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24th Jun 2024

‘My daughter is going to Ibiza on her 6th year holiday, but I’m scared she has no cop on to mind herself’

Sophie Collins

Sixth year holiday

A mum has voiced her concern for her daughter’s welfare on her upcoming sixth year holiday after a recent change in her behaviour

The worried mum said her daughter booked the holiday months ago, but now she doesn’t know if she should allow her to go.

She said over the past six months, her teen has become “a nightmare” and has “stopped caring about the [Leaving Cert] exams”.

The young girl “performed quite poorly” in her mocks this year and her mum fears this new attitude will mean she doesn’t receive the point she could have.

More concerning, however, is her latest behaviour with alcohol and drugs.

Her mum said: “She got very drunk at a friend’s 18th birthday party numerous times.”

The parents are also worried that she may have “taken drugs at one or two of them, judging by her behaviour when she got home in the early hours of the morning”.

Now, the 18-year-old’s mum is starting to panic about her sixth year holiday and fears she “doesn’t have the cop on to mind herself” so she is afraid that she “could get into all sorts of trouble”.

What Can Parents Do?

With this likely being a worry for many parents in Ireland, Family Psychotherapist, Joanna Fortune, told Newstalk that parents need to consider why their child’s behaviour may have changed so dramatically over a short period of time.

She asked: “Might they consider her emotionally a late developer? That she has hit what we call this kind of risk-taking, boundary-pushing phase of development a bit later?”

Ms. Fortune says her parents should be bringing this up with her as it happens and letting her know that her behaviour will affect the freedoms she is given by her parents – including her approaching sixth year holiday to Ibiza.

“Don’t assume she’s joining those dots herself, because I would say she’s not.”

If they want to be able to trust her on holiday then it’s incredibly important that the parents address this “risk-taking behaviour” now.

“You can say there have been changes. It may not be realistic to forbid it, because, first of all, I imagine it’s already paid for with three or four weeks to go.

“And second of all, she’s 18, if it’s paid and she wants to go, she can go.

“You might be better off sitting with her, sharing your concerns with her.”

What’s important now, ahead of the holiday, is that this teenage girl knows what to look out for, and basic things she should never do.

Ms. Fortune explained that she needs to be aware that there are people who “seek to prey on young women who might be vulnerable” so it’s incredibly important that her friend group “keeps an eye out for each other”.

“Don’t drink excessively, don’t accept drink or drugs from people she doesn’t know well, like the really kind of basics that you are going to have to cover with her,” she said.

It’s also imperative that a child or teen knows; if something is ever to go wrong or if she is afraid for her safety she should ring her parents and stay on the phone until she is safe.