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How would you handle this with your friend?


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It seems to be a fairly common 13yo girl thing to want to start being around Mums and adult conversations, I remember doing the same thing at that age. I guess in different cultures 13 is almost adult. It's like a rite of passage thing. The dd is probably unconsciously trying to learn how adult friendships work. I have seen a couple of different mums deal with it by either directly saying " x, go away" or less directly by suggesting an alternative activity fairly firmly.

 

I guess you could try talking to your friend about it, but she may not have any options for places to leave her, then it would depend whether she was willing to ask her to do something else. Otherwise you could try setting up some cool activity to appeal to a 13 yo girl in another room or catch up somewhere there is something really exciting for her to do. Otherwise you could do what I do and save those kind of conversations for the phone where you can be in a different room to the kids.

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That's a very good way to explain it.  I didn't think of that aspect.  Thing is though, in the scenario of my kid having a friend over, he isn't bringing me somewhere to go stare off into space and then asking me to buzz off.  That's essentially what can happen if I bring my son somewhere and he isn't into whatever is going on.  KWIM?

 

But yeah...it's true...my son might not want me hanging out with him and his friends.

 

My kid never met a field trip or extracurricular he didn't like. :lol: An I've spent the better part of his small life sitting around, bored to tears watching him play baseball. Or soccer. Or basketball. Or scouts. Or church groups. Or park days with a homeschool group I couldn't stand (but participated in because it had other kids his age, whereas the group I preferred was mostly younger kids). 

 

And I did it all on my 3 days off from work each week, since the 4 days I worked I was on the road. There were plenty of other ways to spend my time, some necessary and some just plain ol' desire. LOL But I gave him the outlets he needed at the time, because I recognized that they were important. And at 13, he's able to give me the outlets I need, because he's old enough to understand they're also important.

 

I know it's not everyone's situation, but I think by 13 most kids can recognize that parents have needs also. I've known people who NEVER want the kids around, but I didn't sense that the OP was like that. I think she was seeking some one-on-one with her friend, and I think it's a reasonable request that most 13 year olds can oblige (if it's explained to them well) ... and that many mothers can honor.

 

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In short, I don't want to tell him to do that.  I don't feel right about it.

 

You feel differently.  Not much more I can say than that.

Yes, I get that you don't want to, and that you don't feel right about it. -And yes, I feel differently. I was simply asking you *why* you don't feel right about it. I tried to ask as politely as possible, and I wasn't asking you to defend yourself as though what you were doing was wrong. I thought there was an interchange of ideas, and I would have liked to understand your perspective!

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I remember when I was around that age, and my mom and grandma kept sending my outside to pick lilacs - and more lilacs, and more lilacs.  I don't even like lilacs.  ;)

 

I like the idea of having her bring a friend.  Or, if she likes art, perhaps you could set her up to sketch something in location A while you go chat in location B.  Or go pick tomatoes in the garden way out back.  Or have some photo books / magazines around that she can look at while you "show her mom something in another room."  Or even send her to the corner store for milk.  Hopefully she can take a hint, or hopefully at least her mom can.

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There's a huge gap between 10yo boys and 13yo girls in some ways, but not every way.  Why not come up with a movie all 3 want to see and set up a rental and popcorn to occupy the kids for an hour+ in one room while you chat in another?

 

(I wish that would work in my house, but my floorplan doesn't really have another room.)

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I would not be able to go an hour away and leave my dd behind and it is a toss up whether she'd rather sit with me or go play with younger kids at a park. I wouldn't think anything of her sitting and listening while I talked and would simply avoid conversations I didn't want her to listen in on. Maybe you could enlist the friend's dd as a helper to look after your kids while at the park then sit a little ways away to talk with the friend? Or at your house, put her in charge of an activity like an art or crafts project then sit in another room to talk?

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Dd is growing up in an adult world.  She is an only child, but she is always with us and because dh and I are older a lot of our friends tend to be older as well.  She does have some time around other kids, but it is much less time than she spends around our adult friends.  Yes she is only 3, but I grew up where the majority of people that I was around were my mom's adult friends and as I got further into my teen years my own adult friends.  With that being said, I was left for a few hours at a time with my younger brother from probably about 11.  I didn't go everywhere with my mom and she did have some time to be with friends without me and I expect that my relationship with dd will be the same.

