Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 21

Thread: 13yo's Freedoms: DH & I disagree: HELP!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    7,100

    Default 13yo's Freedoms: DH & I disagree: HELP!

    Please help us sort this issue... we've come to an impasse.

    13yo DD wants to be able to venture into the city (Melbourne) with 3 other friends... and just wander around the shops. The other kids are a girl and two boys, all in the 13/14 yo age bracket. They are reasonably well behaved kids but my DD can be a bit too adventurous and trusting.... she also has a tendency to find risk takers "fun".

    I am being the strict one. I offered to go in too (separate train carriage) and take my littlies to a mall (Melbourne Central) while DD and her friends wander around the shop and report back every half hour. That way I know where they vaguely will be... and avoid hours passing with no communication. She is prone to letting hours pass without calling me on her phone... and not having it switched on so that I can call her.

    DH thinks we should just let her go. He had a very restricted childhood and I feel that he is trying to over compensate by giving her the freedoms he never had as a teen.

    I on the other-hand had a very free teenage life... too free and I know all the strife you can get up to in a country town let alone the big city!



    Am I being too restrictive??? Would you let your child go?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    on cloud 9.....
    Posts
    2,105

    Default

    Bath, I had a pretty free teenage life like you and have a 13yr old DD and 14yr old DS, both of which I am quite strict with as well.
    Both my kids are not very good at calling me at set times and usually don't hear the phone when I end up calling them
    I can't put my finger on why I feel this way really, especially considering I got to roam the shops and go into the city with my friends at the very same age. I never did anything wrong, just hung out with my mates and ate maccas usually.
    I honestly think you are right to feel the way that you do.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In Bankworld with Barbara
    Posts
    14,235

    Default

    Bath, I'm with you on this one. Sometimes it isn't what our children can possibly get up to, it's what other people could do to them kwim? They might *think* they they are young adults of the world and that they are capable of being alone in the city, and chances are they could do it and have no problems at all, but you just never know. Maybe I am being over cautious though.

    Could you possibly come to a compromise with them and let them go to a different shopping area they don't normally go to that isn't right in the city?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ubiquity
    Posts
    9,937

    Default

    No way. I'm not crazy strict but Marc and I have previously discussed this and no not without a chaperone of some description. I think your idea is supurb and I'd do the exact same thing if I was in your situation.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,814

    Default

    I don't have kids that age Bath but I have to say....HELL NO! I'm with you.

    I'd have a nervous breakdown if my 13 yo daughter was wandering around in the city for hours like that. It's too young to be doing that without supervision. No matter how much I trusted my child I don't trust other people iykwim.

    Your DH needs to remember too that the world is not the same as it was when we were that age.

    God I sound like my mother!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    That's tough Bath - 13 is so old and so young. They feel so old, but they're not really...but they're not babies either. So...I've got nothing for you there.

    I did want to say though, that with the whole not being able to reach her on the phone thing - as teens, if we didn't call, weren't reachable, or broke any part of our agreement, that was it, we'd done our outings dash for a looooong time. We agreed that with mum and dad at the start of any outing, and it was strictly enforced, so we knew we couldn't get away with breaking our side of the deal.
    Just a thought for when the outings do start to take place, that's a good way to get your kids to realise how important it is for them to be contactable - they screw all future outings if they're not!

    All the best deciding the boundaries with your dh.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Cairns QLD
    Posts
    5,477

    Default

    I would say she can go on your terms, that being you will also be in the city & expect them to check in, maybe not every half hour but at least every hour. Her phone MUST BE ON & ANSWERED.
    I think you need to give a little to avoid them doing it behind your back anyway KWIM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Funky Town, Vic
    Posts
    7,082

    Default

    I think she is too young. It may be something she can work towards in the long term. So if she wants to earn enough trust to do something like this, she MUST call in when you require for eg. She must do this each and every time or back to square one.
    This was the deal with my daughter. Look I know you gotta let them go, but it doesn't mean you have to crap your pants all the way through. I explain to Belle that although I do trust her, I worry about situations happening to her, and if she respects the way I feel she will call at the times I ask her to.

