’t pull “your mom would be sad without you” that’s emotional blackmail. Sit her down and tell her all of your concerns and that while you understand she may be upset, etc, that her safety is a top priority.”
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Redditors were sort of torn on what may be the right course of action for Op and her husband. What do you think? Since they describe their daughter as trustworthy, should they let her go on the vacation or drag her along on the family trip?
This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Motherhood Life Balance.
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