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?

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 21:36:11

He wants me to include the fact that he has once done a train journey alone involving change. (Birmingham - Southampton - Brighton)

PhyllisDoris Sat 04-May-13 21:38:51

No, I would not.

Bowlersarm Sat 04-May-13 21:39:06

I'm unsure about this. My 13 year old has been round Thorpe park with a friend although they were dropped off at the entrance. I probably wouldn't, but can see that people would let their sensible 13 year olds.

Thingymajigs Sat 04-May-13 21:44:00

No. I barely trust mine to walk to the corner shop and back. But then again he is only just turning 13 and has high functioning autism which might affect my decision on these things. I think at 13 I was travelling on trains on my own quite frequently. I guess its down to the individual.

MikeLitoris Sat 04-May-13 21:45:01

How far away is it?

I dont think I can judge fairly as it is a big trip from where I live (2+ hour drive)

If it was closer I would consider letting him.

5madthings Sat 04-May-13 21:46:36

Well i let my 13yr old ds go to london on the train, its two hours from us. So yes if it were my sensible ds1 and i knew his friend well i would smile

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 21:49:45

From Brighton so about an hour and a half each way. At home he's very sensible, helpful, respectful, walks the dog, cooks etc. At school and with friends in town he dicks around a bit. Gets into trouble in school, likes pranking etc. It's the latter version of DS who concerns me in these plans.

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 21:51:06

I'm quite surprised at how laid back you have been so far. I thought everyone would pile on and say, 'Certainly not. They're far too young. It will definitely all go badly wrong'.

derektheladyhamster Sat 04-May-13 21:52:37

No, I would take him and let him go round on his own, but I wouldn't feel comfy letting him travel there on his own unless he was really confident about train travel.

Ingles2 Sat 04-May-13 21:52:53

No I don't think so... I've got a 13 yr old ds who travels an hour each way to school on a dedicated coach and ive seen how daft he can be with his mates...I'd be worried about not paying enough attention when he should cos he's too busy chatting/ play a game/ being daft!

derektheladyhamster Sat 04-May-13 21:53:59

Actually rephrase that. Unless i was really confident about him travelling on the train.

Ingles2 Sat 04-May-13 21:54:41

Cross posts.. Yep my boy dicks around as well.. The travel is a recipe for disaster... Can you get him there!

What do you think could happen Spider? I have a 13 year old DS who is v sensible but probably not confident enough to do that trip. sad

Machli Sat 04-May-13 21:56:05

No. My ds has HFA but I know other 13 YO NT kids as well and there's not a one I would say should be allowed to do it.

daisydoodoo Sat 04-May-13 21:58:47

No not travel by train themselves. We live not too far from thorpe park and usually one parent drops them off and another parent picks up.
Ds1 is almost 16 and this has been the arrangements since he was 13. Id probably let him go by train now.

Viewofthehills Sat 04-May-13 22:01:49

I would let mine actually, but I would be on standby to go to the rescue if necessary.

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 22:02:13

Sparkling if anything he's too confident.
Ingles I could get him there but I have three others and as DH is away I'd have to take the two younger ones with me as there's not much else to do in Staines as far as I know. It would be expensive and 13 year old DS's style would be cramped by knowing his mother is at large.

chocolatespiders Sat 04-May-13 22:06:03

I would make it clear that this trip sets the stance for anything he wants to do alone in the future smile

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 22:06:41

Good idea spider sister wink

5madthings Sat 04-May-13 22:14:17

Ok an hour and a half journey and one change, yes i would let ds1 do that.

I would set some conditions ie time to be home and to txt and let you know he has got there and when he is leaving etc.

My sensible 13 yr old would be fine with this type of trip.

Is it a friend you know reasonably well?

Spidermama Sat 04-May-13 22:16:54

I've only met the friend twice. He stayed overnight once. He's very polite and respectful to me. Seems pretty confident.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sat 04-May-13 22:22:06

Staines has a cinema.Half an hour away by car is Chessington World of Adventures you could take the younger ones there and come back for ess.

5madthings Sat 04-May-13 22:22:06

Can you speak to friends parents?

I think this is an ideal 'test' trip and bit of responsibility at an appropriate age. Its very hard letting them do these things but so far mine has impressed me with his sensible attitudd and when he has had drama ie a bus not turning up he has been able to deal with it.

You know your son and his capabilities. Set guidlines and make sure he knows there will be consequences if he doesnt respect the trust you are giving him.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sat 04-May-13 22:22:16

From your description of him yes, I would.

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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