As for the life vest, in my world people of all ages wear life vests on boats. My family is a boating family and that is just a safety issue. There will be a day when DD takes the train all by herself and if we are still living in Switzerland, it will probably be before she is 13. She takes the train to go to ice skating lessons and swim lessons now. I am sure she will want to go with her friends and without her mom. I just want her to start out small with baby steps and work her way up to going to skating all by herself or with her friend.
Oh and a couple of people mentioned getting lost at the station or forgetting her backpack. In Switzerland each train line arrives at the same platform each and every time. The town that DD would take the train to only has 2 tracks through the town and no real "station" and since it is the end for this train line, the train pulls off to platform 3, lets everyone off and sits for 10 minutes. DH would meet her on platform 3 and I could even tell him which car she'd be on because the train only runs with 3 cars during the day. If she didn't get off, he could just get on the train. Swiss trains are very predictable, clean, and safe.
Originally Posted by acdmama
However you decide to celebrate, I hope your daughter has a GREAT birthday!
Thanks! I am sure she will have a good birthday - it is tomorrow BTW. I don't want to tie this to her birthday because I don't want her to think that her birthday is a failure if she decides she isn't ready. We have some special stuff planned but it is nothing like riding a train by herself. More like dinner out and a party.
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin
Is it your DD's bday yet? Have you decided what to do?
I sense that you're not 100% comfortable eventhough it's something that's acceptable in Switzerland? Do you have any particular concerns in mind?
My biggest concern is that she will decide she wants to do it and get scared or change her mind mid-trip. I really do think it is safe, it is just whether or not she is overestimating her readiness. She has been rather clingy on the trains the last few days - choosing to sit on the stairs by me and the stroller instead of a seat - so I am thinking she has changed her mind.
Originally Posted by StephandOwen
At 6 years old my son would not have been ready to do that (he's 7 1/2 now and still isn't).
Would you consider letting her do it if someone you knew (a family friend or relative) was on the train with her (even if she didn't know they were there) to keep an eye on things? She could feel independent and you could still know she was safe.
Well, the way the train is set up, if someone went along, she'd know. The cars are rather small and she is good at picking out people she knows half way down the platform. Her class goes on the train to the next town for the dentist (her teacher + 15 kids) and they also take an end of the year trip to the forest which is a train and a bus away. (3 teachers and about 40 kids) She did that last year with no problem. She is comfortable taking the train with me or with friends and light supervision.
Tomorrow we have to go get her junior card for riding the train. She is no longer free when she rides with me.
xposted with AllisonR - she is spot on.