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Would You Let Your 10 Year Old Go To China?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
My dd1's dad wants to take her to China to meet his (online) girlfriend and her daughter for a week. I'm the keeper of the passport and, of course, have to give permission for them to travel overseas together. The idea of her being in China makes me more than a bit nervous. Would you let your kid go to China? I think the only other relevant info is that she's not vaccinated and these two have never traveled alone together, although her dad has been to China before to meet another online girlfriend.
post #2 of 63
China wouldn't bother me, but him taking her there to meet his online girlfriend would. Has he ever met her before? How well do they know each other?
post #3 of 63
No, I wouldn't let my dd go.
post #4 of 63
I don't think so. The trip to meet the on-line girlfriend concerns me.
Maybe he should go alone this time and build up that relationship more...it's nice that he wants to include his daughter...but I just don't think I'd feel comfortable.
I'm assuming they haven't met though...even if they have been on-line friends for a long time it isn't the same until your meet IRL and see someone is who they say they are.
post #5 of 63
It is not the going to China that bothers me. That would be a great experience for her to have with her father. But what is up with the online girlfriend? That is what would have me worried.

Tough decision!
post #6 of 63
Another thing to think about. What if he decides not to come back, or stay longer with her? No one would be able to make them come back from China.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by TayTaysMama View Post
It is not the going to China that bothers me. That would be a great experience for her to have with her father. But what is up with the online girlfriend? That is what would have me worried.

Tough decision!
Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT View Post
Another thing to think about. What if he decides not to come back, or stay longer with her? No one would be able to make them come back from China.
post #8 of 63
No way. Not anywhere to visit an online girlfriend.
post #9 of 63
I think it depends how much you trust her dad. I think a trip to China would be cool, but not if they're staying with the online girlfriend, and not if you're worried he won't bring her back.
post #10 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses so far.....would any of you object to your kiddo traveling to China because of it's political/social structure, the unregulated corporate everything there (pollution, etc) the lack of regulation of products, Asian flu and so on....?
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinuviel_k View Post
No way. Not anywhere to visit an online girlfriend.
Yes, to me that's a no brainer!
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
Thanks for your responses so far.....would any of you object to your kiddo traveling to China because of it's political/social structure, the unregulated corporate everything there (pollution, etc) the lack of regulation of products, Asian flu and so on....?
I would not worry about those factors so much. I would just hesitate to let my youngish child leave the country without me. But then again, I have toddlers, so maybe by the time they're 10 I'll be singing a different tune.
post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
Thanks for your responses so far.....would any of you object to your kiddo traveling to China because of it's political/social structure, the unregulated corporate everything there (pollution, etc) the lack of regulation of products, Asian flu and so on....?
I'd object to my child going to somewhere politically unstable if I felt that she would be at risk. Not slight risk, but a moderate risk. But my dd is 18 at 10 I'd probably want the risk to be lower. If there was a current epidemic or something I'd expect to wait to travel, we don't vax. The rest of the stuff wouldn't likely stop me.
post #14 of 63
There's nothing in this world that would let me allow my child to go to China without me along. Triple that conviction if they're supposed to meet someone no one has ever met. No way in hell.
post #15 of 63
It depends on how much I would trust the adult taking her. My gut is not to allow a 10 year old out of the country without a parent (and i mean me!) The online girlfriend thing is also a little disturbing.

I'd be concerned that the father might be distracted with the girlfriend and if your daughter would be supervised enough. Also, how romantic are the father and girlfriend going to be, and will your daughter be exposed to inappropriate behavior? You have no idea and she may have bad or awkward feelings seeing her dad with another woman and she 's going to have no one around to support her if she feels uncomfortable.

In this situation, I'd say no. I have no problems with China travel though.
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
Thanks for your responses so far.....would any of you object to your kiddo traveling to China because of it's political/social structure, the unregulated corporate everything there (pollution, etc) the lack of regulation of products, Asian flu and so on....?
My ds1 went to China at age 11 with dh to adopt dd. Wonderful, fantastic, journey of a lifetime for them. This was in '04, when there was still a bit of concern about SARS. Everything was fine, but this was a guided trip w/an interpreter, and dh's complete focus was on ds and dd. We also had the added watchful eyes of the 2 other adopting couples in the group, and the guide. They spent 2 weeks there, in Beijing, Nanchang and Guangzho. I definitely think the experience was worth it and have no regrets. However, the situation you describe is much different. Not sure I could handle the meeting the online gf thing.
post #17 of 63
You can't quote me on this, but I don't think there are any vaccines required for visiting China.

What part of China are they going to?

The pollution isn't great; whenever I go anywhere other than Western Europe I find myself blowing my nose with some black stuff in there. Ick. Happened in China, Serbia, and Tanzania. I think it's mostly the diesel. However, I don't believe that a few weeks exposure has shortened my life any.

Avian flu is a concern worth considering, but currently it is not spreading from human to human. Your child will not be butchering chickens, so the risk is VERY low IMHO.

In major cities (Beijing and Shanghai for example) the government is very careful with tourists. In Tiananment Square I was taking a picture and turned around to see a guard yanking away and yelling at a man who was a little too close to my backpack. I kept my guard up more after that but also felt good about the protection there.

I don't think a 10 year old would be capable of keeping their guard up like that, and would need an adult to be on their toes at all times.

Poorer people will swarm foreigners to sell trinkets and such. It can be overwhelming.

Middle class people are very welcoming of Americans and curious.

If you're white or black (that is, not Chinese descent) you'll get stared at everywhere. It can be disconcerting.

I would not let my 10 year old go with her father to meet his online girlfriend ANYWHERE.

I would let my 13+ child go with a school trip without a parent (after asking questions and getting info about itinerary, precautions, rules, etc.).

I would let my child any age go with a trusted AND capable parent (that is, one sophisticated and aware enough to handle the pressures of foreign travel) ... but not to meet an online girlfriend.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinuviel_k View Post
No way. Not anywhere to visit an online girlfriend.
This.

If he wants to travel with DD, how about sightseeing in good Ole' USA - Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, hell, even Disney.
post #19 of 63
I agree with the previous posters that I would have no trouble with the visitng China aspect of it, but would have a big problem with the going anywhere to meet a (new?) online girlfriend.
post #20 of 63
China would be fine with me, but I'd never agree to him taking her on a trip to meet an online girlfriend for the first time.
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