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Do you let your 16 year old daughter walk home at night?

(63 Posts)
lesley2460 Thu 16-Aug-12 22:05:46

We live in a medium-sized town with a generally low-ish crime rate, but you never know who's around sad

My 16 yr old DD, obviously having just left school and trying to have a fun summer, goes out most evenings with her friends, usually to each other's houses. I don't worry too much if she's in by 11 as long as she walks with a friend, but she is making me feel unreasonable, because apparently most of her (female) friends don't have a curfew and are allowed to walk home whenever.

I can't sleep until she's home and I am quite prepared to go out and fetch her in the car if she wants to be later, but obviously as a working single mum I don't want to be up late every night. What's the verdict on girls walking home, even in pairs? I don't like it much and it's causing huge consternation between us sad

OP’s posts: |
Inneedofbrandy Thu 16-Aug-12 22:08:14

I moved out the day after my 16th birthday and I would walk home at 3 am through a really rough area, and I was always fine, I think she shouldn't have a curfew now shes 16 and not a girl anymore more almost a woman.

changingallthetime Thu 16-Aug-12 22:08:21

No, but I dont let DS either, or DH, we just give each other lifts, I know stranger danger is rare, and in fact, DS is more at risk of harm than DSD, but there you go.

If I really cant go then its a taxi (and they have to pay),

FelicitywasSarca Thu 16-Aug-12 22:08:58

In your area I would allow as it as long as not alone and I would agree 11pm is a reasonable summer holiday curfew.

Point out to her if she accepts a lift she will have longer at her mates house and she won't have to walk!

changingallthetime Thu 16-Aug-12 22:09:28

DS is 16 and he doesn't have a curfew as such, he has to be in at 11 on school nights - he is allowed over night or whenever Fri/Sat/hols as long as he is in someones house, I dont like them hanging about on the streets.

FelicitywasSarca Thu 16-Aug-12 22:11:18

I moved out the day after my 16th birthday and I would walk home at 3 am through a really rough area, and I was always fine

With respect, this was luck. And a 16 year old who has moved out gets to enjoy all the privileges of it because they are also tackling all of the responsibilities. Most 16 year olds do not move out of home- because most are not ready for all of the responsibilities and need the boundaries of family living.

lastnerve Fri 17-Aug-12 14:30:54

I dont think a 16 year old should have a curfew tbh, I understand your worry but you do sound like your infantilising her slightly a 16 year old is fully capable of making a safe journey home.

Like another poster , I grew up in a rough area and would walk home down a pitch black street with grassy verges that backed on to peoples back gardens. My mum hated this but the other way meant walking past 2 rough pubs at kicking out time.

lubeybooby Fri 17-Aug-12 14:42:15

I consider myself a very relaxed mum and my DD is a couple of weeks off 16 but she has a curfew of 10pm, 9.30pm if it's a school night. I thought that was a bit lax of me tbh so I'm really surprised to see parents saying 16 yr olds shouldn't have a curfew at all. I would have thought the no curfew thing would apply at adulthood IE 18 rather than 16.

I will make exceptions for parties and sleepovers but if she is just out with friends hanging about the curfew applies. She's never broken curfew or complained about it.

Although, when I was 16 I was living on my own with aforementioned DD when she was a baby so not sure why I feel like that confused

Back to the original question though - yes I do let her make her own way home, if something is a long walk away (more than half an hour) I might get her a taxi but just depends on the circs at the time really.

RightsaidFreud Fri 17-Aug-12 14:46:17

Wow, i'm surprised so many of you don't think a 16 year old should have a curfew. I certainly did at 16. I still lived at home, and my parents expected me back at a reasonable time, or would arrange to come and pick me up at certain time.

Trills Fri 17-Aug-12 14:49:03

There are two issues here.

1 - Curfew
I think she should have one, but it should be a reasonable one.

2 - How she gets home (regardless of what time that is)
Is there any reason why you think a 16 year old is more likely to be mugged than an adult? We really can't judge because we don't know the area you live in, but I think a 16 year old should be starting to make their own decision regarding transport to and from their activities.

lastnerve Fri 17-Aug-12 14:51:14

I wonder if its different in single parent families, or a household where one child has a severe disability so waking that child up to come and pick another child up is a complete no-no,, I was both of those.

I think perhaps nuclear families this can operate better.

lesley2460 Fri 17-Aug-12 15:23:15

Thanks for all the replies. I am perhaps a bit over-anxious but I'm a single parent with major health issues so I do worry about every little thing. The thing I worry about most is her being dragged off and raped - you are always reading about this sort of thing in the papers regardless of the area - and I would never ever forgive myself if something was to happen because I'd been too lenient. I have agreed to her going to a party on results day - next Thursday - until 2 am but I have said I will either pick her up or get a taxi. Put it this way, I'm 52 and I wouldn't want to walk home alone after midnight!!! She's 16, slim, blonde and gorgeous!!

