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How much freedom does your 11yo have?

20 replies

VivaLeBeaver · 29/09/2012 19:20

Dd is in yr 7.

We live in a large village, in a naice area. Though I do appreciate it that kids can get into mischief wherever and you can get "odd" people anywhere.

She's allowed off with her friends round the village, they mainly hang out in the park. She's either in the park or at a friends house or somewhere in between. She knows she's not allowed out the village.

One of the other mums was saying that there is no way her dd (same age) is allowed to roam about the village.

Am I wrong for doing so? I was always allowed out and about at an even younger age.

Also tomorrow I'm taking dd and a friend of hers to a shopping centre, out of town fairly big mall. Nowhere near as big as Westfield though. Dd knows the shopping centre like the back of her hand as we go there a lot bit. I was thinking that the two of them could go off by themselves and I arrange to meet them at a certain place and time. Let them have a couple of hours on their own. Dd will have her phone with her. Does that sound reasonable? The other girl's mum I know would be fine with that as her dd is allowed to catch the bus into town and go shopping without an adult.

It's such an odd age. They act quite grown up, I feel I ought to be giving her more freedom, etc. But 11 is quite young still and then other parents seem shocked when I say what dd is allowed to do.

When I was 11 my mum let me and my 13yo brother have an afternoon and evening in Paris on our own and told us to meet her a certain place after a few hours of roaming about!

OP posts:
lljkk · 29/09/2012 19:23

I live in a sleepy corner of a sleepy town & I would let my DD do those things, around the village from 9yo even.

I know people in same town who won't let their 12yo do those things: they tell her that it's illegal for her to set foot outside their own gate on her own. Even though she can see other children her age & younger doing them daily. Honestly some people are daft.

omletta · 29/09/2012 19:26

DS is 10.4, year 6. Simlarly we live in a fairly naice village. He is allowed to 'play out' providing that he calls/texts every hour - we have a secret code for texts so I know it's him. I also sometimes take him to another village (where he goes to school) to play out for a couple of hours.

I was interested to note, when dropping him at YC this week, how many parents seem to walk their DC in and out of the (church) youth club - I just pull up outside.

I asked DS if he had more or less freedom than most of his friends - he thinks about te same as most.

VivaLeBeaver · 29/09/2012 19:32

That's a relief, was worried I was been a slack mother for a minute.

I don't want dd to be a child who goes off the rails, etc. but I don't think not letting them out would prevent this and I don't think that letting them out means it will happen.

OP posts:
BerthaTheBogBurglar · 29/09/2012 19:34

My 10yo is in yr6 and has the same freedom your dd does. Also, largish village, nice area! She is utterly scarily responsible and has a mobile phone, and always comes home on time.

This afternoon dh took her into the local town (small market town) and dd went shopping while dh got his eyes tested and then his hair cut. She bought some apples and milk for us and then chose herself a new hairband from the market. She loved it (the freedom, as well as the hairband!).

I doubt I will be allowing ds1 the same freedom at the same age. I may do (he is only in yr3 now) but he is a different character. Is it possible that the other mum's dd is a less sensible type, and that she doesn't really understand that not all children are the same? Dd was walking to school by herself at 8, and if ds1 was my eldest that idea would horrify me!

VivaLeBeaver · 29/09/2012 19:39

I'd say the other mums dd is more sensible than mine. Grin

Dd has gone to her friends for a sleepover tonight. The friend told me just as they were leaving mine that her mum and dad are out this evening but her older brothers will be there. I was a bit panicked for a second but her brothers are 17 and 19 and the parents will be back later. Though I'm suspicious they may be a bit tipsy.

OP posts:
madbengal · 29/09/2012 19:50

DD is 11, we live in a city, she is allowed to the very local park and at friends houses but she has to have her mobile on at all times

Startailoforangeandgold · 02/10/2012 11:59

DD and sometimes a friend are allowed to walk or cycle to the shop (nasty pavement less lane about a mile). DD cycles around on her own sometimes too.

DD and a friends have been to local small town for a couple of hours.

DD has been off in a big shopping mall, but with DD1(14) not on her own.

The only riot act I had to read was don't buy clothes without trying them on.
Sweet girls, didn't want to be late meeting me. (They should have texted, DD1 and me ended up back in H&M changing things).

Madmog · 05/10/2012 10:32

My daughter walks home from school on her own (only 5 min walk) and is allowed to call on her friend who is about 3 mins away. If she goes to local shop/library/local park it tends to be with a friend. I'm lucky that many parents think the same as me so there's no problem -it's just the way we are in this area - not saying it's right or wrong though.

At the moment we're being extra cautious though as there was a failed abduction in our local park last week (my daughter had been their the previous afternoon at the same time), so my daughter is allowed there with friends but must phone on leaving and I will walk up at meet her as her other friends go in the opposite direction.

Bunbaker · 05/10/2012 10:37

My daughter is just 12 and she has the same freedoms that your daughter has. I have been letting her go round the shopping mall with a friend for the last year now. At first I tailed her and was about 2 or 3 shops away, but now I let her go off and we keep in touch via our mobiles. She doesn't make her own way to the mall yet as she doesn't feel brave enough to do the journey on her own (half an hour by train). So I take her and do my own thing or have a coffee and then meet her and her friend when they want to be met.

titchy · 05/10/2012 10:46

Yep sounds fine to me. By the end of year 7 dd was getting herself to and from said shopping mall. (Did need several texts reminding her of the train times but she got back eventually!)

