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How to tell a friend that we don't want to go on holiday with them?

(53 Posts)
MyballsareSandy Tue 17-Jun-14 07:49:00

For the last 7 years or so we have spent a weekend away in the summer with friends and their kids, similar age. My two have gradually grown apart from hers, do very little together now unless instigated by parents.

Last night DD1 said she didn't want to go away with them, they have nothing in common. I feel it's two or three nights out of a whole year and we still should go. DD2 not bothered either way. DH agrees with DD1 as he's always found the other kids hard work. Kids are early teens. But how on earth do I broach this with my friend, she's so lovely.

Goldmandra Tue 17-Jun-14 08:34:52

I think you should ask your DD to grin and bear it for the sake of everyone else and she'll probably find that she enjoys it after all.

It must be hard for your friend's DD if she struggles with friendships and she's probably really looking forward to a weekend where she will feel included for once.

Learning to put on a smile and be pleasant for a couple of days will do your DD good - these are important life skills and she'll probably make some other friends there too as children usually do on campsites.

Your DH will probably find the other children less hard work now as early teens have less and less to do with their parents at times like this.

The children will probably rub along together fine and the adults will be able to spend the weekend catching up and relaxing if you do go.

If it was a major two week holiday that would be different but it's a weekend. She'll cope.

TheTerribleBaroness Tue 17-Jun-14 08:34:58

Came on to say the same as the other posters. You want to go camping with the parents as they are friends of yours. The DCs on both sides come along too as the family comes as a package.
It's no different to visiting your husband's friends or family who you may not click with. You still go and socialise and be polite.
It's only one weekend, and surely your children will be able to wander off and do there own thing, or stay with you, for parts of it anyway.

How old are the children exactly?

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Tue 17-Jun-14 08:35:26

And actually, when I was a child we used to go away for a long weekend camping with friends of my parents every summer. I didn't particularly get on with their kids and didn't want to go (and I am sure they felt the same). Something "clicked" one summer though, when we were about 13/14 - it poured with rain and we were all stuck in a tent playing cards for hours on end on the first day. It became fun, and as soon as the rain stopped we ran shrieking along the beach and in the sea. The rest of the weekend was great, as was the next year.

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 08:43:02

I asked DD(18) what she thought about this.

She agrees that it is only 2 days but these are going to feel like the longest two days of DD1's life doing shit all (DD's own words - I'm so proud!). DD1 will remember this forever!

When teenagers say they have nothing in common they mean it. Forcing a friendship isnt going to help things.

MyballsareSandy Tue 17-Jun-14 09:07:26

grin gnomedeplume. Thanks all, I completely agree that it's only a couple of days, that it's an important life skill to have to do things you don't particularly like at times. I said this last night to both DDs. And tried to get them to think of it from the other girls point of view, she will be looking forward to the weekend and would be hurt and upset if mine didn't go, particularly DD1 funnily enough.

My two are 13, so is friends daughter, met through primary school, but at different secondaries now.

eddielizzard Tue 17-Jun-14 09:14:18

i would probably go and see how it pans out. if it really is a disaster then say something soon after to your friend so she's not expecting it next year.

i would also make sure your two bring along stuff that they want to do.

sunbathe Tue 17-Jun-14 09:15:34

I wouldn't go. Can't think of much worse than forcing someone else to do what you want to do, tbh.

thegreylady Tue 17-Jun-14 09:19:12

I think you should go. It is a weekend not a fortnight. The other mum and her dd would be incredibly hurt if they knew why you didn't want to go.

BravePotato Tue 17-Jun-14 09:25:54

I think ....just go, that's what I would do.

My kids don't have a say in everything, sometimes they have to fit in with my wishes.

BravePotato Tue 17-Jun-14 09:27:20

No need to force friendships, just let them get on...or not, they can bring books/i-pods etc.

Kids, at any age, should not be "forced" to be friends.

But should learn how to behave civilly around others, for the sake of their mum.

pictish Tue 17-Jun-14 09:29:04

OP I said what I did because I am in a similar situation....camping trip planned with friends whose son my son isn't all that enamoured with. He is nearly 13 too.
Tough luck my son. The world doesn't revolve around you!

OddFodd Tue 17-Jun-14 09:34:49

Yes I think you should go because I think it's a very good lesson for children to learn that sometimes they have to do things they don't really want to but that politeness and kindness go a long way.

