I am seeking some feedback please.
My 13-year-old daughter has been invited to a birthday lunch at a Sydney CBD restaurant by a school friend. I've discovered there will be no adults in attendance as the girl does not want her mother to go because she wants her independence. I don't think it's appropriate for a 13-year-old girl (or boy) to make their way into the city by themselves, meet their friends, go to a restaurant and then make their way home. Aside from anything else, I don't think they'll be taken seriously by the restaurant staff! As a result, my husband and I have told our daughter she can't attend. Dropping her off and picking her up is not an option for us as we had an existing commitment.
I have no hesitation in encouraging a child's independence, however, I think an activity/outing has to be age-appropriate, because otherwise it's potentially dangerous.
The girl's mother has suggested I am being unreasonable (she is very young, whereas I am an older parent). What do you think? Is it too risky for 13-year-old to make her way into the city and then home again by herself (she has never done this before)? What do you think about a group of 13-year-old girls going to a restaurant by themselves?