Independence for girls(16 Posts)
My friend has a dd, 10, who wants to go into our local city centre shopping with another girl, 11. It would involve a short train journey there and back. Would you let your own dd do thisat this age? My friend thinks it's a bit young. What would you all advise?
depends. How used to going out/street smart are they.
In principle I think it's fine, but only if they are used to being out and about, used to calling you to check in, have some awareness of safe routes to walk, what to do on a train if someone makes them uncomfortable etc. For many kids this is sensibly done as part and parcel of getting ready to change to secondary school.
I think I would want to drop and pick up but probably let them go off round the shops for a bit
I would let them, we were doing it at their age and commuting to school is normal at 10/11. Why is the fact that they are girls worth mentioning?
I would. My sister is 14 now and has been commuting to secondary school since 11 ( August birthday), but train. It's a 10 min walk, 15 min train, 10 min walk
Also, why would a 10 and 11 yr old want to go off shopping ?
If it helps, dd2, who is 11, and in Yr6, has just gone off for a bike ride... shock horror... on her own, so I don't think I@m a cotton wool Mum.
Wandering about shops is a perfect opportunity to get lost. Not without a mobile and not without a parent in a nearby cafe.
I think why would they want to trail round the shops after an adult would be the more pressing question.
At some point you are going to have to let them.
If they are Y6, they should be fine wandering round the shops for a bit, any younger or if they are very small they will get a few 'looks'.
Train depends totally on how simple the journey, how frequent the trains and how unpanicable they are. Also how good they are at times and using a mobile.
It's one thing to meet Mum after an hour in town and quite another to spend 3 or 4 hrs, have lunch and wander round some where larger and still judge catching a train. Apart from anything else Mum will wait.
Personally I'd let them spend an hour or two in a town they know well if you can take them, but leave the train bit a year or two.
DD2 and her friends were happy to wander round our small town at this age and I used to cycle to mine, DD1 wanders round most Saturdays when her sister is at an activity and has ditched us sometimes since she was 11 or 12.
Also, of course,it depends on the friend. DD1 is totally unpanicable and whether she's on her own or not doesn't matter and her usual friend is older and equally sensible. With DD2 the choice of company definitely matters.
Thanks, A nice mix of comments. My friend is more concerned with the fact that they are going round shops (Primark) to buy clothes etc and feels this is a somewhat adult activity for a 10 year old.
The child is not particularly streetwise and the other girl seems much more streetwise and grown-up.
my ds is 10 (year 5) and I am passionate about letting him be independent in a safe context and teaching him bit by bit to be streetwise. He is very sensible and knows the rules we use to keep the boundaries. He goes to library, to his friends and to and from school (only round the corner)
Would I let him do this with a friend? Not sure. Our equivalent would be to go into town on the bus, and home again.
I actually think he and his friend would be fine, and love the sense of independence. In 18 months he will probably be getting on a train to school every morning, and at some point will need to bike or bus to the station too.
But I don't think I would let him just yet. he is year 5, but I would if he was year 6, as a part of building him up for secondary.
I like the idea of dropping them off, or letting them go on the train and then picking them up. Make sure they have a phone and a default meeting place if they get lost.
I would be happier about it when there are two of them.
I wouldn't be worried about them shopping, as I would assume they didn't have much money, so if they want to buy a pair of leggings or a T-shirt it isn't the end of the world.
I think I'm pretty blase about risk and I wouldn't allow it.
2 x yr7 girls both still 11 and both mobile'd up possibly yes.
Train journey wouldn't worry me, it's the wondering from station into city centre (let's face it, areas around stations are nearly always dodgy) and round city centre that I wouldn't trust. What if they fall out or impulsively want to do mischief? Forget the train times, lose their money, lose their return ticket, get into slagging match with a different gang of girls. They're not resourceful enough to cope.
Exactly, DD1 by the time she was in Y6 would have had the sense to wander into a shop our the library, where they see her every week and say help I've had my money, bag pinched please can I borrow a phone. She'd be polite and totally honest that she was in a muddle and need help.
DD2 would have been embarrassed, panic and get herself in a worse muddle.
No way. Nothing positive can come of this. Kids hanging around at somewhat of a loose end on their own in town on weekends will only end up with other unsupervised kids who you don't know anything about. At age 10 they don't have the capacity to judge situations or people. I used to take mine -- one DD and at most two friends to the local town centre and let them have 1.5 hours max, with me sitting somewhere close and my phone and theirs on. No train or bus there and back. Another thing I allowed them to do was go to the cinema with a quick burger before or after, or go skating -- some definite destination with an activity in mind, but no drifting around for half a day.
They will be ready for independent trips in just a few short years as their perception of things will have developed.
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