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Who is being unreasonable?

(27 Posts)
Sarahjconnor Thu 26-Oct-17 09:33:20

DD and friends are 12 but look much older as most of them are very tall. They wear the usual teen clothes and a bit of make up and enjoy shopping/cinema/hanging out as most young people do. There is a clash over what mums feel is safe and I am very interested in a general MN consensus. Which of the following would you allow your 12/13 year old to do:

1) visit a shopping centre in/near a city - e.g. Westfield centre and shop/cinema dropped and collected by parents
2) walk from school to the local town (which has been in the news 3x in last 5 years for 'grooming' scandals (not Rochdale but similar)) for shopping/McDonald's
3) go to the park in a small town, after school, to hang out
4) have a sleepover in a tent or caravan in one parents field
5) go to a local leisure complex to eat at TGIF/Nando's and go to cinema
6)travel on the bus alone when dark - but still relatively early e.g. 6.30pm

Very keen to hear opinions and we seem to have different views as parents and it seems difficult to have an open and honest conversation without any implied judgment/utter embarrassment to DD.

NowtAbout Thu 26-Oct-17 09:36:55

I would say no to 6 and 3. Mainly because after dark places change. I would let them do the others with clear guidelines. Not sure about 2 depends on how well they know the place. I have a 12 year old and don't let him into our big city centre.

LadyWire Thu 26-Oct-17 09:37:24

Depends on the child, really, they're all different. Probably all bar the camping (unless the field is totally secure or there would be adults camping in the same field).

Idontmeanto Thu 26-Oct-17 09:39:17

All but 2. Get public transport or a lift to get between towns. I’m assuming there are isolated bits/no pavements etc.
5 I’d want to meet off the bus after dark and ask for a text.

Idontmeanto Thu 26-Oct-17 09:40:36

I live rurally but have teen dds. Both were going out with their friends by 12.

Caulk Thu 26-Oct-17 09:40:44

All of them. A lot of it depends on area though - when I lived on the edge of Birmingham, children were allowed to do a lot less than when I’ve lived in the city centre or in a very rural village.

Idontmeanto Thu 26-Oct-17 09:42:36

And my nearest town has also had a high profile grooming scandal. It’s everywhere. What matters is that the kids are taught the risks and to look out for each other.

Butterymuffin Thu 26-Oct-17 09:43:35

I'd probably allow them all with some conditions. The ones that would worry me more would be 3 and 4, because you're less likely to have adults around to ask for help if you need it. If they're in a group and know not to get into conversations with people they don't know then 1, 2 and 5 would be OK. I would be OK with bus alone if, again, they know how to be sensible - sit downstairs, ask for help if anyone hassles you etc.

RB68 Thu 26-Oct-17 09:45:07

My 12 yr old is a little sheltered and we are exploring some of this at the moment.

1) visit a shopping centre in/near a city - e.g. Westfield centre and shop/cinema dropped and collected by parents

Yes, but I might stay there and pootle about myself - avoiding them but being around if you see what I mean. I would prob also whats ap a couple of times to make sure OK or let her know where I was if she wanted to leave (she likes an escape route if things aren't going the way she wants/likes etc)

2) walk from school to the local town (which has been in the news 3x in last 5 years for 'grooming' scandals (not Rochdale but similar)) for shopping/McDonald's

We haven't been in the news and I would let her do this if just 2 or 3 of them not a big gang of them. I would want to know what the plan was and arrange to pick her up after about 1.5hrs

3) go to the park in a small town, after school, to hang out

Possibly for a short time e.g. an hr tops - too much chance of mischief in my book though

4) have a sleepover in a tent or caravan in one parents field

It really would depend on the parent and field situation and the other kids going. To be honest I don't think she would want to do this

5) go to a local leisure complex to eat at TGIF/Nando's and go to cinema

Yes

6)travel on the bus alone when dark - but still relatively early e.g. 6.30pm

I would be OK with this BUT she wouldn't do it - dark is her limit on her own

demirose87 Thu 26-Oct-17 09:46:13

All of them except sleeping in a tent and I would meet off the bus for number 6

Sarahjconnor Thu 26-Oct-17 09:47:34

Thanks for your replies. Really helpful to hear different views.

Pengggwn Thu 26-Oct-17 09:47:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BillywilliamV Thu 26-Oct-17 09:52:14

I’m with Pengggwyn, all of them unless she proves herself untrustworthy.

Sarahjconnor Thu 26-Oct-17 09:55:03

They are a very sporty group and seem sensible for their age. Definately no alcohol/smoking etc and they haven't had a single hysterical falling out yet which I'm delighted about. But they are all 12/13 and giggly/unobservant/unaware as the majority are.

Pengggwn Thu 26-Oct-17 09:57:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alletik Thu 26-Oct-17 09:59:08

I’d let my 13 year old do all of those.. but I live in a safe rural backwater, so wouldn’t worry about her safety so much.

Sarahjconnor Thu 26-Oct-17 10:04:13

Haha I work with teens and am sure on this one - she's never been unaccounted for even for a hour to date so unless it was at school there's not been any drink/cigs/drugs yet.

Drinking seems to have stopped being a problem in our area. It's cannabis/ skunk and varies 'highs' that they seem to start on around 14ish. Some of the younger girls do hang out with the older groups but DD told me she can't understand why anyone would chose to sit in the park in the cold when they could be at home watching tv with their friends. Like I said, sensible but also naive!

Pengggwn Thu 26-Oct-17 10:13:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhatwouldAryado Thu 26-Oct-17 10:20:34

There are bound to be different expectations as some children would be too immature to behave sensibly in an unexpected scenario (fire alarm goes off in cinema or friend storms off following a row) but some would be entirely practical.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 26-Oct-17 10:27:48

Its more a case of how sensible are your kids, how do they deal with emergencies, and what coping strategies do you teach them.
So for example, sleeping outside in a tent in a field would be fairly safe if they had phones and personal alarms - as long as none of them think its hilarious to set them off as a prank. And as long as they could get into the house if needed.

Cleanermaidcook Thu 26-Oct-17 10:28:16

All except the sleep out in the field, just would give me the creeps.
Also wouldn't be thrilled with them hanging in the park and might do the odd covert drive by to check they weren't up to no good.

CakesRUs Thu 26-Oct-17 10:29:06

I remember this dilemma myself at that age and again at 16-17, wanting to rush into adulthood. I was relieved when DS reached 18 and it wasn’t my decisions anymore.

Hoppinggreen Thu 26-Oct-17 10:34:26

I have a 12 year old who looks older, she looks quite striking ( tall and slim with waist length blonde hair)
She and her friends are all pretty sensible but i only only give her the freedom we are all comfortable with so it would be yes to 1 and 5 only.

LemonShark Thu 26-Oct-17 11:00:26

All of those things seem perfectly fine for that age. At 13 I was going off to music festivals for the weekend 100 miles away with friends surrounded by lots of drink and drugs and having a blast. So I'd say 12/13 is more than old enough for the things you've listed. Give them opportunity to spread their wings and learn to make decisions.

Sarahjconnor Thu 26-Oct-17 12:47:47

There's a lot of different opinions smile

Hopping - my DD v similar. It's difficult at times, don't want to be too strict or not firm enough. I have agreed to 1 and 5 only to date but am being pushed to allow the others and it's all part of a much bigger conversation around personal safety too. Going to be a challenging few years....

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