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I just wanted to say that when I have a friend over at my house, I consider them to be visiting all the people in my house - including my children.  So my children have been taught from a young age to engage with adult visitors, to greet them and to engage in some conversation with them.  If we are having interesting conversation about issues (not personal issues or gossip) then often my 16 year old wants to join in because those issues are interesting to him as well.  There are times when someone will come over and will want to share more personal issues.  I will take a moment in private (for example while we are getting some tea together to take out to my visitor) to explain that to my children and they will find something else to do.  But for a general visit?  No, I don't ask them to scram.  If our conversation is boring, though, then my kids will wander off to do other things on their own.  I grew up with this idea of a family visitor, though and was never asked to leave the adults alone.  I was taught to not monopolize the conversation (as I teach my children as well) and to listen and I found listening to be very instrumental in my own growing up process.  

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I just wanted to say that when I have a friend over at my house, I consider them to be visiting all the people in my house - including my children.  So my children have been taught from a young age to engage with adult visitors, to greet them and to engage in some conversation with them.  If we are having interesting conversation about issues (not personal issues or gossip) then often my 16 year old wants to join in because those issues are interesting to him as well.  There are times when someone will come over and will want to share more personal issues.  I will take a moment in private (for example while we are getting some tea together to take out to my visitor) to explain that to my children and they will find something else to do.  But for a general visit?  No, I don't ask them to scram.  If our conversation is boring, though, then my kids will wander off to do other things on their own.  I grew up with this idea of a family visitor, though and was never asked to leave the adults alone.  I was taught to not monopolize the conversation (as I teach my children as well) and to listen and I found listening to be very instrumental in my own growing up process.  

 

Hi Jean -- I wasn't being very clear, I guess, because several people have commented similar to you. When my friend and I initially spoke, I was attempting to suggest an adult "date."

 

A couple of times we met when my kids were involved across the street at a class. My friend and I met for coffee. There are many safe stores for a young teen to browse. Or a laptop could have been brought along to occupy the daughter.

 

I wasn't setting up a "family time" sort of thing. That's the problem I'm having -- trying to convey to my friend that I want adult time vs. kids around time.

 

I really appreciate everyone's input. I think I'm just going to have to grow up and say, "let's have a date just you and I."

 

Alley

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How about asking the 13 year old to "baby sit" for an hour or 2 and you go to a nearby coffee shop or something? I'd pay her like $7 an hour to do that. I'd be ok with my own 13 year old with this set up during the day for an hour or 2. We have walking stuff available from our home too.

 

I am sympathetic to both sides. I have a 13 year old boy. He'd be great at a park with other 11+ boys, but if it were 2 10 year old girls, the whining would become unbearable. But I know how valuable and important 1-1 adult conversations can be and I'm not getting nearly enough of those either ...

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They find friends of the moment...using their social skills, they invite others to play games or others invite themselves in. Basketball, volleyball, ultimate, horseshoes, tennis, whatever the park has available. The boys would call it a 'pick-up game' if it involved bball or baseball. No need to have an intimate friendship before you ask another to join in. It's quite possible if the girl asked around, one of the other mothers might want to pick up a tennis racket and get some exercise in (a mom with a friend whose willing to supervise her children while she's engaged).

That sort of thing really doesn't happen in our area.

 

I can't even imagine an adult woman offering to play tennis with a 13yo girl she didn't know. And when I was 13, I wouldn't have had the slightest interest in approaching a complete stranger to play tennis with me unless she was my own age. Why would I want to play with some mom whom I didn't even know? And that wouldn't happen where we live anyway, because if someone is at our tennis courts, they have reserved time on the courts and already have a partner.

 

Ditto for the volleyball courts -- teams reserve court time in advance, and they aren't usually comprised of young teens. The basketball courts could be a possibility, but here, the courts are almost always filled with older teen boys. It would be rare to see a 13yo girl wandering around there alone looking for someone to play with.

 

In our area, playgrounds are for younger children, not for teenagers, so again, a 13yo would be bored to tears.

 

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't bring a 13yo girl to a park where she knew no one, and turn her loose to go find something to do while I sat around and gabbed with a friend. It wouldn't be fair to the kid.

 

Maybe your parks are a lot friendlier. It seems like it's easier for little kids to find others to play with, because they're at the playground, and adults and older teens can always seem to find someone to talk with, but there aren't many middle school or younger high school kids in the park, and when they are, they're usually part of an organized group. It can be a tough age.

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I'll bet the hourlong drive has a lot to do with not being able to meet the mom without the dd. If Alicia and her friend lived closer to each other, it would be easy to call each other at the last minute and arrange to meet for coffee for an hour or so, but many people simply don't have the time to drive for an hour, meet for a few hours, and then drive another hour to get back home. If there was a convenient meeting place at the halfway point, it would cut back on the amount of time wasted driving, and might make it easier to arrange a quick lunch when the friend's dh is home with the dd.