    I haven't let her venture to the city yet, even though she is 15 and I was in the city with my friends heaps from the age of 13, don't tell her that or I'll never hear the end of it.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    7,100

    Default

    Thanks girls I agree: it's not her so much as other people! I walked through the area under the Flinders Street clocks last Saturday, by myself, and I actually felt quite intimidated. 1/4 of the people looked like junkies... lots of kids my DDs age who just looked out if it And I'm usually no shrinking violet! I've lived in some pretty rough areas in my life! I look past what people are wearing (I don't see the mo-hawk as much as I see the glazed expression in their eyes) and it was not a place I would want my 13yo to be essentially by herself.... ie if anything happened another 13yo isn't going to know what to do! The one thing my DD does have in her favour is that she isn't the kind of kid a predator would target... she has self confidence and assertive body language and she's physically very strong. BUT I'm still not happy about the whole thing. I just don't GET how the other parents seem to be ok with it all. My DH is going to ring them too BTW (other parents). The two boys go to Little Athletics and so he kinda knows them, they are good boys, sensible etc.

    It's so ironic... here I am, the only parent that allowed my DD to walk to school every morning in grades 5/6 and now all of a sudden i am the "only" parent who won't let my DD go into the city un-chaperoned

    Trillian: There's a shopping centre near us (Northland) that is actually worse than the CBD. It's shocking... I'd rather she go into the city. I just don't get why I can't loosely follow her... it was implied that that would be "embarrassing".... geeze, now I am the uncool mum.

    ETA: We allow her to catch the train into the city by herself to meet DH at his work... infact last week she went in and did half a days work with him (they are moving offices and needed help packing files into boxes). But that was a direct trip with someone waiting at the other end.... i just don't like the idea of hours passing and no one any the wiser if anything went wrong.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; April 6th, 2008 at 09:38 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    In my own private paradise
    Posts
    15,281

    Default

    Bath - ALL mum's are uncool!! except the ones that just don't give a fig about their kids - it just takes the teenager a hell of a lot of time (like, another 15 years or so) to work out where that "uncool parent" was coming from.

    i'm not the parent of a teen, and i don't live anywhere near the city - but i look at the teens that hover just at our local shopping centre on school hols, and can't understand WHY! i think your compromise of being within cooee is more than acceptable - and would probably stand my ground with it. it doesn't have to be your daughter or her friends getting in trouble, the world in general just isn't "safe" anymore - and what you're offering isn't overly strict. you'll be in the same general vacinity....

    i like the suggestion of smaller outings to start off - check in times have to be met, or "freedom" taken away. she needs to earn your trust that she can be accountable for her actions before she expects too much

    good luck reaching a compromise with DD and DH

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In Bankworld with Barbara
    Posts
    14,235

    Default

    That's fair enough Bath. I think what you've suggested to her is more than reasonable, and it's not like you will be following them as such, just within the same vicinity. And walking to school on her own is far different to walking alone in the city.....

    Lulu, you can always play the 'things were different then' card too

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    Bath, I think you're doing the right thing. I do recall that what you're suggesting would be considered quite embarrassing, in fact if my mum had suggested it I likely would have chosen not to go. But you know what? That's tough. If she wants to go, it needs to be on your terms, she's only 13 after all.

    I agree with the others.......if she wants to be given the freedom to do this sort sort of thing, she needs to prove to you that she is responsible enough, by that I mean calling you when required, and ALWAYS having her phone on. If she can mange that without hiccup, then maybe you can all work towards the big outing in city. I only once broke my promise to call home at a certain time - I missed out on a concert I dearly wanted to go to! But I never did it again. My mum was okay with me staying out late, as long as I adhered to a few rules - she had to know where I was and who I was with at all times, had to know how I was getting home (if she wasn't picking me up), and if I was going to be held up in any way, shape or form then I MUST call home, regardless of the time. She was stricter than alot of my friend's parents, but I'm glad of that now....I know what my friends got up to LOL!