Pourquoimoi · 06/10/2012 11:41

Sounds very similar to my DS (11). He's been going round the (large and also nice!) village for a year or so. This afternoon I'm driving him into the local town (again small market town) to meet a friend for a milkshake.
He also walks 2.5miles each way to school and back now that he is in yr7.
Sounds about the right amount of freedom to me.

sausagesandwich34 · 10/10/2012 23:41

I would love to be able to take DD to the local shopping center and sit there having a coffee while she went round the shops with a friend

but none of her friends are allowed :(

oopsydaisymaisy · 12/10/2012 01:30

My DSs (twins, age 11) have a lot of freedom. They can jog around the block (I don't know why they want to), go to the shops, and they go up to the centre of London a lot as long as they are together. They know that if they split up on that journey, they won't get a chance to do that again. So they can do a lot- they've gone to Westfield together, Tower of London, London Eye etc; If they didn't go to school by bus I would be less keen for them, but they both go (on separate journeys to different schools) via bus/underground for 45mins for one and 1hr15 for the other. They go to the cinema with friends, and play football in the park with their friends.

They have to come straight from school (unless arranged already) and tell DH that they're going out, where and how long roughly. Normally they can stay out until about 5-6, no later. They go round their friends house whenever they want, and go to Tescos, the local icecream shop, etc;

We live in London, if it helps.

ripsishere · 12/10/2012 01:39

My DD has no freedom whatsoever. Her friends all live about 10 miles away and there is no public transport. We are in Malaysia now.
Last year, she got the bus to school and home alone. She was occasionally left alone for half an hour in the mornings so had to leave and lock the front door.
She pines for the independence, but it just isn't possible.
Her and her friend have roamed the endless mall that is between us. They spent the majority of the two hours looking at puppies in a pet shop.
What you've described OP, sounds fine to me.

amck5700 · 12/10/2012 14:55

Re the poster that drops off without going in, do you always wait to see if the club is definitely on?

I took my two to their Judo class a while ago and there was one poor lad standing in the cold in his Judo suit with nothing other than a bottle of water......and the class wasn't on! He lived in a village about 15 miles away and he knew his home number but when I phoned there was no-one home, probably as his mum hadn't reached there yet. Anyway, I offered to take him home and then he remembered that his dad was possibly at the gym so we went there and managed to find him. I didn't know the boy at all and he didn't know me. My boys had had a big break from Judo and had only been back a couple of weeks this lad had started in the break.

Just a reminder that it's always worth either taking them in or at least waiting a few minutes to make sure that it's definitely on.

bubby64 · 12/10/2012 22:44

My 2 Yr7 DS's, (almost 12), also live in a village, and they are allowed around that and their friends, are allowed to cycle to 2 of the 3 villages around us, the 3rd is along a really nasty narrow road with lots of blind bends, a known accident blackspot, so if they want to go there, I drive them. I also drop them off at the swimming pool in the small local market town,(their High School is there) and they walk to the main part when they are ready, mooch around for a bit, then call me when ready. My mum also lives there, which helps. They have to have their mobiles with them, and, if they change their plans in any way, they have to ring me.

ShaynePunim · 24/10/2012 10:38

Interesting stuff, I looged in today precisely to ask how people felt about kids going to the mall on their own at 11, so I was glad to find this thread.

Until my daughter started secondary school this September she had no freedom whatsoever (we live in London and I never felt it was safe or appropriate for her to do stuff on her own), but since going to secondary and making her own way home, I have found out she makes stop gaps to the milk shake bar or the tiny local shopping centre to look at Claire's.

At first I was a bit shocked that she hadn't asked (I would have said no!) but now I realise that it's I will allow it now and even encourage it because I have noticed it helps cementing friendships - which has been a bit of an issue before so all is good!

However. She now wants to take a trip to the BIG mall with two or three other girls. They want to get there alone on the bus and everything.

I wouldn't mind if I could go to the mall and then sit in Starbucks or do my own thing while they roamed but I have to take DS to his football match so can't do that, so they'll be really on their own, 10 miles or so from home.

Not sure how I feel about it. I'm a naturally anxious mother but don't want to smother them either.

titchy · 24/10/2012 10:52

She'll be fine! It'll be busy and she'll be with friends - presumably she knows how to get a bus, has an Oyster card and a phone? Maybe print out bus timetables for her so she knows when to get bus(es?) back. Oh and make sure she knows which bus stop to wait at (NOT the one that says 'alighting only' - yes dd I'm talking to you.....)

titchy · 24/10/2012 10:53

Get her to text you when she's on the bus, whens she's arrived and when she;s on the bus home if you're nervous!

ShaynePunim · 24/10/2012 10:59

Yes the whole secondary school thing (public transport journeys) has been great for showing me that she's much more able than I gave her credit for.

I have no idea where she learnt it all from as it wasn't from me!

OK now I'm ok with the idea I'm all excited on her behalf! :D

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