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To not want daughter going to a wood by herself?

(533 Posts)
Vellia Fri 26-Apr-19 00:18:14

Dd is 16. We live in a town with lots of countryside/footpaths at close proximity. About a 15 minute walk away from our house, you get to the edge of some farmers’ fields. If you walk down the side of one of these you find yourself in a lovely small wood. At the moment the bluebells are out and it’s absolutely magical.

Over Easter, dd and I have gone for a walk in this wood most mornings before she starts revising (I work in a school so have school holidays off). But in a few weeks’ time she’ll be off school on pre-GCSE study leave while I’ll be working.

She’s said in passing that she’s going to go for a walk in the woods at the start of each day to get herself in the right frame of mind for revision.

I feel rather uncomfortable about this as the wood is a significant distance away from the road & any houses. Definitely out of ear-shot. And the wood is never very busy - we rarely bump into more than one or two people, mostly dog walkers; often it’s entirely empty apart from us.

AIBU to think it would be unwise for dd to go walking there by herself? Would I be unreasonable to tell her she can’t?

nanny2012nanny Fri 26-Apr-19 01:33:52

What is the world coming too

Someoneonlyyouknow Fri 26-Apr-19 01:35:41

Make sure she has her phone and texts you when she is home again. Have a discussion with her about risk and ensure she understands your concerns, without trying to panic her. Listen when she tells you how she feels about going places on her own and why she wants to do this morning walk. Then let her do it. If she goes the same time every day she will probably see the same dog walkers and have company if she wants it. Like any aspect of living independently, you have to gradually trust your DC to look after themselves.

quizqueen Fri 26-Apr-19 01:36:05

Would she get up early and you walk together before you go to work?

Sculpin Fri 26-Apr-19 01:38:09

I would let my DD do this. As others have said, the risk of harm is far lower than crossing the road or other things we do without a second thought.

IncrediblySadToo Fri 26-Apr-19 01:40:01

I’m afraid we live in dark times


🙄 don’t be so melodramatic.

She’s going for a walk in the bluebell woods on a spring/summer morning, not cruising Downtown LA at 2am. FGS.

soulrunner Fri 26-Apr-19 01:40:42

Do you not think there’s an element of ‘safety in numbers’?

The facts suggest otherwise. I can see why you'd assume that though. I also accept that getting date raped at a party, whilst awful, is not as bad as getting raped (and probably murdered) by a stranger. However, the chances of the latter happening are vanishingly small. Even if you analyse "stranger murders" very few are just "lying in wait" scenarios. Most are "lure back to house under false pretenses" or "meet up under false pretenses" scenarios.

managedmis Fri 26-Apr-19 01:41:03

I wouldn't let my dd do this

Disquieted1 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:43:24

Stop it please!
Dogs, phones, messages, call-in times, risk assessments...
She will have wonderful and memorable times strolling amongst the bluebells, as long as you don't scare her to death.

RagingWhoreBag Fri 26-Apr-19 01:45:04

*They hang out with friends at parties etc
They all look out for each other
What’s all this ‘spending time with uncles , grandads, tutors etc’ ?!*

My point is, if you’re trying to prevent your DD being sexually assaulted or killed, those are the people/places to avoid - not the bluebell woods. The chances of being attacked by your boyfriend are much much higher than those of being attacked by a stranger in a wood, so there’s literally no point telling her not to go the woods to keep her safe - it’s probably one of the safest places she could be!!

More women are beaten up/killed by the man sitting next to them on the sofa than by anyone else.

Tavannach Fri 26-Apr-19 01:46:01

The point about routine is a fair one. She could vary the time and the route.

Macandcheese05 Fri 26-Apr-19 02:00:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 26-Apr-19 02:03:20

Walking in the woods on your own is not a high risk activity.

Talking to your daughter as though it is, setting up "precautionary" measures, etc. is an exercise in paranoia and likely to decrease her general happiness and increase her chances of getting mental health problems like anxiety.

