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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
Posts: 2113
My middle DD's friend rang at lunchtime asking if DD could bring tennis racket and hire a court together.I said yes.I worry they spend too much time indoors.
This friend lives 5 mins from the park and we live 15 mins away.

Two friends from school saw them there and joined in, taking turns to play.

To cut a long story short, a group of 5 teenage boys wandered over mocked them, took the boy in the group's phone and verbally abused them.They set off home and soon discovered the group of teenagers to be following them and then they ran , terrified and teary to the nearest "home".(to the amusement of the teenagers)

Parent brought daughter home to me totally distraught. :cry: :cry:

I now question whether I should allow her such freedom again.She is starting secondary school next week and I thought a little freedom would be good for her but perhaps we no longer live in a world where that can happen.
I think a lot of the parents on this site are the responsible kind and so would welcome some feedback.
thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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I thnk it's very unfortunate when this sort of thing happens - especially when it's the first time they attempt some independence.

The first time my dd went into town with her group of friends (5 of them) they ran off and left her (despite being given dire warnings beforehand to stay together). DD 'phoned us on her mobile in floods of tears not knowing what to do. Daddy went down to rescue her, by which time her 'friends' had turned up again (our town isn't very big luckily!!) so it was decided dd would stay with them.

She ventured out again not too long after that in the company of only one friend and now, 18 months or so later, she is totally confident of where she is going and what she is doing.

I think the same thing needs to happen for your dd. She needs to get back out there in the company of someone a little bit older but not so old as she will see it as being protected (when in fact it is your insurance against such thing happening again). Once she has built up her confidence and knows how to deal with situations she should be ok about things again. The only exception is you may, for your own peace of mind, want to wait a few months (possibly after Easter) before you try again.

Unfortunately it is something which she will have to do eventually.

It's not easy being parents these days :cry:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
I agree with Snowdrops. She needs to get back on the horse, but with someone extremely trustworthy that would be able to protect her, or at least help her, should a situation arise. It's such bad luck that this happened on her first time out like this.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Sorry to hear about a bad experience, you are probably feeling very sad.

There are too many variables in when to let go and give freedom, but I think you do have to try and prepare kids for the real world, warts and all.

I would try and turn the negative into a positive, praise your DD and her friends they coped with a very difficult situation and did the right thing, I would give them lots of praise and encourage them to try again.

When DS1 was in year 4 he wanted to go on his own to the park, so I had to follow thirty yards behind and sit on a bench at the park and read a newspaper. Today, nearly Y9, we walked through Reading town centre and he insisted on walking ten yards behind me, eventually I could not resist it and so turned round and said in a loud voice, "are you following me" just to embarrass him. :oops: I think he saw the funny side of it. :)

Concentrate on the transition to the new school, the freedom and independence will follow. Hopefully soon you and DD will be able to make light of it and share a laugh about those poor sad teenagers that go around being a nuisance.



steve


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:16 pm 
Sorry CM, it's such a worry. You may recall the incident I spoke to you about via pm and the youths mothers were jeering them on - I do think we live in a different society where the "good" are never heard. I think this is a decision for your daughter. If she opts to go out she will become more street-wise and pick up on "these" type of social cues but I certainly would not force her to go out.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:33 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:16 pm
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Thanks for the replies.
I think we will avoid the park situation for the time being.I think perhaps 11 is too young even in broad daylight and with friends. :cry:
No doubt when she is in secondary ( next week :shock: ), she will be asked to town.With more people around and security staff and occasional policeman, she may feel safer.
Phone theft has been reported to the police.

It is hard when you bring them up, as I am sure you all have, with a sense of decency and fairplay.They kind of expect everyone to be the same and of course they are not. :cry:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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oh what a shame! I am sorry. We live in a village where the kids all play in the park and I love their having this freedom not to be hovered over by me, and it has given my oldest boy (about to go into y8 ) the natural stepping stone confidence to go into town occasionally with his best friend, to a film and catch the bus back.
But for this initial foray to end in this way because of these heartless pointless little people must have been a real blow for you. I am made furious by anti-social behaviour such as this. I agree with Steve to praise your daughter for having come through it and with the others for back on the horse / in her own time stuff. It is a shocking indictment that such an innocent little trip of this stands to be trashed by saddoes.
Better luck next time.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:21 pm 
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Thanks Milla for your sympathy. If only the world were full of people as nice as those on this forum. :D
She woke with a bad dream last night with a theme obviously connected :cry: .I am sure she will be fine... in time.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3813
Location: Chelmsford and pleased
I allow my two (11 and 12) to cycle in safe areas that are highly populated. I am uncomfortable about them walking. One incident a year ago near the park, unpleasant youths tried to take their bikes and were verbally abusing them. Both survived without incident and I have told them not to go near that park again.
I still won't let them go out alone and I always insist on a phone.
I have never let them go into the town centre but the seafront seems safe.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:44 am
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Hi Chelmsford Mum,

I know what you mean. My DS had an incident in our local park about a year ago where a group of boys threw stones at them and verbally abused them. It was his first trip on his own. However there was a couple of older boys at the park that knew them and they sorted out the situation. It has not affected my DS and he still goes over to the park with his friends but it has taught him to be more wary of certain people. If they don't get to experience these things then how will they learn?

Luckily he is very much into his sport so he rarely goes out on his own anyway as he is much too busy and when he is at home just wants to chill. I don't know if I will be so lucky with my second DS.


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