OP’s posts: |
FallenCaryatid Fri 17-Aug-12 15:39:01

I live in a similar town to yours, and my DD has walked everywhere, alone and with friends and never come to harm. She uses the same strategies as DS, no cuts through woodlands and the park and avoiding drunks and gaggles of rowdy adults.
When she was 16, she was in by 10pm if she had college the next morning because she needed at least 8 hours sleep.
She used to let me know what time she's be in if it wasn't 10pm, and I sometimes gave her a lift back from get togethers.
It is very scary watching the transformation from child to adult, and you and she will just have to talk and work out a compromise. Good luck!

Trills Fri 17-Aug-12 15:48:11

People don't get raped because they are attractive.

People get raped because someone wants to do some raping and they think:
1 - they can do it
2 - they can get away with it

FallenCaryatid Fri 17-Aug-12 15:52:03

So, as the parent of a 16 year old girl, what would you advise the OP to do Trills?
Bearing in mind that she loves her, worries about her and wants to keep her safe?

FallenCaryatid Fri 17-Aug-12 15:59:04

I'm not meaning to sound bolshie, and I know you don't have a daughter.
More that looking at the risk from the POV of a parent is often different to seeing it as that 16 year old girl, or as a daughterless adult. I know that I believe that rapists aare responsible for rape and no one else, and I struggled with allowing DD to be as independent as she wanted to be.

seeker Fri 17-Aug-12 15:59:33

" The thing I worry about most is her being dragged off and raped - you are always reading about this sort of thing in the papers regardless of the area"

You aren't always reading about this you know- try and think of the last time you read about it happening.

I lived (and still live) in London and at 16 had a curfew of 11.30pm (unless I'd made arrangements to stay somewhere) I was lucky, most of the time DH (then just annoying teenage BF) would walk me home, but when I was out with girl friends I often walked or travelled home on my own.

I personally think no curfew at 16 is too much too soon, but I guess it depends how much freedom they're working up from. 16 is still a child imo, and that's coming from someone who was living alone at 17.

ethelb Fri 17-Aug-12 16:09:14

i grew up in a dogy area and walked home on my own. your daughter needs to find out what she is comfortabel doing.

make her aware of date rape if you want to protect her from rape. make sure she feels confident knowing what rape really is to be a good parent. a reasonably flexible curfew is a good idea though.

Bossybritches22 Fri 17-Aug-12 16:15:04

Trills you are right but (& this is where the mother of teen girls & the feminist in me struggle against each other)

Saying you SHOULD be able to walk home at any time of night safely, and men SHOULD allow any female of any age/appearance safe passage past them is one thing but in reality as a Mum, I don't care how small the statistics are I would rather my daughter took sensible precautions, and didn't put herself in the vicinity of danger.

Arranging a taxi/lift after a night out is a sensible precaution for anyone I would have thought!

slambang Fri 17-Aug-12 16:24:59

Disagree with most of you here hmm.

16 years old is too young to have no curfew. My ds will definitely have one when he's 16 (in less than a month). 16 is frankly not nearly adult in anything but body shape. 16 year olds are not assertive decision makers if confronted by drunken idiots or dangerous situations.

Plus it's not wise to walk home alone in the dark whatever age or sex you are. Pairs are OK IMO. It's not the mad axe murdering rapists you need to worry about (statistically), but the leery drunks who've just come out of the pub.

A compromise if you need might be to insist she texts to say she has started walking home so you know when to expect her.

I'm shocked by the number of people saying that it's fine for 16 year old girls to be walking round alone at night in dodgy areas. (or boys)

mysteriouslady Fri 17-Aug-12 16:27:20

It doesn't matter that we know that te real danger lies at home - we fear the dark - it's primal IMO.

There are risks I can protect my family from and risks I can't - no-one knows that better than me. And however minimal the risk of stranger attack is - it's one risk I can help prevent - so I do.

shoot me

FallenCaryatid Fri 17-Aug-12 16:27:34

Not dodgy areas, both the OP and I live in medium-sized towns with a low crime rate. confused

Trills Fri 17-Aug-12 16:30:55

In my mind there is a difference between sensible precautions and myths.

The OP talked about her daughter's looks as if make her a more likely target.

Suggesting that people not walk home alone drunk - sensible, because it does make you look like an easier target.

Suggesting that people not dress "sexily" - unhelpful and victim-blaming, because rape is not about sexual attraction.

The only two things that make you more attractive to a rapist is if they think it will be easier to rape you and if they think they are more likely to get away with it. Attractiveness is nothing to do with it.

(Some people disagree with me and think you shouldn't advise the first because you are suggesting that people can protect themselves against rape - which they can't, not completely - and therefore saying that anyone who does get raped is partially to blame)

SuperB0F Fri 17-Aug-12 16:36:00

I have a sixteen year old, and she has to be home at a sensible time (and I need to know where she is and what her arrangements for coming home are). To me it is simply courteous when you share a home not to come clattering in at all hours, or have people who love you being unable to sleep because they have no idea whether you plan to be in at 10pm or 3am.

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