Always inviting friends over and never reciprocated

(14 Posts)
sarahdotsarah Wed 26-Feb-14 15:22:33

Daughter is 12, only child. It's always been the case at Primary school that we always had friends back for tea, I would be the one arranging for friends to come round at weekends and have sleepovers. It was not really reciprocated back then, I assumed it was because parents were too busy with their young kids and the siblings keeping each other company was easier than having mine over to play as well. I never wanted to believe they thought I was after their kid's company as we only had one child. Now I'm not so sure. Now she is at secondary school and it has continued. She is popular and has lots of friends, some who live close by. But again, she never seems to be invited to their houses. In my mind it should be simple parenttal good manners that if your kid gets invited to tea, you invite back. Even the following month would be OK, but nothing. We are a good family, both work, nice house, they always seem to have fun, but I don't get it. I worry that we are too keen and should hold back on inviting to our house, but she needs her friends. It's only mybe once a fortnight she arranges for someone to come over - not every day. Has anyone else felt like this. Daughter does not think like this and I have not discussed with her, Hubby thinks I'm paranoid. any other mums feel this way?

defineme Wed 26-Feb-14 15:29:57

So she never went to anyones for tea when she was at primary?

My dd is in year 4 now and it seems to be changing towards a more relaxed/impromptu thing where they approach me at home time and ask if she can go there or they can come to us.
It's certainly less taking in turns now than it it used to be when mums arranged it formally.
Now my ds is 11 he just goes and calls on children or they call for him. There's absolutely no 'tit for tat' returning of invites now he's in secondary school because I don't know any of the parents!.
Did she get invites to parties in primary?
As they get older and parties etc get smaller they do get fewer invites.
Is she perhaps the type who's friends with everyone and then doesn't have a particular friend?
Has the move to secondary resulted in a change in friendships and she hasn't formed close bonds yet?

mercibucket Wed 26-Feb-14 15:49:25

at age 12 this is for her and her friends to negotiate between themselves, but does this mean she only socialises out of school hours once every 2 weeks? does she talk about friends much?

We found a similar mismatch when DS was at primary school - but I simply decided that I wanted him to have friends over, so we kept on inviting whether or not there were reciprocal invitations.

At secondary, it's much more something they arrange for themselves, and many parents have zero involvement. Since 12yo don't always think of being 'polite' they may or may not think to invite her back.

So long as she is seeing friends, I don't think you should worry about it, just let her know it is fine to invite as often as it suits her (homework permitting). If you think she's missing out, then try to get her into Guides, or a sports club, or anything else she's interested in.

Blueberrymuffint0p Fri 04-Apr-14 13:00:32

My mum warned me of this when ds started school in september. I have a dsis but my mum always made a big effort to allow my friends around to play, she said people just can't be bothered with the hassle of it.

So far we've had 4 of ds' s friends around for tea at various times and the mums always say 'x will have to come to ours for tea next time' but the invite has never materialised.

Misfitless Fri 04-Apr-14 15:14:03

I've been in both situations, both with an only (till DC was nearly 9,) and then subsequently with other children.

I don't think it's personal when mine aren't invited back, and it certainly isn't personal when I never quite get around to arranging their friend to come back here.

It's quite straight forward to arrange when you have one, as I remember. With more than one, though, once they reach a certain age, you have to take into account whose homework is due in on which day, and when it needs to be done, and which clubs each of them are at on which days, plus which evenings me/DH are out.

I've been outside school holding (what feel like a hundred coats and bags, with a toddler crying) trying desperately to remember which of the days this/next week we could have somebody round. I've been known to arrange it, only to have to phone back that evening because I'm having to take all of mine to a school sport event, on the day I've just invited someone to come for tea blush.

Needless to say, this never happened when I had just one, but I did used to be on the receiving end of this, and still am sometimes.

I would second the idea of getting them to join some clubs midweek and/or at weekends. Then it's all sort of done for you, without the hassle, and then you can sit back and put your feet up smile

Misfitless Fri 04-Apr-14 15:16:32

Oh yeh, the OP's daughter is 12, I forgot that!

Mmm, just thinking back to when my DD was twelve..I don't think by that age she really had people round for tea as such, they just used to have sleepovers at the weekend. Maybe just do that, if it hasn't already been suggested. x

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 04-Apr-14 15:23:59

I wouldn't stress too much OP, I would stop with the invites and encourage DD to perhaps organise her own trips with friends. Something like the cinema, where you can take them and her friends parent can bring them home was the done thing. I didn't really have friends over for tea as a pre-teen only once I hit secondary school.

It's a bit of an odd time anyway. I'd just let her be rather than trying to promote organised fun, when she's 15/16 she'll probably be a social butterfly and bussing it to places herself. A lot of my friends, even onlies, were hermits for a couple of years growing up. Didn't do us any harm grin

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 04-Apr-14 15:25:34

Forgot to ask, but do you know the parents though?

If you don't, there might be younger siblings, health problems or night shifts getting in the way of reciprocating?

Misfitless Sat 05-Apr-14 08:01:38

Also, if not already, then soon, your DD will be old enough to arrange to meet her friends 'in town' just to hang out, go window shopping, or for lunch.

I remember thinking it felt strange when my DD moved up to high school, that shift from the parents arranging things to them dealing with it all themselves.

My dd had a few friendship struggles in Y7, and shifted friendship groups a fair bit, which I think is normal as they're working out where they fit in with a whole bunch of new people.

FloozeyLoozey Sat 05-Apr-14 08:18:38

Ds is eight and only child and not a single playdate has ever been reciprocated! This despite the kids enjoying playing with my son bon the parents promising to have ds very soon but they never do. I've given up expecting it back now!

peekandboo Thu 17-Apr-14 20:44:19

Hi, on the flip side my ds age 5 is always getting invited to friends houses. He loves attending but it's never reciprocated just because I am a single mum I live quite far from the school and the 'expensive' area it is in. We live in a one bed so I sleep in the living room it's not very spacious or ideal for having his friends over. We spend as much time out of the house as possible lol so invite children for lots of play dates to the park/museums/theatre/local farm/cinema/softplay etc but to our house never. Maybe their family circumstances make it hard for them to invite x

plecofjustice Tue 06-May-14 21:38:48

Also does she want people back? I was always very social, but never really wanted others in my own space - home was for me, outside was for friends.

vikky4 Sun 11-May-14 18:09:39

I have found exactly the same thing - that play date invites don't tend to get reciprocated. I have an 8 year old, only child, so I often invite his friends round to play. I also think it's basic etiquette to invite back. But on the other hand I guess there is no obligation - I invite because I want to, so my son has someone to play with, whereas his friends mum doesn't feel the need so much - having a larger family I guess they are more self-contained

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