 

Most homeschooling parents would not be able to pull this off. I was only able to do this after my dds left home. One of my best friends lived in Sacramento, about 140 miles from me. I managed to see her once or twice a year, but only because I could drive to her. She still had two young children at home. We did lots of telephone conversations, though. :-)

 

My friendships have changed in character over the years as our children have come and gone. :-) A couple of years ago, someone I have known since 1977 took a road trip from San Diego to Texas and we were able to spend some time together like that.

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Most homeschooling parents would not be able to pull this off. I was only able to do this after my dds left home. One of my best friends lived in Sacramento, about 140 miles from me. I managed to see her once or twice a year, but only because I could drive to her. She still had two young children at home. We did lots of telephone conversations, though. :-)

 

My friendships have changed in character over the years as our children have come and gone. :-) A couple of years ago, someone I have known since 1977 took a road trip from San Diego to Texas and we were able to spend some time together like that.

:iagree:

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Dd13 and I are a package deal. We come as a team. There is no way I would embarrass her and ask her to walk off while I chit chatted, especially if there was nothing else for her to do. She is at the age where adult conversations interest her. She does not always participate, but she listens.

 

Likewise, I would be offended if she asked me to leave while she was chit chatting with one of her friends. Again, I do not always participate in the conversation, but I nod and smile.

 

To me, 13 is such a delicate age emotionally. And I want DD to learn to respect me when her friends are around. Therefore, I want to model my behavior accordingly.

 

In regards to leaving DD13 behind and running off on a mom date, that won't happen unless one catches me while DD is at dance. She does not stay by herself yet.

 

I am sorry you cannot get some personal friend time, but I can also see how the logistics might be impossible, at least impractical, for your friend.

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Dd13 and I are a package deal. We come as a team. There is no way I would embarrass her and ask her to walk off while I chit chatted, especially if there was nothing else for her to do. She is at the age where adult conversations interest her. She does not always participate, but she listens.

 

Likewise, I would be offended if she asked me to leave while she was chit chatting with one of her friends. Again, I do not always participate in the conversation, but I nod and smile.

 

To me, 13 is such a delicate age emotionally. And I want DD to learn to respect me when her friends are around. Therefore, I want to model my behavior accordingly.

 

In regards to leaving DD13 behind and running off on a mom date, that won't happen unless one catches me while DD is at dance. She does not stay by herself yet.

 

I am sorry you cannot get some personal friend time, but I can also see how the logistics might be impossible, at least impractical, for your friend.

I am surprised that at 13yo you wouldn't let your dd have a private conversation with a friend.  What if she had something private she wanted to talk to another 13yo about and didn't want to say in front of you. Idle chit chat about boys, or friends, or parents, or the things that are important to 13yo girls. I wonder why you feel it is important for her to skip past all of the conversations of her peers and only hear adult conversations? I promise you that even if you daughter is used to you being around 24/7 the other kids will not be, and they will not talk to your daughter the same if you are there, and most likely will avoid talking to your daughter if her parent is sitting there listening and contributing to Every conversation. You are right, being 13 is a delicate age, but expecting her skip past being a teen, isn't going make it easier.

 

I am curious at what age you feel your daughter would be old enough to be without constant adult supervision and complete conversation oversight? 

 

I guess your daughter is a very young 13yo?  I am used to the teens my daughter goes to private Christian school with so maybe I am used to something different.

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I am surprised that at 13yo you wouldn't let your dd have a private conversation with a friend.  What if she had something private she wanted to talk to another 13yo about and didn't want to say in front of you. Idle chit chat about boys, or friends, or parents, or the things that are important to 13yo girls. I wonder why you feel it is important for her to skip past all of the conversations of her peers and only hear adult conversations? I promise you that even if you daughter is used to you being around 24/7 the other kids will not be, and they will not talk to your daughter the same if you are there, and most likely will avoid talking to your daughter if her parent is sitting there listening and contributing to Every conversation. You are right, being 13 is a delicate age, but expecting her skip past being a teen, isn't going make it easier.

 

I am curious at what age you feel your daughter would be old enough to be without constant adult supervision and complete conversation oversight? 

 

I guess your daughter is a very young 13yo?  I am used to the teens my daughter goes to private Christian school with so maybe I am used to something different.

I don't get this either. I cannot imagine NEVER taking time away from your kids and I've always been a very AP, kids on my hip mom. I have to say I don't think it is emotionally good for a mom to never have personal time, I barely get any myself and I don't see that as a positive thing for me or my kids.  I think it is a good thing to let kids know that sometimes you need some time to yourself and I encourage this- I think it is a healthy thing, I don't understand how that is rude. My kids like time to their self as well, one doesn't have to be rude about it.

