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12yo daughter wants to go shopping

(30 Posts)
Salmonfigroll Fri 11-Sep-15 10:58:24

My daughter is an innocent 12 year old, just started year 8. Yesterday she asked me if she can go shopping with a friend on Saturday. I am hesitant. Currently she occasionally rides her bike to the local shop to pick something up, and rides her bike to and from school. But I'm not sure if I should just set her free, loose in town on a busy Saturday. The friend she wants to go with has her head screwed on but can be (i think) a bit reckless at times, by this I mean not really thinking about dangers.
Does anyone have any advice. Has anyone got any ideas.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Sep-15 10:59:40

What are your main concerns?

exexpat Fri 11-Sep-15 11:02:41

What dangers are you expecting her to encounter while shopping in broad daylight with a friend?

If she knows how to cross roads, not to talk to/go off with strangers, and to keep her money in a safe place, a Saturday afternoon browse around the shops with a friend sounds like a perfectly normal thing for a 12-year-old to do (DD has been doing that since year 7, going to the shops in the centre of our big city).

calamityjam Fri 11-Sep-15 11:06:54

My DD regularly goes shopping with her friends on a Saturday. They all go together on the bus. It takes 20 minutes each way. They all have mobiles and they all take money for lunch and a bit of pocket money. They generally get bits of makeup or hair accessories. They have been doing this on and off since the beginning of year seven and there has never been an issue to be honest. What are you concerned about op?

Vernonon Fri 11-Sep-15 12:31:19

My dd started going to town with friends in y6, as preparation for secondary school. She texts me when she arrives and when she is leaving. We've had various hiccups along the way with no texting so I stopped her going and now she's pretty good about it.

It's a lovely thing to do, I think,

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 12:46:04

You drive them first time, or go separately.
You sit in a coffee shop.
She checks in with you regularly.
They have a rule to stick together.

CocktailQueen Fri 11-Sep-15 12:49:21

My dd is year 7 and does this with friends (I trust). I drive them, and stay in the shopping centre or find a cafe. She checks in by text regularly. I make sure she knows where she's going and she knows where we're meeting. Start like this then let her go by herself?

You need to make sure she knows what to do - keep bag and mobile safe; don't talk to strangers, etc etc - in the event of anything unexpected happening.

SoupDragon Fri 11-Sep-15 12:50:29

Sit in a coffee shop and make her check in regularly? Seriously?

Assuming you don't live in a hell hole, I would just let her go with some ground rules.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Sep-15 13:02:59

Honestly? I would think I had failed as a parent if I had raised a NT 12/13 year old who couldn't manage a daytime shopping trip in their own home town without having to "check in"

What on earth do people think is going to happen?

Savagebeauty Fri 11-Sep-15 13:08:47

Yes I'm with you Bertrand

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 13:16:30

The OP knows her daughter best.
- Her daughter clearly hasn't wandered around this town on her own before.
- 'Check in' can just be send a text to say 'all fine'.
- The OP's DD is 'innocent' the friend can be 'reckless'.

- We don't know whether the 'town' is large or small, with lots of busy roads to cross, or just a shopping centre. We don't know if there are dodgy areas or if it is all 'nice'.

In my experience on here, 9-14yos are ready for their independence at different rates. They all get there in the end.

OP - I would have been nervous of DD1 doing this at the start of y8 in our nearest town/small city. This summer, at age just 16 she flew to Spain on her own to a summer camp full of strangers.

AuntieStella Fri 11-Sep-15 13:31:11

As she is innocent, then there's no reason she should not have a treat (uou didn't post what you thought she was guilty of, but it must be a relief that the incident, whatever it was, is behind you).

A year 8 who has been travelling independently (and who is familiar with the town centre) should be absolutely fine spending time in town.

If you are concerned that your DD has not yet learned how to deal with peer pressure, then yes, that is an area you'll need to tackle (urgently). I do not however think you should attempt to keep her excluded from normal teen activities whilst you catch her up on this.

Unless the friend in question is actually the guilty one for whatever your DD was accused of. In which case there are very good grounds for separating them until it has all died down.

