Parent of 16 year old.

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Jess33, Aug 7, 2014.

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  1. Hi
    My son leaving for Raleigh very soon, we are on the countdown. Just a few questions. As a parent understandably nervous that they do well being so young. Having to travel 7 hours to get to raleigh, in the 10 weeks do they get any weekend time off at all. Having no immediate family in the navy I have made him wash & iron clothes for last 6 months any other suggestions that could help him at all? Thanks in advance people. The sight has a wealth of info on it.
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  2. I did exactly the same at 16

    Next time you see him will be the night before he passes out. The bum fluff will be gone, he will talk in a language you will not understand and he will have mates for life

    In the future you will see him at weekends and leave periods, he will bring people home with him that will insist on calling you mum too

    Don't worry, once you hand him over to the Navy he'll be fine
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  3. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Hi Jess33, welcome to the site, there have been a few parents on over the years and they would be threads worth reading, you would also have the option of PMing the OP with any questions. I can't find the threads at the moment but will keep looking or someone else will come along and give the reference to them.

    I joined the Navy at around the same age and am now 70 so there's every chance he will survive as well..
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  4. Search "Worried mum", in fact we haven't had an update on baby chocks?
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  5. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

  6. Good luck to him (and to you!)
  7. The only possible problem I can foresee is that your son may at some stage feel a little homesick once the excitement of joining has worn off. Many of us felt the same but an encouraging word from yourself and a reminder that training is not the navy but the preparation he needs to be in the navy then he'll be fine. Most of us experienced the odd dark day wondering what the heck we were doing at Raleigh but it passed quickly and the remainder was worth the trouble.
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  8. That will be more than most of his classmates will be able to do, you've already given him a headstart. My Mum did the same to me, I joined at 16 and I'm still doing the bloody ironing because "I'm better at it"!!
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  9. Hi everyone. Many thanks for all your replies. Its not long now till he goes and in many respects I am looking forward to it but then have the very odd day where I wonder how at 16 will he fair against some older more experienced recruits. His fitness as you would expect at 16 is up to scratch but he can be very disorganised and just immature at times. Onwards and upwards, he a pretty well rounded guy I hope he gets on well. I am sure I am not alone the way I am feeling and many many many Mothers have been there before me!!!
  10. We have all been there before. Myself at 17. Don't worry they will soon beat him into shape and teach him a new language.
  11. I left home and ran away to sea at that age. Did a bit of training (Raleigh/Mercury). Caught a plane to San Francisco to join HMS BLAKE, came home about a year later and opened the front door only to discover that mum'n'dad had actually moved house whilst I was gone. (We didn't have E-mails and all that other stuff back I must've missed the letter they sent with that important information in it). Hope all goes well, oh and when he next drags a girlfriend home for tea and starts to call her things like "Dog breath", don't worry none - he's just had a a brand new sense of humour implant put in.

    Yours Sincerely,

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  12. That won't cange as he'll be a matelot when he gets spat out of training!!
  13. Hi JFH , he is doing fabulously......I get told now "you only have to call me once a month to find out if I''ll be home at all this month"
    Welcome Jess33, it's a huge worry when they leave home for the first time both for you and them and i had great advice from the guys on here. Your on the right track by making him wash and iron. Its a huge change going from civi to military but all the instructing staff and pastoral at Raleigh are fabulous and will offer guidence and help to all new recuruits. If at any time he is struggling just talk to someone. As it gets closer your will feel a mixture of emotions but the biggest one will be pride, and when you wave him off at the station keep the tears in check till you get home open the wine and celebrate less mess in the house .
  14. Nice one, thanks for the update
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  15. Hi, Jess33,

    I feel the need to comment, too but please bear with me as I can be longwinded and have a tendency to reminisce when contributing to such threads as this.

    My first reaction at arriving in Raleigh in '66 was one of nervous relief at having cut the apron strings (strong, very loving Mum) but I did feel a twinge of homesickness (Mum sickness, really) on my birthday two days later.

    Since Mum worked full time I had been encouraged from my early teens to help with the cleaning, washing, ironing and cooking which was good preparation for basic training although the Andrew had its own ideas on standards, the first three being somewhat different and the last being of far lower quality than I had been used to and taught to achieve.

