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to think that 11 is too young to be left to go bowling and to Pizza Hut without adult supervision.

(71 Posts)
nelliesmum Tue 26-Aug-08 23:40:47

Dropped my 11 year-old niece off at an 11th Birthday Party Bash on Saturday and was surprised to find that there were four girls, the eldest was 12, doing bowling and then Pizza Hut with no supervision at all. Does this strike anyone else as odd? It turns out that the waiting staff in Pizza Hut were fairly horrible to them.

MaureenMLove Tue 26-Aug-08 23:46:46

Hmm. Difficult to judge really. DD was 12 last year and she went to a restaurant with her mates for her birthday without adults. That said, I checked with the restaurant first that it was OK, took them and picked them up. Personally, I wouldn't let DD go bowling without an adult yet. Its not really a very nice place to be imho. Very busy and with 4 lines being licensed, you just never know.

Ok. seems its not that difficult to judge! Yes, I do think that's too young!grin

nelliesmum Tue 26-Aug-08 23:51:53

I wouldn't leave until I was sure her mother knew the exact situation. I don't think my niece was terribly comfortable with things. My dds are 3 and 5, so I am interested to know when its normal to do this stuff. dh says 17...I can foresee arguments.

MaureenMLove Wed 27-Aug-08 00:07:58

Very possibly!grin Its actually a bit easier than you might think! Its difficult to know when your lo's are that young, but it is a gradual thing and I'm sure your niece and her friends wouldn't have been on their own, unless their parents thought it was OK.

brimfull Wed 27-Aug-08 00:13:12

too young imo

parents should have supervised ,from a nearby lane/table if the girls were desperate for independence.

Janni Wed 27-Aug-08 00:27:15

Why were the waiting staff horrible to them? That does not automatically follow from 11 year olds being out on their own, but I'm wondering if they were not very nicely behaved?? Were they on their own because that's what they wanted, or because the adults didn't have the time or energy to be with them??

hollyandnoah Wed 27-Aug-08 00:27:35

My dp and i had this conversation on Saturday!
We walked passed two little lads, about 6 i think, playing on an old bedframe, trying to use it to climb a tree.
It brought up the conversation about how old we were when we were let out on out own with friends.
I was in 1st year in high school when i was 11. That was when i was let into town with my friends. I used to get £5 on a Saturday and spend it all in Claires Accessories which used to be called Bow Bangles.

But anyway, my point is, i dont think 11 is too young. As long as they are being picked up and dropped off.

chuggabopps Wed 27-Aug-08 00:37:40

waiting staff being arsey probably has nothing to do with the girls behavior- more likely that tables with no adults on = no tip, or smaller tip than full on family parties out for meal together.
If the worst the girls had to encounter on a birthday treat was the rudeness of the waiting staff- then it was probably a good experience for the girls. If something had gone wrong they would have had the nous to call someones parents to fetch them. They were out in a public place, and not alone. Besides does noone remember being in their gang and wanting to chat about things away from parental ears?

S1ur Wed 27-Aug-08 00:44:05

Dunno. I used to go out alone with mates at this age.
I also crossed London on underground at this age too. So pizza hut and bowling seems okay to me.

But mostly depends on child, some blardy 14 year olds are seriously lacking any common sense whereas some 11 year olds I would be confident about being able to go out with friends without adult supervision.

I think it is around this age that children start doing things alone, walking to school, catching buses, going into to town - but it is a cusp so some aren't ready yet and others are.

chuggabopps Wed 27-Aug-08 00:46:04

but they werent alone- there were four of them. safety in numbers i reckon.

S1ur Wed 27-Aug-08 00:47:18

yy I say if with friends and responsible then all good.

NorkyButNice Wed 27-Aug-08 00:52:47

Do 11 year olds not take themselves to school? If they're responsible enough to do that, then they should be allowed to go bowling I would think.

If you had concerns though, you shouldn't have left her without checking her parents were OK with the situation.

Janni Wed 27-Aug-08 00:54:46

chuggabopps - you're probably right about the tips - I hadn't thought of that. It would probably go over their heads though and the mrmory of being ou alone with their friends would be everything.

