Opinions needed quickly please!!! 13 yr old DD going to seaside on her own..

(49 Posts)
Gymbob Fri 30-Aug-13 22:42:05

Do you think my 13yr old DD is too young to get a bus with her best friend to a seaside town that's about 40 miles away and spend the day there? They are going tomorrow morning, and even though I have said ok I do have reservations about it and it's weighing on my mind...

Both girls are very independent and mature for their age, but not sure if that alone makes them vulnerable and they are potentially putting themselves in danger.

Please tell me what you think.....quickly.....confused....thanks so much....smile

No, of course they're not too young. Why do you think they'd be in danger getting a bus to the seaside?

It's fine

tywysogesgymraeg Fri 30-Aug-13 22:46:19

They'll be fine. I assume they both have mobile phones? They can call you if anything happens.

notanyanymore Fri 30-Aug-13 22:48:14

No I wouldn't be ok with that. AT ALL.

5madthings Fri 30-Aug-13 22:51:07

I think they should be fine smile they have phones and can contact you if necessary?

You know your child, I know my just 14 yr old would have been fine doing that, he went on the train to London to meet family or in London he would go off to museums etc whilst I went to Covent garden a and then we met up later. This so the age where they start to get more freedom depending on their level or maturity smile

gallicgirl Fri 30-Aug-13 22:51:43

Nope,too far. Maybe for the afternoon to the local beach but not 40 miles away.

WeAreEternal Fri 30-Aug-13 22:52:59

I would not allow it,
40 miles is too far for a couple of 13 year olds to travel alone. IMO.

Can you comprise and go along to but not spend the day with them, just be there in the same town doing your own thing.

Arisbottle Fri 30-Aug-13 22:53:12

40 miles away would worry me.

Gymbob Fri 30-Aug-13 23:10:56

Mmmm, thanks guys I can see both sides.

WeAreEternal funny you should say that! We were only there as a family the day before yesterday, and really don't want to go back there again so soon. It's a bit of a chavvy resort!

Yes, they'll both have mobiles, but if anything happens I can't be there in 10 minutes can I? More like an hour and a half.

I don't really think they are putting themselves in danger, but i do think I'm think I'm thinking too much if you know what I mean hmm

gallicgirl Fri 30-Aug-13 23:14:55

Southend, innit?


Bowlersarm Fri 30-Aug-13 23:15:00

No I wouldn't. But apparently I don't let my DC's do a lot of things MNers would.

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Aug-13 23:19:17

Me too Bowlers!
40 miles on a bus?
No adults around all day?
No way!

Madlizzy Fri 30-Aug-13 23:19:40

Not in a million years. I won't let them at 14, not that far away. If it was a few miles down the road, that would be different as I could get to them quickly if needed. And what Bowlersarm said.

MrsFrederickWentworth Fri 30-Aug-13 23:20:11

Ok, how safe is the actual place? Chavvy may be fine , there could be lots of grans it mums hanging around in a way there would not be in somewhere more upmarket.

If you let them go, make sure

They have z few rules to keep

They must be back at x time.

They must get the x bus back and ring you beforehand when they arrive to tell you which one

They must under no.circs be separated, even if they have a row, or meet prince charming, or fall over

Have charge on their mobiles

Update you if there is something worrying

Not talk to strangers/ accept drinks or lifts ( esp the last)

Keep the emergency money you have given them safe

Know what to do in a crisis. ( shout fire, more people will come and look than if you shout help, find a policemen or s shopkeeper).

If they can repeat the rules to you, then let them go.

xalyssx Fri 30-Aug-13 23:30:28

Is it a direct bus route or do they need to change?

curlew Fri 30-Aug-13 23:33:18

Oh, for crying out loud- what do you think's going to happen to them?

Arisbottle Fri 30-Aug-13 23:38:46

Why would someone with excessive gold and sportswear be any more danger to your child than someone dressed in Boden?

Gymbob Fri 30-Aug-13 23:43:17

Well at least you're a mixed bunch about it. If you were all screaming NOOOOO at me then I think I would have to definitely call it off.

No it's a direct bus, from station to station. And Fred I love your comprehensive list! Yes, the place does have a crime rate, which does worry me, but we have been countless times as a family, also pre-family and haven't seen any trouble. We have never been there at night though, which is when I think it all kicks off.

