Dear Crabby, Should I Let My Teenager Go on a Senior Trip?

Dear Crabby,

My teenage daughter wants to go on her school’s senior trip. She says it’s a rite of passage and the last time she’ll get to be with her friends before they head off in different directions. I think it sounds like a big expense and a chance to get in trouble. What would you do?

Thanks, Dave Doubtful

Dear Dave Doubtful,

I remember my senior trip. It was on the steamboat, the SS South American. We went from Detroit to Niagara Falls and it cost $35.00 – and that included my meal! Man, did I think I was living large. And guess who paid for that trip? That’s right, I did. There was no way my dad was going to fork over that kind of money (which was quite a bit back in those days) for something as frivolous as a trip. If I wanted to go, I had to earn the money or else I would be on the dock, waving goodbye to my classmates as they went off to have a good time. So I get what your daughter is saying about wanting one last ‘hurrah’ with her classmates. On the other hand, I also know these senior trips can get out of hand financially. My suggestion is that if your daughter really wants to go, she needs to come up with at least half of the trip cost. That way she’s truly DearCrabbyinvested and you’re not making weekly trips to the plasma bank to make the final deposit happen. As for worrying about her getting into trouble that depends on a number of factors: where she’s going, how many teachers or faculty will be on the trip, and how much you trust your daughter. If she’s a level-headed kid who will be more interested in hanging out on the beach getting a tan than doing anything that could get her in trouble, and you are comfortable with the chaperon-to-student ratio, I don’t see any harm in letting her go have fun. Because while being an adult is great, you and I both know that it has its not-so-fun moments as well. And let’s face it, the world can be a frightening place, but unless you want her living with you for the rest of your life, you’ve got to let her have a little independence and it sounds like this senior trip might be a great way to test the waters.

Hope it works out and remind her to wear sunscreen!

Dear Crabby

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