    The surprising thing to me was how immature some of the older recruits could be yet how mature and self sufficient some of the 16 year olds could be, especially boys who came to the mob from TS Arethusa. We had two such lads in my class who were a great help to some older boys and men in getting to grips with things Naval.

    I never really had time to get homesick because Raleigh closed for two weeks annual leave only two weeks (or was it three?) after I arrived and by the time leave was over I was eager to return. There was already a bond with the RN and a growing distance between me and some of my less close friends.

    My view then on joining was that it was an opportunity to make a new start since I came from a small community and my place there was already set in stone. My mates and "not mates" respectively had a certain view and expectation of me and I have to say I changed (for the better, I think) and flourished.
    Nearly all lads did flourish although Raleigh was a bit dispiriting for some of the more "mature" men in mid to late 20s who were not as fit, quick to learn and, surprisingly, not as mentally resilient as the younger "boys".

    We had a Cornish farm lad, a shy but strong strapping lad, in our class, Benbow Division 214 class, who came from only about 20 miles away, his accent was really thick and virtually unintelligible and he just couldn't get the hang of marching, so was mercilessly screamed at by the GIs. He became so homesick that there were concerns for his mental health and so was discharged even though he'd already signed up. This was in spite of the fact that in those days if you signed up for 9 or 12 you were in for the duration, a massive commitment for mere kids to make.
    We all thought it very amusing at the time but, looking back, it was anything but for that poor lad.

    By the time I took my discharge things had changed drastically, training being somewhat more "civilised" being based on something called "Man Management through personal development",and the food had improved to good or very good and, in some establishments, excellent. Also, options to stay or go at some stage early in service had been introduced.

    Possibly the greatest plus for you is that your son will probably show far more appreciation for his Mum than he has ever done since he became a teenager. Our Mums are the sheet anchors that many of us depend on in moments of crisis or uncertainty early on in our service and most kids want to make their parents proud.

    In the darker moments in training, having a caring background is crucial and you are obviously a caring Mum. I wish you and your son well.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  16. Bandy_E as a very emotional Mum, that was a lovely comment!!!!!!! I am filled with dread for him on occasions, then we fallout as every teenager and their parents do and I wish the weeks would move quicker!!!!!! He is a very sociable lad and gets on well with people so hopefully he will fit in and make lifelong friends. His friends are supportive but some take the mickey out of his choice of career. The comments and chat have been very informative and are helping me chill out about the whole thing. One of my close friends think it will do my son & I the power of good and bring
    us closer together again.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  17. I joined at 15, served for 27 years and am now 67, don't worry he will be a better person for this. He will make friends for life, this year I met up with 2 old mates one I hadn't seen since 1969 the other since 1966. Thats what the navy does for you Don't worry just spoil him when he's home on leave.
  18. I had a lot of that, mostly saying all matelots are gay etc etc, when I went leave on draft from my first ship I met a load of them in the pub and they started the same old stuff.

    They were saving up so they could go on holiday to Spain, I casually dropped into the conversation that I'd done 2 deployments to the Med the year before and I'd just got back from 3 months in the West Indies and I wasn't even 20 yet. The conversation dried up a bit then =)

    Your son will end up going to places the mickey takers will probably only see in travel agent windows and he'll get paid to do it, what's not to like!
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  19. Not as old as some above but close, like most joined days after my 16 birthday, loved the first 20 years last 4 were OK. This site reminds us were we have been as those that have not been on the roller coaster of service life can never fully understand, we have our own language, strange sense of humour to others and an out look on life that others never see. He will be fine but remember when he/if he comes home on leave (some times matelots get way laid on leave and do not make it home) and he drops his bag of dirty washing on the floor, the first words he hears should not be how long are you home for, you may be meaning well and wanting to know how much time you have with your son but it can sound like Oh my god he is here again, how long this time? All comments above bring back memories but mine were from HMS Ganges and HMS Collingwood (Bandy_E do you want to be my mum):laughing5:
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  20. Hey, I ain't no bitch, Sumo. :salut:

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