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Advice for 12 yo girl going into town?(22 Posts)
I've reached that point where my 12 yo wants to go to the town centre with a couple of friends. She walks to school and around our neighbourhood solo but bustling town centre (in London) feels a step up. I'm trying to list the rules/advice I need to give her before she goes - can any experienced parents of teens help me out?
What I've got so far is:
1. Stick to agreed times and places (to be negotiated)
2. Keep your phone and money hidden.
3. If you are threatened for phone/money, hand them over.
4. What would you do if someone is scaring you? (talk through range of scenarios)
5. Don't go anywhere with anyone, even if they're saying they're a friend.
6. Men can be creepy with teenage girls (my dd looks 15); if your instincts are that a man is being creepy, you don't owe him the same respect/obedience you normally would to a grown-up.
7. Don't shoplift (one of the two friends is daft as a brush and I can see her suggesting this).
Any advice please?
Are you sure she's ready? I just ask because such a long list sounds like you don't trust her judgement yet.
If your friends are doing something you are uncomfortable with or dont want to do, then dont do it. Come home. Similarly dont force a friend to do something they dont want to do.
If, despite all that good advice above, you find yourself in a situation you feel out of your depth in, call your parents. You won’t get into trouble - our priority is to keep you safe.
Does she know the landline number.
Keep change in pocket to get home.
Not in purse/bag - in case it gets lost.
Where do you live? That’s not the sort of risks I ever warned my children about before popping into town with friends. You’ll scare her witless. Is she especially naieve? Tell her to have a nice time and ring if there’s a problem. Give her £5 for a hot chocolate.
Ah, now this is why I was right to start this thread - lots of food for thought! hugoagogo, I think she is ready; maybe I'm being madly over-protective. Crumbs, we only live in South London, not Mexico City, so you're right maybe I will scare her witless. I don't want her to feel she is going over the top at the Somme.
Thanks all. She did a junior citizen day at school last year where they went over all this stuff, so maybe I'll just (lightly!) remind her of that and ask her if there's anything she wants to go over. Otherwise, I'll make sure she has her phone charged and with my number on it, and enough cash for emergencies.
I do trust her - the shoplifting bit is probably just because it was such a feature of my teenage years, and several of my family across the last four generations have been convicted of it. Stupid enough to shoplift, stupid enough to get caught... but maybe I'll leave that for another day!
Agree a code phrase that she can text or call you with which will result in you calling and saying 'come home now'. She doesn't have to looseface if she gets uncomfortable with anything
I had my first town experience (not london) at 12 and it was as simple as come home on time...but this was over 20 years ago and things have changed. I had my first London experience with a friend at 14 after years of going with family every month. So I knew London well. I found out later than my dad followed us...ducking in and out of shops...and I was the most sensible teen. Are you sure she's ready? You don't sound sure.
A few more hints:
1. Everybody stays together and no-one goes off on their own.
2. Don't annoy the shopkeepers or other customers.
3. If you need help and there's no police or security person around then ask a mum with children and tell them how old you are and what's wrong.
4. Don't spend all your money at once.
5. Keep a tight hold on your bag/phone/purchases.
6. Keep all receipts (because when they get home they will find that the amazing item they bought in the heat of the moment is broken/too small/too big/looks horrible/cost a fortune and you will need the receipt to take it back).
I'm not quite there yet with mine but have been training them up.
Memorise mum &dad numbers (we don't have a landline)
Phone kept separate from oyster card (so less chance of loosing both)
Emergency fiver carried at all times
Always carry a purse/wallet do no cash falling out of pockets
We talk a lot about routes and possible alternatives and I now tend to do bus journey with them so the get experience (used to drive and drop). My dd has done very well negotiation bus diversions on two occasions so this has really paid off.
She will be fine. But discuss the practical stuff anyway..
- Stick together
- Keep phone hidden away
- Keep travel pass separate from phone and money
- Keep some emergency cash in a pocket (in case bag gets pinched and she needs to grab a taxi)
- Remember that people who seem nice can be creeps - Be wary of adults or older kids who strike up conversations with random kids
- Don't give out personal details
- Know what to do if there is an emergency/evacuation or if they get separated (i.e. A rendezvous place)
- If some makes her feel uncomfortable (bloke gawping or following) go into a store and speak to security
I took my DD's into London last week and I told them what to do in the event if an emergency (such as a terrorist attack)
Try to stay with mummy
If lost, go into a shop or hotel and speak to a member of staff behind a till/reception desk
The main issue with nearly-teens and actual teens is antisocial behaviour when with friends.
- be polite and considerate of other people on the pavement - don't walk 4 abreast
- if going in to a coffee shop, don't be noisy, don't take in chips (!) and tidy up after yourselves
thanks for starting this thread - I am in the same situation
Right, she did it today and all was fine I gave her a short talk beforehand, kept it light, though we did agree a code phrase she could text me if she was getting in over her hand and wanted to be pulled out. Actually, TeenTimesTwo , that was her biggest concern - that her friends (these ones are not my favourites) would be silly. She is a good girl, but struggles with standing up for herself/her principles when with friends. So she was very happy to have a distress signal to hand - but didn't need to use it. She did manage to spend all the money I gave her for buying DT ingredients in the Body Shop, though...
Shamelessly placemat long for when I need this.
Well done to your DD.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Can I also add, Make sure she has a safe place, restaurant, shop something like that where they could go for help if needed?
Mine have 2/3 separate places they could go and have only had to go to one once so far when phone battery went flat and they forgot which bus it was to get home.
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