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My 17 year old son and two of his 18 year old friends want to drive from Michigan to South Carolina for a week long vacation before school starts. All three boys will be seniors in high school in the fall. I am hesitant to allow my son to go. I am worried about them driving through the mountains and the long trip. Neither of the boys driving have driven this long distance before. My son does not have his driver's license yet, so other 2 boys will drive. One of the boys has been warned not to drive so fast and also has issues with "road rage" (examples: getting other driver's back for cutting him off, not using their blinker when turning, etc). My ex-husband sees no issues with allowing our son to go, however I am hestitant to let him go. If parents were going, that would be fine and I would allow my son to go. Should I allow my son to take this vacation?


Jack Marcellus Replied: Trust your gut. There will be a time very soon when he will be old enough to make that decision on his own. That time has not come yet and you must decide whether to be his friend or his parent. Kids that age do not know what dangers are connected with that type of long distance driving entails nor the madness that may await in South Carolina.
Posted On 2010-01-17 13:21:31
Lou Longo Replied: This is a tough one and puts everyone in a tough spot. Each time I face questions with my own children or other parents, I always try to remember back to when I was that age and what I was going through. If this were me when I was 17 or 18, I would have been adamant about going and thought you (or my parents) were being completely unreasonable. But at 17, I had a much different view on life and it was not always the smartest or involved the best Choices. My parents also were divorced but were both weary and would have agreed not to let/want me to go on a trip like this but I know I would have pushed hard and maybe got them to let me go. Although my mom especially would have not slept until I got back and worried herself sick every day. Although the boys are old enough to understand the ramifications of their choices, there are too many factors that make me lean towards convincing them to wait one more year. If this was after their senior year of high school, I would support but still be worried that only two have a license and one has a spotted driving record. With all the attention being given nation-wide on elderly drivers, the police still stress that many more accidents are caused by young, inexperienced drivers. In the end, it will come down to Choices and hopefully you can convince your son that you would feel better about waiting a year and getting your ex-husband and the other parents to support this would make this a much easier discussion for all. Although I did not see it when I was a teen and few do, as much as we want to be a friend to our children, our role is parent first and to try to teach and protect them as best we can, even when they may not see what we are doing is truly out of love. Good luck.
Posted On 2009-08-03 08:51:38
Ashley Hammond Replied: It sounds like the issue is deeper than the trip. If you have an "ex" saying it is fine then you may be handcuffed by "good parent" "bad parent" politics. If you have not discussd this with your ex then now is a good time to do this. Having a united front for your son yes or no is important. Your instincts about the trip are probably right and more in line with how mothers react to this type of adventure versus fathers. Another way to view the trip can also be based on your sons "performance" in the past. Has he respected your rules, has he been in trouble? will he be easily led or does he have the strength to make good decsions? If he is generally a good kid then that may change your perspective on the trip. Discussing the trip with the other boys parents should also be explored. As a concerend parent use your power to ask questions and obtain information. If you are still not happy with the answers then your gut reaction will tell you and you will act accordingly. It is not for me or others to tell you the answer but gain knowledge and insight and you may find the decision easier. Good luck... one thing is for sure your concerns are legitimate and should be respected by your son and your ex.
Posted On 2009-07-30 16:18:17
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