Should I let daughter do this? Help please teen mums.(34 Posts)
DD turns 14 in 2 weeks.
We have recently moved 200 miles to a little village in the East Midlands and she has settled in well to her new school (Yr9). We moved here with DH job in the army and I hate it. DH has hardly been here since we moved. He is away again right now.
We have been here 3 months now and I still do not know a soul. I have been fairly unwell this year which has hindered my ability and confidence to get out and about alone and as a result I am still not very familiar with my local surroundings. I know the way to my nearest town 7 miles away and kind of know where things are there but not by name. Its a tiny town with very little in it.
So DD has made some lovely friends,most of which live in the little town 7 miles away. They seem lovely but being the age she is I have only met one of the girls once and not any of their parents.
DD reguarly stays late after school to hang out with friends in the little local town and on weekends we drop her off there too. She gets a bus to and from school from our village, but when she stays in town late,I pick her up.
DD has come home today and said her friends want to organise a birthday surprise for her to go into Leicester by train at the weekend and go to the cinema to see a film she has been desperate to see and waiting for release. (I suspect its been phrased like this to twist my arm into letting her go). I have never been to Leicester except when DH drove us through there a few weeks ago enroute elsewhere.
I was only just reaching being OK with travelling by train into what was our very large local city with friends - where we used to live. We had lived there for 3 years and I was very familiar with my surroundings and had friends for back up in case anything went wrong. I also knew a couple of her friends parents very well. It has to be said that due to circumstances - the actual going on the train unaccompanied into our local city never did actually happen, although had we not moved house it would have happend by now and I think I would have been ok with that.
DD is not stupid but she was at a very sheltered boarding school for 3 years until last summer (due to the fact we were supposed to be moving house lots) where I feel she did not get the same chance to be as free and develop her streetwiseness as much as the kids starting in Yr7 at a day school iykwim.
DD is also a nightmare for not answering her phone or responding to texts when out. I dont pester her but I do ask her to touch base if she is out for prolonged periods. An example of this was last weekend we dropped her in little town at mid day with a bag to meet her friend where she was having a sleepover. I asked her to txt me in the evening just to let me know she was at friends house and all was OK. (I dont know the parents at all and only met the child once). DD didnt get intouch and didnt respond to my messages or missed calls.
Do I let her go??
Tbh - I am not comfortable with letting her go but worry I am being too overprotective. Part of the reason we removed her from BS was to allow her to become streetwise (and because we supposedly shouldnt have been moving house again - but we did).
I did have plans for the cinema at the weekend and suggested a sleepover here (so I could at least put a few faces to the names of her new friends) as birthday treat but there is 7 or 8 of them going and my car only seats 5 (including me). I have no idea where the cinemas around here are but was hoping to drive to an out of town one - dump the kids and see a film myself or go for coffee and then take them to lunch or give them money for lunch and meet them later. This idea has been poo pooed!
Advice and opinions. Please be kind. This dilemma has actually quite upset me as I am so low about living here at the moment, being lonely and very homesick.
I'm in the East Midlands. I am going to PM you for security reasons.
Which cinema is she going to? The Phoenix is walking distance from the station, the Showcase is on the other side of the city centre so quite a walk.
So long as there's only one train, so no complicated changes, she'll be fine on a Saturday afternoon. (I work in Leicester so do know the city).
There are street maps around and directions to the station in the city centre as well, or you could come with her and go off for a manicure or mooch around the market and meet up with her at the station.
Well, she's not really helping herself here is she? Not texting you to keep in touch, not responding to your calls - that's a grounding offence as far as I am concerned. My oldest child is a bit younger and just starting to go out and about withe her friends in the local area. She knows absolutely that she must either come home when prearranged, or call/text to let me know if she's going to be late. What did you say to her when she got home after failing to answer you? I'd have grounded her, for being untrustworthy. And I'd always make sure in future I had the landline/mobile number of a parent for emergencies.
I'd probably not let her go, because she hasn't yet proved that she's responsible enough for this sort of trip. But I'd agree to take her and collect afterwards probably.
You could make it a condition that she gives you the mob number of one of her friends who you would text or call if she didn't answer her phone eg if it ran out of charge or she forgot to look at it. And then text the number she gives you to double-check it's the right number.
Could she go to the cinema and bring her friends back for a sleepover perhaps and you could offer to pick them up from the station?
I think if she wants you to let her go further afield, she's going to have to up her own game and start answering texts and calls, and keep in contact properly. I think it's perfectly reasonable for you to put on hold any big trips until she can reliably do this.
And when she can reliably do this, she has to keep it up - if she slips, bang goes her permission to travel to the big city.
No, I'd not let her go. She cannot prove she can answer her phone or send a text and that's a red flag.
She wants to be treated as a grown up and with respect, she has to act like one and show you some respect.
I'm with butterfly. She's can't be trusted yet. She needs to earn it.
When I was your dd's age I was allowed to get the train to my nearest big city with friends, with no mobile phones at all. Maybe take her on a recce first?
I feel for you Apronstrings. We moved 200 miles to the West Midlands 4 years ago when my daughter was year 8. It has taken me a long time to meet friends - it's not as easy as when the kids were younger, when you met people at school gates or at toddler activities and play groups!
If your DD is anything like mine was, she will be desperate to fit in and be seen as cool among her new friends. I think I would let her go to Leicester (based on what others have said about the city) but I would lay down the rules - she has to text you when she gets there, when she's catching the return train etc. If she doesn't, then make it clear she will be grounded. I would also ask for a mobile number of one of her friends as chocoluvva says. For sleepovers in future I would definitely need the friend's address (not sure if u had it) and a contact number. I remember having calls from anxious mums checking up on their daughters, I'm sure you won't be the only one.