Taytotots Fri 26-Apr-19 02:10:06

hmm as said above the risk is minimal. She is far more likely to be hit by a car whilst walking down the street to the wood i would have thought. Are you saying that no woman should hike alone? By all means make sure she takes a phone with her but more in case she twists an ankle or something. What a nice thing to do before revision.

AmeriAnn Fri 26-Apr-19 02:13:35

I used to go to the woods alone after school starting at age 6. It was magical.

I used to ride a pony through the woods, alone, at age 10.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Apr-19 03:27:59

One of my DDs goes for walks by herself in both woods and an urban area where you kick syringes out of your path. Both locations really bother me and I worry about her all the time. I hate to think of her sitting on her couch being afraid to go out, but all the same I have been encouraging her to take up yoga instead of walking.

adaline Fri 26-Apr-19 05:57:19

I walk alone with my dog everyday - to places completely off the beaten track and where I couldn't even hear a car let alone be seen by one.

It's fine. Your DD will be fine.

I also don't know how you plan on stopping her when you won't be home anyway!

MaybeitsMaybelline Fri 26-Apr-19 06:02:02

I wouldn’t, I live in what is deemed a pretty safe area, a 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted on the path through our woods a few weeks ago. It’s a regular short cut to the high school, so maybe the man knew at some point a lone dog walker or school girl would pass through.

I would run it, I think having that level of physical fitness gives you an advantage, and I would walk it with a big dog.

But walk on my own, nah.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Apr-19 06:02:56

You're not alone with a dog though, Adaline.

Shutuptodd Fri 26-Apr-19 06:06:01

I cant see a problem. I've been going for walks by myself in the woods since I was 14. As others have said it's probably safer than being out in a city. She probably has the added safety of a phone which I never had.

DoraleeRhodes Fri 26-Apr-19 06:15:06

It’s a walk in the woods, let her go!

Nacreous Fri 26-Apr-19 06:18:53

I really don't think the countryside is on average a very dangerous place. It's not no risk, but it is low risk, and much lower risk for things like being assaulted than clubs or bars or anything else.

I am probably biased because I've been playing in woods with just one friend and no adult supervision at least 15 minutes walk from my parents since I was 10. And walking alone in the countryside since I was 12. But I really do think that overall the risks are very low. I'm mid twenties so it's not like I was doing this in some bygone magically safe era.

It sounds like your daughter has come up with a great plan to look after her mental and physical well-being. If you're worried could you ask her to text you before she goes and when she gets back? (Though ultimately I don't think this will reduce the anxiety as the likelihood of her forgetting to text is going to be vastly higher than of anything happening to her.)

Rafabella8 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:19:47

Oh dear OP; there's a fine line between a 'mother's worry' and instilling real paranoia in your DD. The walk sounds absolutely beautiful. I grew up surrounded by woods - it was our very own natures playground for the vast majority of my childhood and young adult years. Yes, we've all seen horrific incidents on the news, but in your case and statistically speaking? @Haggisfish posted a brilliant link. Rather than frighten your daughter into not talking the daily walk, make sure she has the life skills to be appropriately aware of her surroundings - helping her to develop a healthy intuition is far more powerful and will serve her well in life. If the woods are simply too isolated for you to not worry, go with her and/or take a dog?

CaptainMarvelDanvers Fri 26-Apr-19 06:24:12

Going to the same isolated place at the same time every morning would increase her risk level. The routine really is going to be the main issue, in my opinion.

BastianBux Fri 26-Apr-19 06:26:49



To think how many woods I'd explored by that age...

HBStowe Fri 26-Apr-19 06:27:43

Yes, the last two of these are probably rare but they do happen and the best thing to do is minimise the risks by not putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

You can’t not live your life in order to minimise an already tiny risk. Women would never go anywhere if this was the attitude!

The vast, vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by people known to the victim. The chances of a random attack from a stranger lurking in the shadows are profoundly low.

Let her go, and tell her to take her phone. She’s in far more danger, in my opinion, of learning that because she’s a woman she shouldn’t do low-risk activities that she loves because of an unfounded fear.

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