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Should I let 12yo daughter do this?
14

TabbyTigger · 16/02/2018 09:51

DD(12) is a very good dancer (had small professional and semi-professional jobs and been part of companies, and might want to go into it professionally as an adult). Every summer I let her go to various dance summer schools (she asks for them for her birthday. We live in London, and usually they’re either somewhere in London so she comes from home, somewhere residential so she just stays there, or in Leeds where her godparents live so she stays with them.

This year she has sent in a video audition for a five week intensive in New York. My first concern is that it would mean missing the last 2 weeks of school (she’s in year 8), but she has pointed out that not much happens at that point in the year and her big assessments have already been scheduled for May so won’t be taking place then.

My second concern is that while she will be able to stay with our family friends (who live a ten minute walk from where this dance intensive will take place, in central New York), she doesn’t know the city like she knows, for example, Leeds, and it’s so much bigger and further away. She knows this family very well (as do I) so we know they’d look after her.

She hasn’t got a place yet but I want to be ready with a decision and idea of what to say if she does, so I can hold my line. Part of me thinks it sounds like a great experience, but also part of me wonders if she’s too young. The course is for 11-15 year olds, so she could always go next year/the year after, but then missing 2 weeks of school might become more problematic.

I just want to get a feel of what others would do in this situation - just to give me some frames and work out what seems reasonable. She’s so independent sometimes that I forget she’s only twelve!! (She’ll be 13 in August)

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billybagpuss · 16/02/2018 09:56

She sounds amazing.

I fully understand your worries, but you have family friends there she will have an awesome time and you could even pop over yourself for a few days.

Fingers crossed for her x

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NorthernSpirit · 16/02/2018 10:30

Sounds like an amazing opportunity and good on her for applying

But.... if she’s 12 she’ll need to be accompanied on the flight I think.

NYC is large and unsafe. She may be staying with friends but will they travel with her / be with her all the time? Can you go with her?

It’s an amazing opportunity. But.... I wouldn’t want a 12 year old girl in the city on her own. I travel to NY regularly with work, i’m In my 40’s and very savy, street wise. I still feel intimidated.

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saltandvinegarcrisps1 · 16/02/2018 17:06

If it's central new York she will be fine - it's,tourist central so a 10 minute walk should be fine. If she's up for it id let her

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saltandvinegarcrisps1 · 16/02/2018 17:07

Remember NYC has its own kids who manage to get around without all being murdered!

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Klobuchar · 16/02/2018 17:09

Sounds brilliant but I do understand your concerns. What part of New York is it in, specifically?

Also, could you not go with her for the first week? Help her settle in and gain some confidence?

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ShortandAnnoying · 16/02/2018 17:11

I'd do it if the friends are really sensible and will definitely look after her properly.

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Onlynever · 16/02/2018 17:15

I would let my dd, yes. Sounds a great opportunity. The friends will probably accompany her to the dance school for the first day or 2, and she will have a phone and a map?
When my dd was 12, she flew unaccompanied to Germany, and lived with a German family for 2 months. This was a language exchange - they were not friends. Went to a German school. Commuted to the school on her own on public transport a couple of times a week. Found her way around the large city. And she spoke very little German when she went. She absolutely loved it, and gained a lot of confidence and independence. You have to start to let them go and live their lives.

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TabbyTigger · 16/02/2018 22:34

Thank you for all the reassurance!

I know at the summer schools she’s done in Leeds she’s just found her own way there (on a bus) from her godparents’ house, after they’ve shown her the bus stop. But, as I said in my OP, New York just seems so much bigger and further away than Leeds! And Leeds is so familiar to me. I’ve been to New York a few times, but it’s never felt ‘familiar’ - probably because of its size.

The dance schools is literally central New York - in Manhattan, so it is the touristy bit which is reassuring. The friends have three daughters who are 20, 18, and 15, and the all will be back from uni then. They all get on wonderfully with DD and when I spoke to the 20yo about it last week (she comes to uni in england so we look out for her!) she said she’d be more than happy to walk DD to and from the place until she found her feet.

I couldn’t go with her at all, no. I have younger DC and DH works away quite a bit.

I know it’s highly unlikely anything will go wrong, but i just know that if she got lost/distressed I’d feel absolutely horrible and like an awful mum for letting her go. I want to be totally secure in the decision!

I’m sure she’d have the best time. She always does on these summer schools!! She loves the freedom and constant dance.

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Rhubarbginmum · 16/02/2018 22:40

It’s sounds a fab opportunity and your dd sounds very grown up and mature. My DD is in the same school year but really lacks maturity. So it your DD is single minded determined sensible and very keen on her dancing and opportunities further afield I would go for it.
I believe your DD is quiet right the last couple of weeks are often quite easy weeks but I think you might have to tell a little white lie to the school to cover the absence period.

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PaperdollCartoon · 16/02/2018 22:48

Your DD sounds amazing to be so independent and self assured, I’m sure she’ll go far. It sounds like the family friends really will be good friends to her, so she’ll have emotional and practical support. I’d let her go. The last two weeks of year 8 are totally pointless!

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PaperdollCartoon · 16/02/2018 22:49

If she’s got a mobile and google maps and a card set up to get an Uber if needed she really can’t get lost.

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Klobuchar · 16/02/2018 22:59

Would someone be walking her to and picking her up from the place?

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TabbyTigger · 18/02/2018 16:25

It will definitely be a fab opportunity if she gets it!

Thanks for all the reassurance - you’re all making me more confident that it’ll be a great experience. I just want to be 100% confident before I ship her off!

She’s been to Antwerp before for a dance summer school (and again stayed with family friends, though it was only for 2 weeks) but we lived there for a few years when she was little and it’s not as far or huge. I just remember getting a few raised eyebrows when I told some people about it, which at the time made me doubt myself (she was 11, going on 12), and I thought of that when she brought this up. It’ll be amazing for her though.

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Thehogfather · 19/02/2018 12:56

Dd did something very similar with her activity, as well as shorter/ nearer trips like your dd.

The only thing I'd say with going that far, somewhere she isn't familiar with for so long is to think about whether you can practically get her home sooner if she starts struggling.

Dd didn't, so no reason she will. But the reassurance of knowing she could ask to come home if she got homesick after a fortnight or so was something I was keen to reinforce. Dd knows we aren't exactly wealthy, so my concern was that it might be too long, but dd might not say anything if she thought I couldn't afford to change flights. So I told her I thought the original flights would be more, and therefore had the money put aside already, therefore I could buy another ticket if necessary.

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