 

Also, I've taken them to places where my own interactions were limited- and I can only see that this will increase as they will get older I don't find it in anyway selfish to ask them to do the same for me occasionally, "Hey kiddo I'd like to spend some personal time with my friend, would you like to watch a movie, bring a friend along or do xyz while we chatted." 

 

Instead we are supposed to wait until our kids graduate to have personal time. I'm not cool with waiting until then to have friendships. I don't want to be that depressed mom when her kids are leaving home whose whole life has been my kids.

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This has really become a fascinating thread about the different parenting philosophies.   I can't imagine being uncomfortable telling my children "Mrs X and I need to talk now, please go [downstairs, to your rooms, whatever] for a while."  Of course when I am planning to have another mom over to talk I prepare my kids and they know what to expect and how to spend their time.  Of course I would never tell someone visiting my home that their child was not welcome in the conversation!   But I think I would end up naturally limiting my visits to a friend whose kids were always around.

 

To me there is a difference between a family visit in which everyone pretty much hangs out together or splits into little groups naturally, and a visit between adults at which kids happen to be present out of necessity. (I know homeschooling mothers in particular sometimes have no alternative than to take their kids everywhere they go.)  This has nothing to do with a parent's enjoyment of their children and desire to spend time with them.  Constant togetherness is not necessarily a good thing.

 

ETA:  I've been trying to think back to my childhood and how my mother handled this.  Of course I was in school all day so if she had a friend over for coffee I would not have been there.   It seems that overall, though, families now tend to be more child-centered in their practices than when I was a kid  --> basis for this statement is my own experience and talking to women of my and previous generations. 

 

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Dd13 and I are a package deal. We come as a team. There is no way I would embarrass her and ask her to walk off while I chit chatted, especially if there was nothing else for her to do. She is at the age where adult conversations interest her. She does not always participate, but she listens.

 

Likewise, I would be offended if she asked me to leave while she was chit chatting with one of her friends. Again, I do not always participate in the conversation, but I nod and smile.

 

To me, 13 is such a delicate age emotionally. And I want DD to learn to respect me when her friends are around. Therefore, I want to model my behavior accordingly.

 

In regards to leaving DD13 behind and running off on a mom date, that won't happen unless one catches me while DD is at dance. She does not stay by herself yet.

 

I am sorry you cannot get some personal friend time, but I can also see how the logistics might be impossible, at least impractical, for your friend.

 

I don't get why would a mother be offended if her teenage DD wanted to have some privacy with her friends. What would you say and do if your DD asked for some private time? Is she allowed to spend time with her friends in her room without you?

 

I also don't get the statement that you want DD to "learn to respect you when her friends are around." Does this mean she currently doesn't respect  you when her friends are around?

 

Maybe I read your post differently from what you meant. Maybe you are one of those really cool, fun moms and DD's friends gravitate towards you and they all seek your company but then they do get their private time as well. :D This is actually quite awesome.

 

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Dd13 and I are a package deal. We come as a team. There is no way I would embarrass her and ask her to walk off while I chit chatted, especially if there was nothing else for her to do. She is at the age where adult conversations interest her. She does not always participate, but she listens.

 

Likewise, I would be offended if she asked me to leave while she was chit chatting with one of her friends. Again, I do not always participate in the conversation, but I nod and smile.

 

To me, 13 is such a delicate age emotionally. And I want DD to learn to respect me when her friends are around. Therefore, I want to model my behavior accordingly.

 

In regards to leaving DD13 behind and running off on a mom date, that won't happen unless one catches me while DD is at dance. She does not stay by herself yet.

 

I am sorry you cannot get some personal friend time, but I can also see how the logistics might be impossible, at least impractical, for your friend.

 

I guess I see this the opposite of the way you do.  I think it shows respect for someone to let them be alone with their friend(s).  I wouldn't expect my kids to rudely tell me to leave the room when their friends are around.  As the adult, I should know that two teen girls would like to talk on their own - just as I'd like to talk to my friends on my own.  So I'd exchange greetings with her friend and go about my business.   That teaches them that I respect their time with friends, and, by extension (I hope) how to treat me when I have a friend over.

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I guess I see this the opposite of the way you do.  I think it shows respect for someone to let them be alone with their friend(s).  I wouldn't expect my kids to rudely tell me to leave the room when their friends are around.  As the adult, I should know that two teen girls would like to talk on their own - just as I'd like to talk to my friends on my own.  So I'd exchange greetings with her friend and go about my business.   That teaches them that I respect their time with friends, and, by extension (I hope) how to treat me when I have a friend over.