Gymbob Fri 30-Aug-13 23:45:45

Cos I'm a snob Arisbottle grin. And the former tend to have more crude tattoos, swear at their kids more, and shop at Netto grin

NoComet Fri 30-Aug-13 23:56:13

Depends totally on how much freedom they are used to.
If they are used to doing a few hours including lunch in your local town and can cope with public transport they'll be fine.

All day and an hour each way is less good if it's the first freedom they've had. I was quite happy in my grandparents big city all day at 13 on my own, but I'd cycled miles and gone to our small town shops from 10.

My 12y has been off for 4 hrs on with her friend this summer, shopping and lunch. They were exactly where they should be at the right time to be collected.

I wouldn't let her do public transport in her own, because we have very little and she does get enough practice. Her big, now 15 sister is fine with trains and probably would have been at 13, but she is less easily panicked and much more comfortable asking for help.

Personally, I think it's better to have adventures, a bit young. Your far more careful than if your 16 and have finally nagged your parents into submission.

BackforGood Sat 31-Aug-13 00:02:28

What Starball said.
Like all these things, it's not a 'magic age' it's down to experience.
I wouldn't let my dd, but then she has no reason to travel that kind of journey at the moment (you say your dd has done it many times with you). I'd be happy with either of my dds (11 and 14) spending a large part of the day without me, as they've done that when I'm out and they are in - has your dd spent a long time without adults? Also depends on the maturity / confidence / etc., not only of your dd, but of her friend.

Monty27 Sat 31-Aug-13 00:08:54

What's the matter with shopping at Netto OP? Some people go to food banks don't you know, even some mners?

And no, when dd was 13 there is no way I would have let her do that.

curlew Sat 31-Aug-13 07:35:40

I'm finding it a bit bizarre that the only real (if tiny) risk they might actually encounter hasn't been mentioned by anybody.

The sea.

curlew Sat 31-Aug-13 07:41:15

Which, if you think about it, says everything that needs to be said about the way we assess risk.......

utterlyashamedofmyself Sat 31-Aug-13 07:44:32

40 miles is much to far imho

bigTillyMint Sat 31-Aug-13 07:51:01

I guess they are just going into Y9? Can either an adult go - not with them but to hang out there so they can check they are OK? Or suggest somewhere fairly cool but nearer to go?

Are they experienced in going off on their own for the day?
It is 99% likely that they would be fine, but if there was a problem, you couldn't be there that easily.

DD wanted to go to the seaside with a few of her friends a few days after she turned 14. Admittedly it is further than 40 miles and involves trains, but thankfully other parents were of the same opinion and we managed to dissuade them and suggest somewhere nearer as we didn't want them going off that far away. And these are girls that go into Oxford Street on their own quite regularlysmile

mathanxiety Sat 31-Aug-13 07:52:48

I wouldn't allow it. Too far, too young, and there is a resort as well as the beach so too dangers, not just one.

Have you spoken with the other parents? How much independence have they enjoyed up to now?

DragonsAreReal Sat 31-Aug-13 07:58:50

The only problem I would have would be the sea and if the beach was like my nearest each and full of sinking mud. Going off for the day wouldn't bother me and if you can trust them not to do more then paddle if the tides up then I don't see the problem.

I'd allow it providing they're sensible about the sea.

Can't see the problem with taking one bus - what can happen? Not like they need to negotiate loads of changes. . Ds2 is 11 & as of next week is going to have to get to grips with multiple buses (either 2 buses or bus plus walk, different buses/directions depending on the day) to get to & from school.

My concerns would be a) the sea b) missing last bus home - providing they're sensible enough to deal with that then fine. Your job is to get your child to independent confident adulthood. Taking one bus a reasonable distance seems a good step on that road.

livinginwonderland Sat 31-Aug-13 09:35:54

Of course they'll be fine. My best friend and I got the train to Cambridge (40 mins away) on our own all the time at that age. We just had to text/call when we got on the train home to let our parents know when we'd be back.

Gymbob Sat 31-Aug-13 17:51:18

well they are on the way back now and have had a good day. the traffic is bad as expected so she won't be home til gone 7.

thanks for all your input. it's great to read it whether your for or against. I wouldn't go anywhere else for honest straight talking advice grin

she is very independent and travels every day on buses. goes to school into the city centre every day and out all day with friends regularly.

I was never worried about the sea though, she would only ever paddle and would never risk getting her hair or make up wet shock

I will be talking to her about one thing when she gets back though. she was taking an inappropriate party dress for the beach that I saw just in time. no doubt to impress the boys. will want a good reason for that when she gets back envy

MrsFrederickWentworth Sat 31-Aug-13 18:13:37

Gym, glad it has gone well. Obv if she has been doing this traveling to school, she is pretty confident.

Worth doing a sort of lessons learned with her at some stage, eg doing the washing up, in a car ( the no eye contact syndrome) ?

Eg, what was special, what would you do next time, what would you avoid, and what would you have said in my place? Can include the dress there?

I sometimes do this with Ds and he does reflect more, even if not then, then later.

The rules are my standard ones. We live in a suburb of London and some parents used not to let their dcs do anything unaccompanied or unchauffered, anyway.. so these were mine from the age of about 9 onwards, dependent on the companion. We did discuss whether you needed stronger ones for wilder companions.

bigTillyMint Sat 31-Aug-13 18:14:15


Glad it all went well.


mathanxiety Sat 31-Aug-13 19:51:58

I would be very hmm about what was afoot given the dress she had packed. I think the sea may have been irrelevant to this trip.

How well do you know the friend?

Gymbob Sat 31-Aug-13 23:55:50

Thanks Fred. will be doing the no eye contact investigation as you suggest, it's always a good one smile

anx, thanks. inappropriate clothing is an ongoing issue. but to be fair to her she didn't try to hide it I was in the room when she was packing her bag. she just couldn't see the problem with it. as for the best friend, well she is another story and we have a big cultural difference with her family. haven't tackled that one yetgrin

was more cross that she said she'd be back at 7 and didn't get back til 9. will be ringing the bus co to check her story.

Monty27 Sun 01-Sep-13 00:01:50

I wonder if they came across anyone tattoos and <gasp> anyone who shops at Netto, a foodbank person. shock

Curlew I assumed part of the worry of going to the beach was, erm tomb bombing etc, that was my concern when ds wanted to go. Oh and naughty girls wearing inappropriate clothing etc.

Gymbob Sun 01-Sep-13 00:15:21

sorry Monty didn't acknowledge you. I didn't mean to offend, I have shopped at aldi and netto is that ok? was only having a wind up, I'm sorry x x x

NoComet Sun 01-Sep-13 00:18:02

Is it possible for a dress to be inappropriate on a beach?

Since standard beach wear is bikinis or tshirts and hot pants I think that is actually impossible.

DD1(15) would either be in a skimpy bikini if it was hot or a wet suit if it was cold and swimming across the bay totally oblivious to any boys.

Gymbob Sun 01-Sep-13 00:18:21

oh and my husband has an awful cheap tattoo of a former girlfriend. he had it done when he was drunk and doesn't remember.

am I forgiven? grin

Monty27 Sun 01-Sep-13 00:18:52

O Gym don't worry. Glad dd had a good day and is home safe. I was a wee bit offended on behalf of the struggling nation, but now I know you're one of us grin

We don't have a netto! sad

Gymbob Sun 01-Sep-13 00:19:49

you should see the dress star. it would be best suited to a night club x

Gymbob Sun 01-Sep-13 00:20:53

mwah Monty x x x grin

Monty27 Sun 01-Sep-13 00:21:06

Star I bet some could manage it grin

Cross posts Gym Of course you're forgiven smile

Monty27 Sun 01-Sep-13 00:22:18

Lol at the dress grin

NoComet Sun 01-Sep-13 01:30:17

Ah, the sort of dress our six-form girls think is acceptable for end of term concerts.

NoComet Sun 01-Sep-13 01:34:42

DDs BF had me giggling the other day.

BFs mum, those shoes are too high to walk around in all day(BF is 16). BF vanishes up stairs and reappears in ballet pumps.

We get to town and BF, of course, climbed out the car in said high, but hardly ridiculous shoes.

flow4 Sun 01-Sep-13 07:29:36

Oh GymBob ,maybe she was planning to join a black tie beach flashmob like the one in the US last week and you spoiled everything! wink
(That's a YouTube clip btw).

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