DD 16 How do you manage pick ups/getting home when they stay out late?

(26 Posts)
Sammz1 Tue 03-Oct-17 14:09:22


My DD has just started 6th Form college and it would seem has a whole new group of friends. These new friends go out some Friday nights to Hampstead Heath for fun (and drinking) I guess!

My DD is fairly sensible and although I loathe to think about what will be going on there I am happy for her to go and have her fun..ha ha

The problem is we don't live in that area and most of her friends are fairly near there but for us its an hour round trip in the car. I'm not sure how I feel about her getting a cab now and then, she doesn't like the idea either equally being taxi every Friday or Saturday night was not high on my bucket list.

Any suggestions on how to handle this? Also what curfews are reasonable,? we were thinking 11pm on Friday and Saturday and Sun-Thursday she should be in at a reasonable hour unless it is a special occasion.

I just wished she stayed 10 years old...

OP’s posts: |
InTheSticks Tue 03-Oct-17 18:14:29

<Laughs hollowly at only an hour's round trip in the car>
We live in the back of beyond and so have been taxiing for years. There is no public transport and if DC want a social life it's the only option. They do sometimes get a taxi (£25) if out well past midnight though.
As to curfew - at 17 I would say midnight at a weekend. Much earlier in the week.

Having said all that at a party, or a friend, or a club yes, but I would absolutely not want my DD hanging around Hampstead Heath!

Davros Tue 03-Oct-17 21:21:08

DD (14) and her friends use Gett which gives good discounts if you introduce someone - so they all introduce eachother! We also let her use our Mytaxi account now and then if we don't want to pick her up but prefer her to be with someone, not alone. Sometimes one of us will lay off the drink so we can pick up and sometimes they stay with eachother. We don't allow Uber as we prefer to support black cabs.

Sweetnessishere Tue 03-Oct-17 21:29:11

This was me at 16, we lived at the back of beyond having moved away from my school and friends. As I didn't change schools if I wanted to go out it was ah hours round trip for DP, never considered a taxi. We didn't hang around outside though, we went to the pub or someone's house. I maxed out on sleepovers.

When my DC approached their teenage years we considered moving house but all the ones I liked were in villages so we opted to stay in town where it is a 5 min drive to do most pick ups.

I allowed both DC a lot of freedom through the 16-18 period, however they were not allowed to hang out in the park.

Davros Tue 03-Oct-17 23:38:59

The problem with hanging out at Hampstead Heath is it's probably Parliament Hill and it is "great fun" to break into the ponds and swim unsupervised in the dark - very dangerous of course

ifonly4 Wed 04-Oct-17 12:00:40

Hopefully in time she'll get to know some of them well enough and can stay over.

I think you have to work out what you're willing to do. My DD wanted to be picked up last Saturday eve, DH had already arranged to go out and I had to start work early on Sunday morning, so the limit was 10.30pm (I know many would pick up a lot later, but I needed to be alert for next morning). Better to go and come back early than not go at all.

lazymum99 Wed 04-Oct-17 14:24:25

1. She should not be on Hampstead Heath after dark. Even in the summer it totally changes after about 7pm.
2. The tube is now running at night. Can she take that all or part of the way.
3. If she cannot stay with a friend then maybe bring a friend back to stay with her. Always better if there are 2 of you.
4. If she has school the next day she should not be going out. At 16, Friday and saturday nights are for going out with curfew of midnight IMO.


gillybeanz Wed 04-Oct-17 14:26:27

At 16 they are responsible for their own social life.
if you didn't drive or own a car they'd have to manage and plenty do.

LoveBeingAMum555 Wed 04-Oct-17 22:22:56

We live in the middle of nowhere, literally no public transport and taxis are hard to get and expensive. Ferrying about is part of life. We choose to live here and I want my kids to have a social life.

As for curfews, at nearly 17 and 19 we don't really have them on a weekend - assuming the kids are going to an organised party/gathering/cinema/meal. I know nothing about Hampstead Heath but I would not be comfortable with my teens hanging about in a park after dark, even around here.

They was a trend for teenagers camping out in some local woodland a bit back. I reluctantly let DS go once and he got wet and cold and realised it was actually pretty miserable so that was the end of that. The appeal of these things often doesn't match the reality.

Sammz1 Thu 05-Oct-17 01:05:53

Thanks for your responses. We have spoke to DD, she says there around 30 16/17 year olds who regularly go out on Fridays and hang out, some until 11pm. We have asked for a clearer idea on exactly where they go but all we know so far is it could be Hampstead Heath or thereabouts.

After much thought I do not think it's a wise idea for her to be going to parks or similar after dark but I am also wondering how come so many other parents seem okay with this? This is a 6th form college which only accepts high achievers and is one of the top 3 colleges in England so I guess I thought the parents would not be super relaxed around this kind of thing. Maybe I'm wrong to assume.

Admittedly my DD seems to have gravitated to the 'popular' crowd and is very pleased about this. I can see she wants to make a good impression.

The other thing is that we live in Enfield and when DD was 14/15 she never wanted to go out and just hang out, none of her friends did this so she never asked. Seems like her new friends however (from other areas of North London and not as far out as Enfield) have been roaming since they were at least 15 I guess so this is maybe okay for them to do. Whereas my daughter hasn't done any of this. I'm wondering, had we lived in Hampstead/ Finchley/mill hill would we have thought a little different? Would she have already had different experiences and with this more freedom, is it just because we live in Enfield that she hasn't really done much up until now?

DH grew up in Mill hill and was out when he was 14 but said his parents didn't always know what was really happening especially when he was 'staying at a friends house'.

She says she understands in some ways but she also says that this Friday night thing seems to be the only regular thing her friends do and if she couldn't go that would mean she couldn't Socialise with her friends much.

