Son's girlfriend's parents

by Marianne
(Canada)

My Son and his girlfriend just graduated grade 12 and are both taking a gap year to work and travel. My Son is 18 and she will be 18 in September. Her father has told her he considers her an adult after grade 12.


As a Grad gift I offered to help them do a trip by providing the flights and accommodation. They will pay any other expenses.

After looking into different places and dates they decided they would like a week in Cabo San Lucas early December. They will have been together 1 1/2 years by then.

The next step was for her to run it by her parents where she still lives. She approached them in a way that was half asking permission and half telling them. I decided to stay out of that part and let them do their thing. The father was instantly upset that I hadn't talked to him first before offering this gift.

I didn't feel it was necessary to run it by him. I want to offer my adult son and his girlfriend this gift and don't feel I need his consent to do so. On his end he can speak with his daughter and decide if he is okay with it and if he has any right to say no if it comes to that. I think that's for them to sort out.

Have I done something wrong?

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Graduation Gift
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hi Marianne,

Congratulations on your son's graduation.

This is a very hard question. Despite the father's proclamation that she is an adult, in reality, she is still his little girl. It would have been better to speak with the girl's parents first, but at this point, that is like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. It could also be that he is not thrilled with the "gap year" concept, and your actions have enabled it further.

I suggest you have an open conversation with him on this topic.

Good luck!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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