Good luck! I hope it all works out.
I wouldn't be worried about the proposed outing, but I wouldn't be impressed with her not staying in touch with you when you've asked her to be.
She can't go if she won't be responsible enough to stay in touch with you - you may well convince yourself there's been a disaster of some variety if you can't reach her because she can't be bothered to answer her phone.
Yes. Let her go, she lucky to be settling in so well. This should be encouraged and facilitated after a big move.
Make it clear that you want a friends number and that you will call it and be embarrassing if she doesn't answer calls or respond to texts.
Also try not to ask for too much in terms of touching base.
She's 14 and wrapped up in the moment. She needs to text if she's going to be late but she shouldn't have to give you constant updates.
I agree with Herren, get a friends number and get her to send one update. She is almost 14, I would let her go.
Thank you all for your input.
Am still sitting on the fence.
What I am struggling with is the unfamiliar territory. Unfamiliar friends and places and just no back up. The idea of a friends mobile is a good idea though.
I appreciate your replies. I am hoping DH will be intouch shortly so I can discusss it with him too.
I would let her go, but get the numbers of all her friends (home and mobile). Promise to ring around her friends and embarrass her stupid if she doesn't txt you at the agreed time or answer her calls.
I can see that I'm in the minority but I wouldn't let her go.
You say that she has lovely friends, but you've only met one of them, once.
I also don't understand why, when going for a sleepover, she is dropped in town and makes her own way to her friend's home. If I've understood correctly, you dropped your 13yo child in town and didn't hear from her until the following day?
Maybe I am overprotective but I've got four teens, and teach in a secondary school, and think this sounds like a recipe for disaster.
The train into town wouldn't bother me personally, but not knowing where she is, who she's with, or what her friends and their parents are like would.
Let her goals get the friends' numbers. And ensure she understands that you will be calling them if she doesn't answer.
Does she have wassap? I find the one tick, 2 ticks, last seen very reassuring for working out whether teenagers are asleep, on the tube or cinema or ignoring me!
I would also be concerned that the other parents might think you were somehow taking responsibility for this event. I can imagine my DD coming home and saying she was going to someone's birthday outing and I would not be happy if I found they were just sent off to another town on their own.
Could you ask for a couple of parents phone numbers and give them a call - might be a way to get to know one or two of them. Just say you are new to the area and wanted to check they felt it was okay and make sure they knew about the plans etc and ask if they have been there before etc and see if they can reassure you. That way you will also have some numbers to call in an emergency or if you don't hear from them and are worried.
Leicester train station is opposite side of the centre to the showcase buts it's really not that far (prob 15-20 mins walk).
I'd definitely let her go. She's 14! This shouldnt be a problem.
I was pretty protective with my 2 DDs, but I would let them go in your circumstances.
If I were you, I'd look on google maps together so she
and you can familiarise herself with where she'll be going. I'd also insist on you having one of her friend's and their parent's phone numbers. And that she texts you at least when she gets into town.
I'm sure she'll have a lovely time
I also used to give my DDs a £20 note which they had to put in their shoe. It was 'emergency money' incase they lost their bag/money/phone. It made me feel better even if they never needed it!
nequidnimis - I did have an address of where she was staying and had spoken to the mum. DD did eventually respond at midnight with a one word text of "yeah" - a reply to my - Are you at X house now? and is all OK? (sent at around 6 or 7pm) But I had asked her to txt me - once she was at friends house and just before bed. Once she hadnt responded I called several times but had no reply. I had some bad news the night DD was away and was on the landline to family late on - it was too late to text the mum by the time I got off the phone at 11pm.
Its a bit of a long story but what really pissed me off is when I text DD Sunday morning to ask what time she needed picking up (didnt want her to outstay welcome and wanted to plan my day) she didnt reply for 2 hours. In that time I txt the friends mum who then told me that the girls had spent the night at friends Dad house (in same town). So DD had not spent the night where I thought she had. Apparently friends parents are not together and live close by and friend often just goes between the 2 as she pleases. Friends Mum or Dad didnt seem to show indication that there was any issue in the fact plans had changed last minute and I was not informed. I didnt make a fuss or anything but was pissed off with this.
Its so hard for me. I was so much more chilled out where we used to live but then we lived closer to a larger city than Leicester. Here I just feel so bloody lost and out of my depth. We live 45/50minutes drive from Leicester (our nearest city) which seems bloody ages to me. Just how do you get to meet 13/14yo's parents? My DD hardly wants to be seen in public with me these days let alone introduce me to anyone.
Joining in yr9 means we have missed all the intros that went on at primary school and Yr7 and the gowing up between Yr 7 and Yr9 as their independence grows. All those parents either dont give a shit or most likely are now comfortable and familiar with who their kids hangs out with as well as having lots of local knowledge.
I dont want to be an apron string mum but.......uuurrrggghhh.... just struggling with this.
Your DD seems to be doing exactly what she wants, she wouldn't be going anywhere until she had proved that she had learnt to behave.
You're obviously and understandably struggling with the upheaval of the move OP, and it is unlikely that you'll make friends with the parents of your DD's friends for all the reasons you've outlined. But I would not allow a 13yo to stay overnight with a family I'd never even met. Dropping her off at the door and having a brief chat with the parents would be entirely normal at that age IMO, and would've avoided some of the problems you outlined - you would have known she was there safely, where they were staying and what time to pick her up the next morning.
As I said, I'd have no problem with the trip to Leicester, but the wider issue for me is that she's doing as she pleases and it will be hard to dial back from that.
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