CocktailQueen Fri 11-Sep-15 13:46:30

Yes, Bertrand and SoupDragon, check in the first time. Then gradually give the dd more freedom. Most relaxing for both OP and dd. OP said dd hasn't done this before and we have n idea how big the town is.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Sep-15 13:49:32

If the dd feels happier checking in then fine. Otherwise- no.

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 13:58:00

Stella I took 'innocent' to mean na??ve, as in not very streetwise.

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 13:59:14

Those ? should say i don't know what the s/w thinks it did there!

Jw35 Fri 11-Sep-15 14:02:01

I think it's fine from year 6 or 7, definately year 8

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 14:20:00

There are no hard and fast rules, it depends on the child, the location, and the friends. An average child may well be ready in y7. But there will always be some ahead of the curve, and always some behind the curve.

(It's like people who say oh it's y7 leave them to organise their own schoolwork. Some just aren't ready and need handholding for longer, but get there in the end).

And the first time a new independence step is taken may well be scary for parent and DC alike. The aim is to let her go without just pushing her off a cliff and hoping she'll fly.

So OP, think what is worrying you, think what could reassure you, put things in place, and go for it. or Say no if you are really not happy, but put a plan in place to get your DD to the place where you would be happy.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 11-Sep-15 14:24:49

DD have gone onto town since year 5 , no issues, ever, i collect and puck up, always on time, had a good time,just let her go.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Sep-15 14:25:34

There is one hard and fast rule. That you should never stop your child doing something because you are not ready. And I cannot imagine circumstances in which a NT 13 year old who wants to is not ready to go daytime shopping in her own home town.

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Sep-15 14:46:33

This child is 12, not 13. That could mean 12yrs 1 month only.
You don't know what 'town' means in this context.
You don't even know the child is NT.

Just saying 'of course she is ready' is not helpful imo. She may well be ready, but the OP obviously has doubts, and she came on here for advice and reassurance.

In the same context, I would have described my DD as 'innocent'. It turns out she is a disorganised dyspraxic. She at 12 struggled to think for herself, and would have run the risk of something happening and being absolutely incapable of resolving the situation for herself. Not necessarily even thinking to ring me. She may be an outlier I know but having hard and fast rules for what child should be able to do at 10,11,12,13,14 is not helpful imo.

Our aim as parents is to help them grow and let them go, but some need more nurturing than others along the way.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Sep-15 14:56:10

That's why I say NT every time.

And I am presuming "town" does not mean downtown Beirut..........

TellitToTheTrees Fri 11-Sep-15 14:59:19

Wow, BertrandRussell you must have a pretty poor imagination if you 'can't imagine a situation where a NT 13 yrs old is not ready to go shopping in their own town'. Your posts are vaguely bullying, the OP is concerned, she knows her child, she is asking for advice not incredulation.

OP - my daughter is also very sheltered, we live in a rural community where I have always had to take her back and forth to school by car. She has never had to be particularly independent. She is in Year 8 now. For the last year, she has been going on shopping trips with friends. There is a big shopping centre near us which is a favourite. I take her and a friend, we arrange a meeting point and time and then I go off to do my shopping and they do too. It's an out of town centre so not worth me driving home only to drive back later to pick them up although on principle that wouldn't be a problem. I love shopping though so it's no sacrifice staying grin

I understand it is a big step letting her go off into town by herself (and quite worrying as the parent of a child who probably hasn't been independent before) but I think at 12yrs she is ready. Stay in town and get on with your own shopping if you are concerned but I do agree with posters who say she is old enough now. You need to put any perceived dangers to one side and have faith you have raised a sensible young girl. They do tend to be more conscientious I think when they haven't got the mum 'safety net' there.

Good luck.

mightypissedoff Fri 11-Sep-15 15:14:39

The first few times I let my DD go into our (very large) town with her friends, I too made sure she contacted me every couple of hours and that she was aware of keeping her money safe etc. Also made her put emergency spare money in her bra in case she had bag/phone stolen so she could always get home. I also gave her a deadline as to when to return just to see if she would.

After a while she gained my trust and I just let the rope out a little more each time.

OP You know your child better than any of us on here so do what you think is best and ignore the haters!

SoupDragon Fri 11-Sep-15 18:14:23

ignore the haters!

Do you mean "people who gave a different opinion"?

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