It's one weekend in a whole year - not like you're seeing one another every single weekend

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 09:39:05

I wouldnt make my DCs go.

I was the awkward teenager with few friends. Having people forced to be friends with me would have been totally humiliating. Not only does it reinforce the fact that you dont have a lot (or any) friends it also makes it obvious that your mum has been telling other people about it.

sunbathe Tue 17-Jun-14 09:42:39

You say her dc struggles with friends. Maybe she doesn't want this forced friendship with your dd1 either?

She must be aware that dd1 isn't that into her?

OddFodd Tue 17-Jun-14 09:43:27

Is that the same thing though Gnome? When I was a kid, my parents used to go sailing almost every single sunny weekend through the summer with their friends. I didn't especially get on with the kids (although we'd been very close when we were younger) but we just sucked it up. It wasn't about forcing friendships; it was about my parents wanting to do something and us having to go along with it. This situation sounds more like that

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 09:53:47

Well the way OP has been pitching this has been about the families getting together, the friend's DD looking forward to it (allegedly) and about the friend trying to keep it going for her DD.

pictish Tue 17-Jun-14 10:22:07

Agreed oddfodd.

Goldmandra Tue 17-Jun-14 10:29:58

This isn't about forcing friendships. A friendship is not two days a year in the same camp site!

This is about learning to get on with others with whom you may not have a lot in common and finding ways to make the best of a situation that isn't your ideal.

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 11:51:50

Maybe Goldmandra but there is also something to be said for parents realising that teenagers arent stretched toddlers. Their opinions can also be perfectly valid.

DH and I both have much experience of parents forcing us to attend social events which were all about them making a show of the the whole family being there. I dont think that going to these events because parents wanted us to be friends with relative strangers made us better human beings.

With our own DCs we have taken the view that as they are teenagers they can make their own choices and live with the consequences. We make clear what those consequences are (people being hurt etc) but let them make the decision.

At the end of the day it is each to their own.

Swoosg Tue 17-Jun-14 11:56:16

Agree with brave potato - just go, but let them take books etc. And maybe be prepared to do more activities together, like board games, ball games etc, to take the pressure off your dc.

We have the same issue with various friends. Have decided that I can't drop friends because dd1 is bored with their dc or whatever, though I do see them less often.

BackforGood Tue 17-Jun-14 12:17:13

I wouldn't go either - just say that

"now the dc are all at different secondaries, the 'going away together' seems to have run it's course - do you fancy just going away 'just the Mums' with no dc to worry about?"

You are stating a fact about the not going away as families, but are offering an alternative option which she can then accept or not.

Goldmandra Tue 17-Jun-14 12:35:14

I dont think that going to these events because parents wanted us to be friends with relative strangers made us better human beings.

Nobody is suggesting that the children have to be friends or that they are treated like toddlers. In fact, expecting them to behave in a civilised manner and make the best of a situation not necessarily of their choosing is treating them more like adults.

13YOs can and should be left to make their own choices to a reasonable extent once there. I wouldn't be whipping my DD's book away and telling her to go and play with her friend. I'd just expect her to be cooperative and civil enough about being there to allow others to enjoy the experience because that's an important life skill.

I'd also be aware that 13YOs are very capable of making a drama out of not wanting to go, moaning and wailing about how the whole experience would be torture, and then end up having great time.

MaryWestmacott Tue 17-Jun-14 12:52:27

OP - I would say leave it, sulky teenagers are hell, not set for a good weekend!

Why not tell your friend that this year, you've got a lot on, DH has to do a lot of extra work at weekends and you're not sure you can spare the time for a full weekend with both DCs and DH at a weekend, but you're pretty sure you can arrange a day out with just her if DH can drop the DCs at their things then get on with work, and wouldn't it be lovely to do something just the two of you...

SirChenjin Tue 17-Jun-14 12:59:51

Your DD is 13? Welcome to the wonderful world of holidaying with teeangers, where everything is met with a booorrrrrrrreeeeeddddddddddddddd face and lots of moodiness and sulking unless everything is geared to them and their 'needs'.

I would tell her that she is going, and that she will need to think about what she takes with her as entertainment. Alternatively, she could think about how she could make the best of a less than ideal situation.

GnomeDePlume Tue 17-Jun-14 14:06:38

SirChenjin, not all teenagers are like that!

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