    Trust your instincts Bath.....at some stage you will have to let her go, and you will be nervous, but you'll know it's the right time. Stick to your guns on this one

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Recently treechanged to Woodend, VIC
    Posts
    3,480

    Default

    I'm going to go against the grain here a bit. I think it depends. We live close to the city (about 12 mins to Flinders Street on the train) so for us the city seems pretty local. My DP was completely comfortable about SD (who was 13 at the time) going to the city with friends - during the day for shopping. Would have been a totally different story at night.

    He did cop a bit of flack from SIL about letting her go on the train without an adult but he was confident that a) trains aren't that dangerous and he should know, he's a train driver and b) that she was going to do what she said she was going to do ie. shop.

    So for us, the city is not much different to her going anywhere else unaccompanied during the day because it's close. We might feel differently if it was a big trip and if we weren't sure that she had enough street smarts to not put herself in dangerous situations.

    But it also depends on how comfortable you feel with the whole idea. We were, BUT that doesn't mean that you should be and I'm not saying let her go.

    I don't like the chaperone idea. I would have HATED it and I think you either trust her or you don't. But I do like the idea of gradually working up to it and establishing groundrules about contact while she's out. Break the rules and it's off the agenda. I think that's fair.

    Or you could always do what my DP's parents did. He was a geeky trainspotter who used to go to the city when he was 14 and photograph trains from the Spencer Street bridge every Friday night and this was WAY before mobile phones were around. Anyhow, they got a little concerned that maybe they were being too trusting so one night they let him go as usual then jumped in the car and went to Spencer Street to check. There he was in his anorak photographing trains like he said he would be. They didn't tell him that story till years later!

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ever so slowly going crazy...
    Posts
    2,275

    Default

    I'm with you Bath. My 13 yr old wont be doing it. Your idea of going and staying in the distance is perfect. If she thinks she is mature enough to go out like that, than she is mature enough to allow mum to go along, albeit a fair distance behind!!

    There are the two extremes I guess. You go, and she's a little put out, but realises at the end of the day it wasn't so bad, and she'll prob have a great day. The other extreme is she goes alone, and god forbid, but something happens....I certainly know which one I prefer....I would also have severe concenquences for not answering the phone... but to keep her happy, maybe use text so her friends cant hear her talking to mummy??


    Can you and your daughter go out for a quick hot choccie together before the big day??? A little talk about learning to grow up responsibly, and all the freedom she will earn, for helping you help her make good choices and proving to you how mature she can be. I was taught that good trusting behavour meant a little more freedom. Show her your serious about her freedom, and she just may cooperate!!


    This how it is going to work out when mine get older of course!!! Yeah right!!!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    6,749

    Default

    It is a tough one Bath, I know I would rather let my DD go into the city rather than Northland too I did go into the city and roam around with friends from the age of 14 (and I was a country girl but we had a flat in Melbourne we used to come down to every second weekend). However, my Mum would also be in the city too. She would go to Myer and we would go to Heaven or Cherrylane (oooh showing my age there). We also used to go to the underage discos at the Underground from when I was 15.

    Even so, I would always have a designated place and time to meet mum afterwards (if I messed up then I would never be allowed to go again). I think it is completely fair for you to go to the city as well and maybe have her check in by phone every hour. Let her know that if she messes up she won't be doing it again. I'm sure she will comply.

  16. #16

    Default

    I agree with Nai. I would organise a place to pick her up from/meet. It is all about "trust" and I think if she breaks that "trust" well she won't be allowed to do it again!!! I would let her go and have set time for drop-off and pick-up. If she breaks any of these arrangements well she will not be going in to the city for awhile until she earns her trust and responsibility back.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    7,100

    Default

    Thanks again girls for your continuing advice and support

    Purplemumma: I had to laugh with your about going out for a hot choccie and a "talk". Yeah, I try that... and at the time you think you have it all sorted but it's all forgotten when they get swept up with their friends. Honestly it goes in one ear and out the other... but they trick you into thinking that you've had some impact. My DD can seem very mature and sensible when she wants something... but then DH and I check out her MySpace page and get a dose of reality... it's so Jeckyl and Hyde... and you sometimes don't actually know which one you are dealing with!

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    11,468

    Default

    im with you too on this one bath! she is too young to wander on her own! stand your ground with her and DH!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 21
    Last Post: June 18th, 2007, 12:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •