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to think my 14-year-old stepDD really should be able to take the bus/train on her own to visit us?

(419 Posts)
cinnamontoast Wed 18-Dec-13 21:35:11

DH complains about having to drive a round trip of nearly 400 miles in the school holidays to bring her down to visit, but won't contemplate her using public transport. At her age I was happily getting the train on my own to visit relatives at the other end of the country - and I didn't have a mobile. Surely learning to travel independently is an important life skill?

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 18-Dec-13 21:47:57

Is it a direct train? If there is a natural break in the journey, could you arrange to meet her there, so that you can go over any connection together for the first couple of times.

It wasn't as far, but I had to catch two trains to get to school at 12 with my sister of 14. It was odd the first few times, and we messed up once or twice, but it wasn't the end of the world, and it was largely an adventure.

ivykaty44 Wed 18-Dec-13 21:48:38

I have friends who have dc that live 200 miles away and they regularly get the train solo to visit. TBH I thought it was the norma and see no reason why you wouldn't travel alone at this age.

CallMeNancy Wed 18-Dec-13 21:48:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sighbynight Wed 18-Dec-13 21:49:34

I was travelling to south east Asia and back by myself at that age. Not on the train obviously.

FrauMoose Wed 18-Dec-13 21:50:56

In my city many young people of that age are regularly using buses and trains to get to and from school as well as to go shopping in the city centre.

Travelling from one city to another on the train can be more comfortable and pleasant, than these local journeys.

Even if your partner's daughter normally walks - or is driven - to school, I think it's useful to get them more used to doing some independent travelling. It's really only a few more years before they are either in the world of work, or in further education and need to have a bit more get up and go.

People who normally travel everywhere by car sometimes over-estimate the supposed 'dangers' involved in public transport. But the most likely scenario - being very very bored by other people's mobile conversations - is irritating not dangerous! Statistically long motorway journeys where there is just one adult, driving the whole way probably pose very considerably greater dangers.

Norudeshitrequired Wed 18-Dec-13 21:50:58

Okay, I have reread the OP and realised that it's your DH complaining about the journey. You should tell him to stop complaining about having to make the effort to maintain contact with his daughter. It's his daughter, he should be grateful that at 14 she hasn't fobbed him off in favour of her mates. Tell him to make the most of it.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 18-Dec-13 21:51:53

I'm sure she is able to.

Does she want to though? Maybe she likes the time to chat with her Dad? Maybe she's a bit nervous about travelling by herself?

If it was a regular thing I'd push her to do it alone, but if it's only school holidays I'd put up with it for a little while longer.

Could she bring a friend to stay so she can do the train trip with someone?

Norudeshitrequired Wed 18-Dec-13 21:52:40

Out of curiosity because I'm a nosey cow who likes details who moved 200 miles away, was it your husband or his ex?
If he moved then it's his fault that he has to make such a long journey.

Mattissy Wed 18-Dec-13 21:55:03

I used to do it when I was 14, I was fine and I was a pretty immature 14 too.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 21:59:17

the thing is she may never have used public transport (if her parents will not contemplate her using it ) there are many children like this, they would have no idea what to do if a train was cancelled or they had to use a phonebox. and it is not even their own fault, it is their parents who have driven them around all their lives.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 18-Dec-13 22:00:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryFuckingChristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 22:00:36

This is my kids, ND, and this is also me

I don't know how to catch a train fshock

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 18-Dec-13 22:01:23

My parents live 200 miles away and my kids have been doing the train journey since they were 12/13. It has one change, and from when they were 11/12 my mum would come (by train) and meet them at the changing station. Trains are nice to travel on, can't believe the amount of supposed adults here claiming to be scared of such a long journey! I'd much rather sit on a train and read for 4 hours than drive for 4 hours.

But if he complains and yet doesn't want her to go on the train, leave him to it!

RaspberryRuffle Wed 18-Dec-13 22:03:10

Yes she should be able to get public transport at that age.
If your DH (and her mum) are worried the first time I suggest DH gets public transport to meet her, they travel to you together and she goes back alone having already made the journey. Your DH should not sit with her the entire journey.
Alternatively if this journey involves changes could a compromise be made where she gets a train e.g. halfway and DH collects her from there? SHe feels grown up, she gets car time with her father, and he has a shorter drive.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 18-Dec-13 22:03:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 18-Dec-13 22:04:21

I think it's really different if there are two of them travelling together.

I don't particularly like travelling on my own (though I can and do).

dyslexicdespot Wed 18-Dec-13 22:05:41

The drive should be a perfect opportunity for an absent father to spend some time with his daughter. Your DH should be thrilled that she is still willing to spend time with him. I would tell him to suck it up, and enjoy it while it lasts.

CaterpillarCara Wed 18-Dec-13 22:06:00

I took the train alone at that age. Also planes, but was then a "UM". It was fine but it was only one train, no changes. Also I took the train daily to school, so was probably more used to them. It seems a worthwhile goal to work towards.

curiouselle Wed 18-Dec-13 22:07:04

It also depends on her street smarts and confidence. If she is attractive and looks older than 14 then it may prove an interesting journey. When I was in my late teens I was chatted up by a guy who just got out of prison that day, was asked about vibrators by some business men who thought they were hysterical and sat on by a guy from a stag do until they they were removed by the police.... not all on the same journey obviously ;)
But also why not be pampered by her Dad if she doesn't see him all the time?!

IamGluezilla Wed 18-Dec-13 22:08:06

Ok he complains and simultaneously won't countenance the solution. What an Ass. Tell him to make his mind up.

harticus Wed 18-Dec-13 22:10:57

200 (it's a 400 mile round trip to collect here

Unless she is teleporting herself back I assume she will be getting the train home again ergo 400 miles.


Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Wed 18-Dec-13 22:12:04

Have you really never caught a train, merry?

Where do you live?

TheDoctrineOfSanta Wed 18-Dec-13 22:12:59

Could he go down to met her on the train and travel back with her to show her all changes etc?

Would she be able to carry all her stuff for the stay?

My niece is 14, I'm not sure she'd want to do that trip on her own, she'd do it with a mate though.

NigellasDealer Wed 18-Dec-13 22:15:18

tbh my daughter of 15 wouldn't want to do it alone either, he is her dad so he should stop moaning and go and get her, as he has never shown her how to use public transport.

serin Wed 18-Dec-13 22:16:04

Poor kid, what an inconvenience to him she must feel. If that was me going to pick up a DD I hadn't seen for a while I would be relishing going to get her and having some quality time together to chat on the way back.

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