We want her to be happy. I certainly don't want her to feel smothered but I just have her best interests at heart. To tell her she cannot do this will certainly make her feel unhappy and left out.

It would seem I have to put my foot down, it's a shame to have to feel like I have to do this since she only started college a few weeks ago but I really can't see any other option.

OP’s posts: |
Sammz1 Thu 05-Oct-17 06:39:03

Just to add although DH was going out from 14/15 he was always with friends who he knew very well. His parents knew the friends and parents too so if there was anything wrong I guess they knew where to start.

OP’s posts: |
MaybeDoctor Thu 05-Oct-17 07:00:52

I think this is nuts. All of London spread out beneath them and they are hanging about in a dodgy park.

You would be doing her a favour by not transporting her there.

Sammz1 Thu 05-Oct-17 08:29:25

Maybedoctor I totally agree

OP’s posts: |
SnugglySnerd Thu 05-Oct-17 08:36:24

Hopefully in a few more weeks she might decide it's too cold and do something else!

Davros Thu 05-Oct-17 08:39:41

They go to the park because they aren't old enough to go anywhere else and need ID. I was out regularly in London at 15 in pubs and clubs with no mobile phone.
How about if you let her go this time after a good talk and see how it goes? It is quite normal to do round here although I'm also not completely comfortable with it. DD (14) and her friends are planning on doing this on Friday, she has done it before, and although I don't really like it, she is quite sensible, has a mobile phone and we live very nearby. I am hoping it will rain! The reality has been that they think they're going to be out having a great time and they end up at someone's house. Maybe pm me and give her my number as back up? A bit weird maybe as we don't know eachother?!!!

missminimum Thu 05-Oct-17 08:52:49

I think at that age if they are going out to a party, friend's house cinema etc that is far more preferable to them saying they are going to meet mates in town or a park with no activity planned. A gathering of 30 teenagers sounds a bit worrying. I think a curfew of midnight on Friday and Saturday is reasonable but if you are being her taxi service she has to understand the times and dates have to fit in with what work for you. In return you expect she will be ready to be collected at the agreed time and be polite and helpful at home. If getting taxi or public transport I would suggest she does it with friends and not alone. If she is staying over somewhere ideally it would be good to contact the other parent telling her this it out of courtesy they should have your contact details. It does get complicated at times with teenagers

MsMartini Thu 05-Oct-17 08:53:02

OP, we are in South London and both my dc did this in the local parks and commons - it is really normal round here for kids from all types of schools and colleges and doesn't seem particularly associated with trouble (less so than teen parties). They can't go to pubs and clubs because of ID checks. It is hard when they are in the sixth form as they will (probably) be away from home in a couple of years and need to start learning how to stay safe now, which involves endless worry and moving goalposts (mine are both now at uni), but on the whole they looked after each other, made good friends and had fun. The transport issue is a separate one and trickier for you.

InTheSticks Thu 05-Oct-17 09:47:20

It's possible to have a social life without hanging around dodgy parks.
Why would you hang around a park unless you were up to no good?

We are in a village and DC friends live in villages or farms over a wide area. They have "gatherings" at each other's homes, go to the cinema in the nearest town or meet at a cafe / fast food place. Until they could drive (and all teens round here drive at 17) we took them everywhere because as someone said ferrying about is part of life. We choose to live here and I want my kids to have a social life.

You live in a city, there really isn't any need for hanging around in parks and there is (I presume) public transport day and night? The fact that they go to a good school with high achievers is absolutely no guarantee against drink /drugs.

Also OP please be careful about posting detail on a public forum.

MaybeDoctor Thu 05-Oct-17 09:51:05

Loads of cafes are open in the evening in central London?

Evelynismyspyname Thu 05-Oct-17 09:59:41

I used to teach teens in London. When they hang out in the park a lot of them are drinking, smoking weed and having unprotected sex. Your DD may be one of the ones hovering on the edges, but the teens seemed worried only about pregnancy and it was impossible to get the STD message through to some (most) of them. I'd worry about peer pressure among teens hanging out in groups late at night in parks, especially as these are new friends and it sounds as though there is peer pressure already, to go along...

We live rurally and I know we'll taxi as it's not the kids' fault we live where we do, but I wouldn't facilitate something so dodgy. A difficult situation, I don't envy you!

Merrylegs Thu 05-Oct-17 17:07:22

Ha, am laughing at this. DD has just come home and said she's been invited to Hampstead Heath on Sat eve, but she's not going because the crowd who asked her are 'a bit dodge'. ('But', she said, 'at least she was asked'). Thanks to this thread I was able to say, 'good choice', rather than worry that she wasn't making an effort with new 6th form friends.

Davros Sun 08-Oct-17 23:08:25

If anyone's still interested - DD and her friends went to Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath) on Friday and nothing untoward resulted. They were back here before 8.30pm and got Dominos and arsed around. She said there were others who stayed later but she and her friends had had enough.

Sammz1 Mon 09-Oct-17 06:46:41

Told DD on Friday that we decided she can't go and she was gutted, really really upset. I felt bad for her but in my mind it was the right thing to do. However, she told me yesterday that her friends went out on Friday to another location and 3 of them ended up in hospital with alcohol poisoning. She said that she doesn't think she wants to go much anymore. Apparently her friends Mum thought it was funny when he told her about the alcohol poisoning.

OP’s posts: |
Davros Mon 09-Oct-17 08:51:34

Lucky escape! And she has been put off without having to go through the experience

Dancinggoat Mon 09-Oct-17 20:05:59

I pick used to pick up at all hours. As they got older it was anywhere between 1 and 5 in the morning.

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