Would you let your 13 year old DS ...

(35 Posts)
Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 21:35:15

... travel to Thorpe Park with another 13 year old. No adults. They'd be going on a train, involving one change (Clapham Junction), and back again?

5madthings Sat 04-May-13 22:26:16

I have just asked dp and he says yes but ds1 would have to txt to say he got on the second train and txt to say he arrived safely and ditto on return journey smile

dp is normally more cautious than me btw but he still thinks it would be fine (he works with teenagers as well so is pretty clued up as to their capabilities etc)

Startail Sat 04-May-13 22:47:01

I used to spend the entire day in a large city on my own at 13. Else I lost the will to life staying at my Grandparents. Used to get one bus in and a different one back (to see my fav great aunt). No mobiles and I knew absolutely no one in town.

At 14 we used to get the train from home and shop all day in Swansea. No changes, but no leeway on missing the only train home.

DD1 (15) hasn't had that sort of freedom (although school let them lose in theme parks) because somehow it isn't something she and her friends have wanted to do. Spend all day hiking the ten miles between their houses across country Yes go shopping no.

Startail Sat 04-May-13 22:52:26

As for your DS If he is in Y9 and you phone the other boys parents and are convinced they will be sensible, yes.

DD2 just turned 13, next year and in Y8? I'd have to know the friend very well or she'd need to be better when things go wrong than she is now.

DD1 now without a much worry, but I'm certain she could read a train timetable and sort herself out.

chocolatespiders Sat 04-May-13 23:40:59

Try and get him to keep his phone and money in an inside pocket- After watching professional pickpockets in action I trust nobody. I would also make sure he has your phone number written on paper in case he does mislay his phone.

Spidermama Sun 05-May-13 00:48:32

I have no concerns at all about him managing to sort out trains and find his way around. My only fear is that he'll dick around and misbehave.
It's a small fear. I think he'll rise to the challenge.

There's some great advice on here. I will talk to the other boy's mum, make them text when on the second train, and I like chocolatespider's idea about explaining that any future trips would depend on how well he was able to handle this one.

He's very competent and desperate for some independence.

It's during parenting moments like this that I remember this poem which describes these small acts of letting go so powerfully.

Thanks again.

chocolatespiders Sun 05-May-13 09:27:41

Hope he has a great time smile

flow4 Sun 05-May-13 09:33:09

If your only worry is him messing about, then let him go. The consequences for messing about would hit him quite hard - i.e. getting thrown out of TP and spoiling his day, or getting thrown off a train and having to wait around for an hour - but from what you say, they wouldn't put him in danger. When kids are inclined to be silly, I think it's good for them to learn that silliness has limits - ones that have nothing to do with mean old parents or teachers! - and that they need to be responsible for their own behaviour.

It's a long way for a 13 year old. I would say no without hesitation but offer a less challenging alternative as a compromise.
Also don't forget if you say yes to this then next time his request will be more outrageous ambitious.

iclaudius Sun 05-May-13 13:49:02

I'm a no I'm afraid and wow spidermama long time no see!

Spidermama Sun 05-May-13 20:41:27

Hi iclaudius. smile
I find myself back here now I have teenagers around the house. It's a whole new parenting challenge.

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