Janni Wed 27-Aug-08 00:55:45

ooh - crap typing there, sorry [shame]

abbieslife Thu 28-Aug-08 08:36:45

I don't think this is too young! I'd have done this at this age, and I'll let my DCs if they are mature enough when they get to that age. Teaches them independence and responsibility, and provides them with wonderful memories!

lisalisa Thu 28-Aug-08 08:46:05

My dd has been going to restuarants with friends since she was 11 - by this I mean early in the evening - say 6.00pm and home by 8.00pn - she is always dropped by a parent - usually me - and we only allow 2 restuarants where the dining area is hidden from teh street so to speak so that 4 young girls are not on view from teh street . At least one of the girls has a mobile . she has asked many times to go to different restuarants but these are more open, some have take away areas ( where there could be more "transient" callers )and some I just find plain unsuitable. She goes to pizza place and also to another restuarant sellling salads/fish/milkty type dishes.

She enjoyes it a lot and it does give her the freedom to read a menu, work out how much money she needs and calculate change - i.e a bit of independence which she doesn't really get otherwise.

pamelat Thu 28-Aug-08 08:47:22

My first "solo" outing (bear in mind I have overly protective parents, still!) was when I was 15 and I was allowed to go shopping in to town with my then best friend.

We were seen on to the bus, given £20 (which was an absolute fortune, had never been given that much before) and was told to be home by 5pm

Looking back, I bet my parents were worried sick and had spent hours talking about it! Bless them.

I think 15 is about right for day time solo stuff?

tigermoth Thu 28-Aug-08 08:50:45

I think 11 is ok for this treat as long as it was well organised by the adults beforehand and the group were already familiar with that particular bowling alley/pizza hut. If they were dropped in a totally strange place, with no idea of what to do, then that would be a too much.

Also the time - ok to do this sort of treat if it was in the afternoon but not ok if it was late evening. And I assume the group are reasonably sensible together.

After all, many 11 year olds, when they go into their first year at secondary school, will be using public transport alone. My ds and his friends will go to fast food restaurants on their way back from school if it is someone's birthday or the end of term etc as a routine thing. It is not a big deal if they are in a group.

Lots of my ds's classmates, in the summer before they started secondary school, planned cinema or pizza hut outings in groups with no adults. It was an accepted path on the road to independence. Most parents AFAIK were all fine with this as long as the outing was organised properly.

tegan Thu 28-Aug-08 08:52:33

dd1 (10) goes to afternoon cinema showings and the chippy after with her friends. I (or another mum) drops them off and then they ring to be collected when they have got their chips.

She walks to and from school with her friends and very often goes out on her bike all day and comes home when she is hungry but i do call her mobile every hour or so and she is always with her friends.

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Aug-08 08:53:25

I think yes YABU

aquariusgirl Thu 28-Aug-08 08:55:39

My boys have not reached that age yet but it is too young imo. Letting go and giving them some space and independance is not easy. They are still children after all and doesn't the law say 12 to be left alone without an adult?

FrannyandZooey Thu 28-Aug-08 08:56:44

no there is no law on this

liahgen Thu 28-Aug-08 08:57:44

my 11 yr ds took my 5ytds to cinema last week.

I took them, bought their tickets and popcorn/drinks with them. Saw them to door of screen room, then went downstairs for a coffee.

Met them at entrance when show finished.


AbbeyA Thu 28-Aug-08 08:57:51

I don't see anything wrong in it. I presume it was afternoon, the parents would have organised the bowling before they went and I would expect that the pizza place was practically next door, that the parents would have worked out the price and left the right money. Probably at least one DC had a mobile so they weren't exactly on their own.
If it was evening, a strange town miles away, a long walk to Pizza Hut and no one had a mobile phone then it would be different.
The maturity of the DCs has a lot to do with it. Many 11yr old girls are perfectly capable.

SueW Thu 28-Aug-08 08:59:46

We're going through a similar thing. DD is 11 and I let her on a very long rein when we're in town e.g. she can go to children's/teen dept when I am in the women's. I recently tried to arrange for her to go shopping with two friends where I would base myself somewhere e.g. cafe in shopping centre and they could wander round alone. The other parents weren't keen though but one agreed when I said I would shadow them.

At the same age I was walking a mile to the bus stop, crossing a busy dual carriageway with no lights/crossing/bridge and getting a bus to school 7 miles away. If I missed the school bus I had to go to another bus stop and get another bus to the centre of Nottingham then walk through a not particularly pleasant area of town to get to school albeit it with a group of 3-4 others from the bus. But I'd also spent most of the previous 3 or so years biking/walking around the local town and exploring local fields and surroundings with friends.

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