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Just turned 13 year old dd wants to go to Bournemouth on the bus with several of her friends and no adults. That's 30 minutes to 1 hour away depending on traffic. Would you allow it?

(44 Posts)
hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 21:49:15

There will be no accompanying adults. I don't think it is a good idea

AnyoneForTennis Tue 14-Jul-15 21:50:09

Nope

SwedishEdith Tue 14-Jul-15 21:50:33

What is it you're worried about? How many friends? Do you know any of them? Are the buses reliable for getting home?

SanityClause Tue 14-Jul-15 21:51:28

Well, I used to allow my DDs to go to London on the train at that age with a group of friends, so yes, in principle.

But, you need to make the decision based on the children involved.

MythicalKings Tue 14-Jul-15 21:53:29

I had a trip that long to school and back from the age of 11.

lampshady Tue 14-Jul-15 21:54:33

You must be fairly local to me (well, within a one hour radius). Bournemouth and surroundings are v safe. Depends who she's going with and with whom. Is she used to going into a closer town alone? How frequent are buses home? Lovely time of year for the beach!

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 21:55:49

What am I worried about? - all sorts of unlikely but possible scenarios like them encountering a problem of some sort and not knowing how to deal with it ....running out of money, getting separated from the group and getting lost and panicking, attracting unwanted attention from other young teens, etc etc

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 21:57:20

Her peer group are fairly sensible kids...but they are just ....well, kids!

butterfly133 Tue 14-Jul-15 21:59:22

OP, does she go anywhere with just friends of the same age? In that case, all the things you worry about could happen then. Does she have a phone and they all have each other's numbers? Is she quite responsible? Have you checked she's clear about route and departure points?

you mention the time it will take but I can't see why. We are in London and the nearest shopping centre could be 30mins - 1 hr on the bus depending on traffic and waiting times. That isn't really the point.

are you worried they are going to sit on the beach drinking or something? So much depends on the child.

annandale Tue 14-Jul-15 22:01:01

Yes I think I would, with boundaries. It's dealing with stuff going wrong that helps children grow up. I might perhaps meet them in town at the end of the day, if it's the first time.

SwedishEdith Tue 14-Jul-15 22:02:59

Well, they'll all have phones, I assume. Ask her to check in with you by text every few hours or something. Give her advice about what to do in x, y and z circumstance and give her some money for emergencies. How far away does she go now with her friends? What's likely to happen this time that could have happened already? Is Bournemouth particularly dangerous? Never been but, I think, 13/14 (assume she has friends who'll be 14 in a few months?) is generally when kids start going into their nearest big city or town.

PoshPenny Tue 14-Jul-15 22:04:18

I think the first time is always the worst one. I think you should let her go, I'm sure she'll be fine, and you can give your requests for phone calls when they've got there, not to talk to strangers etc etc

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 22:05:44

Well this will seem irrational - her school is 1/2 mile from town (and 10 miles away from where I live) and I am happy for her to walk into town after school with her friends and catch a late bus home... so how is Bournemouth different you might ask.... I don't know, it just is

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 22:07:04

It does seem like I might be being illogical and inconsistent

annandale Tue 14-Jul-15 22:10:38

I think it's fine that you are cautious and thinking it through, presumably she knows the local town backwards and Bournemouth will be more unfamiliar. But I think a trip like this with friends is a good step forward.

balletgirlmum Tue 14-Jul-15 22:11:09

If be happy with my -3 year old ds doing that alone as long as she had been there before & knew the town.

She often goes on the bus 7 miles away which is a 25 min journey on her own (not with friends)

mummytime Tue 14-Jul-15 22:17:47

Do they have phones? Are they going on the beach/in the sea?

Lots and lots of children around here travel 1 hour to and from school, including changing trains or buses.

So yes, on the whole. Not so sure if they are going in the sea, would want to be sure they would stick to a bit with lifeguards and would follow instructions.

EBearhug Tue 14-Jul-15 22:17:51

Is she going in the day for the beach or shopping, or in the evening? (Poole/Bournemouth was our nearest place for excitements like ice-skating, big shopping centre and other wonders - my first ever McDonald's was in Bournemouth...) Has she been to Bournemouth before? Have her friends? Does at least one of them know their way round?

I'd be happy with the beach - there are lifeguards there. I'd be happy with shopping. Something like an evening cinema trip less so - because of how busy the streets can be in the evenings.

If the worst comes to the worst - some of my friends had to call one of their parents to trek out from Dorchester and pick them up, because they'd got the times of the last train wrong, after they'd been to a concert at the BIC. They weren't popular - but they were safe, and that's the main thing.

I think what I'm saying is that going to Bournemouth was an important part of my growing up, as it was for a number of my friends.

I'm sure it will be fine, but I can understand your concerns.

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 22:18:34

She has been to Bournemouth before - but isn't very familiar with it

I am coming around to the idea of letting her go

hmc Tue 14-Jul-15 22:19:40

Day time Ebearhug - beach and shopping

EBearhug Tue 14-Jul-15 22:20:22

If they are going to the beach, make sure they use suncream and reapply. I had some impressive blisters on my shoulders after they got sunburnt so badly after a day running round on the beach and swimming when I was 14. Was just too busy to think about sunblock.

Marcipex Tue 14-Jul-15 22:27:00

I did a practice run or two when my DD was that age, a day at shops while I was in the same city and met for lunch.
Then day at shops etc, didn't meet up until end of day.

Chopchopbusybusy Tue 14-Jul-15 22:39:16

Yes I would. DD went to Bournemouth with her friends at 13. She is one of the oldest in her year so her friends would have been 12. They didn't go on the bus because transport from here is pretty bad but they were dropped off in the morning and picked up later in the afternoon. DD texted me at lunchtime and was very proud that she'd ordered everyone's lunch. She was painfully shy and so this was a big deal. I asked where they had gone for lunch and I was a bit shocked when she said the pub!

Wordsmith Mon 20-Jul-15 16:20:52

If you're worried about her running out of money have you thought about getting her an Osper card? It's a pre-paid debit card that you load up with money and they can use it just like a normal debit card, to buy things in shops/online or to get cash out of a machine. They can only spend what's been loaded upfront so there's not a problem with going overdrawn, and it's controlled by an app that both the child and the parent have on their phone. For example she could call you and say she's run out of money and doesn't have enough for the bus fare home, and you could immediately load up a fiver or more on her card, from the app on your phone, so she could use that to get money out of a cashpoint.

My 11 year old and 15 year old both have Osper cards; it's great for making them feel independent. They get an allowance loaded every month and if they spend it all in one go, that's their tough luck! (Unless an emergency as per above).

areyoubeingserviced Mon 20-Jul-15 16:23:07

No

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