 

I am more of your viewpoint.  I have a friend that I have lost a lot of contact with.  When I would go to her house with my 2 girls, my girls and 3 of her 4 kids would go play and one child, her oldest dd (who was younger than my girls) always wanted to sit and hang with us and hear everything we had to say.

 

I am of the mindset that not everything I talk about with my friends needs to be overheard by my kids.  This friend was adopting through foster care and some details I don't think her dd needed to know at that age.....stuff about the kids early history, etc.

 

When I go horseback riding with a different friend we sometimes take the kids along and sometimes not.  Our conversations are very different if the kids are along or not.  We used to be able to speak in some code but now that the kids are all older that doesn't work.  She is a doctor and sometimes we talk about her work (not patients but more her work in general) and then when her brother died recently at age 46 we talked about that some..........both times they were just things that we didn't feel the kids needed to hear all of the details.

 

We don't exclude the kids and often have them with us but sometimes it is nice to just have adult conversation.

 

Last night I meet with another friend (widow of the brother of friend above) and we chatted for a while about church stuff, how she was doing with the major changes in her life, pressures on her as a young widow, etc.  These are just things that she wouldn't want to talk openly about with her young adult son and teenage daughter there.  I am sure she is very open with them but sometimes talking with a friend is just different.

 

Maybe OP could go to her friend's house and then the dd could just be in her room, watching TV, working on a project, etc. so they would have some sorta alone time.

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The more I read of this thread, the more I can't help but think that it really doesn't matter what we think about Alicia's friend bringing her dd with her when they get together. It doesn't even matter what Alicia thinks about it if her friend isn't flexible about it.

 

Ultimately, it seems to me that if Alicia doesn't want to spend her visits with the friend's dd, it's probably time for Alicia to make a new friend.

 

I don't mean that in a snarky way. It's just reality. At some point in the future, Alicia's current friend will have more time to herself and it might be more convenient for the two of them to meet without their kids, but it's pretty clear that it's not going to happen now, so if Alicia wants to spend time alone with an adult friend, she may need to find another woman who is more likeminded and who wants some time away from her kids.

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I just wanted to say that when I have a friend over at my house, I consider them to be visiting all the people in my house - including my children. So my children have been taught from a young age to engage with adult visitors, to greet them and to engage in some conversation with them. If we are having interesting conversation about issues (not personal issues or gossip) then often my 16 year old wants to join in because those issues are interesting to him as well. There are times when someone will come over and will want to share more personal issues. I will take a moment in private (for example while we are getting some tea together to take out to my visitor) to explain that to my children and they will find something else to do. But for a general visit? No, I don't ask them to scram. If our conversation is boring, though, then my kids will wander off to do other things on their own. I grew up with this idea of a family visitor, though and was never asked to leave the adults alone. I was taught to not monopolize the conversation (as I teach my children as well) and to listen and I found listening to be very instrumental in my own growing up process.

I just want to comment that I too operate this way when visitors come. Ds13 is expected to be a good host, make eye contact, make small talk etc. He certainly isn't expected to go away every time a visitor shows up! But if the adults have more private things to discuss I have no trouble asking him to go find something to do. Not rudely...but in a hey ds we need some adult time kind of way.

 

Nothing worse than being around teens who won't even make eye contact with the adults.

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I think one of the hard things about homeschooling is the kids being around all the time :lol:.   I'm the mother of an only, she's only 10, but it's gotten very hard to just meet people at a playground and tell her to go "bugger off".   We can't just go to a playground and have her find someone to play with anymore.  I can't let her wander around the mall, and I can't go to a coffeeshop with her and ignore her while I talk to my friend.  

 

I used to have a friend with an only the same age as my only, and we were able to have them play together while we talked.   We would literally shoo them away because we wanted to talk privately.   Or, we would bring them somewhere and chat while they did the activity.  It worked out great while it lasted.   But, I have had friends that wanted their kids around constantly and didn't seem to understand that I brought my kid over to play with their kids and to get some private Mom talk with them.   It got very annoying.   Now I have friends with kids of different ages, and it's difficult.   It's just hard to have relationships when you homeschool.

 

I guess you either need to stop trying to be friends with her or have a very gentle but frank discussion with her.  I would just tell her that you would love to have an opportunity to talk with just her, and you would be willing to either go to her house (so her DD can do something else at her own house) or meet her at night.  Those seem like they only options if you want to try to still be friends with her.  I have no idea if she would be offended by that conversation or not.   But, if she's the type of person who wants to be around her kid all the time then you guys aren't a good fit anyway right now.

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