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To make my dd get the train?

(123 Posts)
Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:48:34

My eldest dd is 11 (12 in July). She has EOW contact with her dad who lives over 2 hours drive away. We usually meet in the middle, so about an hour's drive each (then the same back home again).

This is a bit problematic for me, as I have a 5 year old dd who has a different father who she is NC with, so I have to drag her along on the Friday/Sunday drop offs and pick ups, so that's a total of 4 hours sitting in the car which she moans about a lot, and it can be very stressful. I am also a single parent and a full time student, and Friday is my long day at uni, so by the time I get home I'm shattered, and the last thing I feel like doing is driving for another 2 hours.

So...I just had what I thought was a genius idea. I looked at train times and she'd be able to get a direct train from very close to where we live, to about 25 mins from where her dad lives, and it takes 36 minutes! So her total travelling time would be an hour, and it would make both mine and her dad's lives a lot easier.

But...she has aspergers and is painfully shy. She would never be able to pay for her own stuff in a shop or anything. She has massive issues around talking to people she doesn't know. I've explained to her that I would go with her the first time to show her what to do, and if she felt ok about it and did it on her own I would of course get her onto the train, and her dad would be waiting for her on the platform at the other end. All she'd have to do inbetween is sit on her phone with her headphones on, and the only person likely to make contact with her would be the ticket inspector.

She is having NONE of it though grin. She said she's not brave enough, and is too scared of people. I think that, apart from the reasons listed above, it would be really good for her confidence, and aspergers or not, she lives in the world we live in and needs to start finding a little bit of independence now she is at secondary school.

So AIBU to keep pushing the idea, or should I drop it and leave it until she's older?

DementedUnicorn Wed 06-Apr-16 23:50:14

I think that's too young even without the aspergers tbh

Balletgirlmum Wed 06-Apr-16 23:53:20

It would be fine for my two (12 year old ds in year 7 & 14 year old dd in year 8) who have aspergers but everyone is different.

Is she not expected to make her own way to school?

antimatter Wed 06-Apr-16 23:53:29

Would it be a lot of pain for you to go with her on train until she sees she can do it herself? I was never shy but only travelled by myself from the age of 12 when I knew the route to my aunt very well.
I can see why she is reluctant!

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:56:33

She walks to/from school some days if I have early starts or late finishes at uni, but I'm around most days and in the car anyway dropping dd1 off, so she gets a lift. She's a right daydreamer and walks at the pace of a snail so it's about a half hour walk for her when she does do it (just under 2km away).

squiggleirl Wed 06-Apr-16 23:57:09

I agree with Demented. My kids are a little younger than your DD, but my niece is 11. No way would she be allowed go on a train on her own.

I understand why you'd like her to travel on her own, but it seems as if it would be for your benefit and your other DD, rather than necessarily being the right thing for her.

This is a big step for her, and if she's telling you she's not ready, it would be best to take her lead on this.

SavoyCabbage Wed 06-Apr-16 23:58:29

I would do the journey with her until she is used to it and feels comfortable. That's what I did when my dd started high school. We did it together a few times. Then I stood at the bus stop and we pretended we didn't know each other. She sat on her own and I didn't get off till she did. That sort of thing.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Wed 06-Apr-16 23:58:44

That's a good idea antimatter - I said I'd do it with her the first time but maybe it will take a few more times before she's happy to go it alone. I'll have to check the times and see if it would work to get one back again. It would also solve the problem of dd2 because she LOVES going on the train, so it would become a treat rather than a chore.

catsofa Wed 06-Apr-16 23:58:48

Sounds like it would be quicker for you to take her by train than to drive half way, why not start by doing that instead? Easier sitting on a train than driving for you too, and she will start to get familiar with the train journey and hopefully eventually feel confident to do it on her own.

catsofa Wed 06-Apr-16 23:59:41

Oops cross posted!

Balletgirlmum Thu 07-Apr-16 00:00:38

If you buy a family railcard too it might work out cheaper than petrol as well.

Vintage45 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:01:45

My ex came to euston from Manchester to get our DS until he was 13.

Homemadearmy Thu 07-Apr-16 00:03:23

I would see how quickly you can get a train back. And do the journey a few times with her and ask her dad to do the same thing until she is used to it.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:03:39

I've already got a family railcard so it probably would, yes. I think if the times work out to get back again I might just start doing it anyway, and sooner or later I'm sure she'll stop wanting her highly embarrassing mum with her grin

Jw35 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:09:06

Surely it's up to your ex to come and collect her? confused

MrsSippy Thu 07-Apr-16 00:14:30

why don't you and EXP do one whole journey each?

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:14:33

Jw35 - you've obviously never met him grin

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:16:18

MrsSippy - I think tbh it would be more painful in terms of dd2 whinging at me to have to do a 4 hour trip in one go.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:17:46

My plan has been slightly scuppered - the next train back is an hour later - and the station is in the arse end of nowhere so it's not like me a dd2 could go and get something to eat or anything.

AugustaFinkNottle Thu 07-Apr-16 00:19:49

I'm surprised by these people who would never let an 11 year old travel by train on her own. Thousands of 11 year olds do it every day when travelling to school, and if there are younger siblings parents don't really have a choice. DS certainly did.

someonestolemynick Thu 07-Apr-16 00:32:04

Maybe do it in stages.

First few times you go with her all the way, then you're a few seats away, then in the next carriage. Each step gets lots of praise and a reward. Short term pain for long term gain?

muchaboca Thu 07-Apr-16 00:35:26

Same as most people. I think you should just get on with it for now. It's a good solution medium term but starting the train trips with you would hopefully help her to be more comfortable

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:37:15

Problem is with the times, there's only one train back and that doesn't get us home until 8.45pm, which is going to be late for dd2. Though I suppose as it's Friday it's not the end of the world. It's the hour of loitering around waiting for the return train that would be painful.

Maybe I'll talk to her dad about it. He does tend to treat her as if she's a lot younger than she is, so he'll probably veto the idea anyway, and say she's too young.

Vintage45 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:40:59

Maybe I mollycoddled then, and i may have. DS was collected until he went to secondary school. By the age of 12 I was nervous about sending him from London to Manchester but put him on the train and his dad collected at the other side. Never would i have contemplated a change, it had to be a straight though route, that would have given me palpitations. In my defence I was probably nervous due to DS being robbed 3 times for his phone a few streets away from where we live. I always think that they are very vulnerable until they are 14/15.

Littlefluffyclouds81 Thu 07-Apr-16 00:44:28

The route dd would take is direct and where she needs to get off is 2 stops away. It's frustrating because at younger than her I'd regularly get a bus into town and back, which involved walking a mile up the lane, standing at the main road and flagging the bus down as there was no stop there, and then travelling on the bus for 12 miles. But then I wasn't shy, and she is.

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