DSD seeing her friends(13 Posts)
Thanks so much everyone.
I intend to have a chat with DSD and DP about it when she comes over this weekend. And I certainly won't stand in the way if she gets invited to see friends on 'our' weekends - I'll just make sure they all get plenty of invitations to spend time with us as well!
I would love to extend the weekends, or to have her for a night during the week, but our commutes and her homework regime make it really difficult. We've put our minds to that before. However, her mother is perfectly happy for us to have her for a week at a time during the holidays so that's real progress and certainly makes it feel like we have good family time together.
And Hully - what a relief! I hadn't thought of it that way
could the weekends be extended to 3 nights to and from school?
Those other parents will kneel down and weep with gratitude. Fear not.
I agree with the general advice that you can't load her mum's weekend with all the sleepovers... But as a parent I would be thrilled that someone else was hosting the sleepovers and I didn't have to reciprocate!!! So I wd just explain to the parents that there is no need to do so. Their dds may want to - and your dsd might prefer to go to friends' houses sometimes but it may not be as often as you fear.
We only get my DSD one weekend day a week with no overnight stays. She is almost 15 and the last few months she has been less regularly, as inevitably she gets invited by her friends to do other things at the weekend.
My DH and I both saw this coming and we're happy for her to feel that she can accept invitations when she's supposed to be with us, we would never want her to feel forced into coming to us if she had a better offer!
From about age 13 onwards we hardly ever saw DSD without a friend as well! We were in a similar situation to you in that we lived too far away from her.
We did miss a couple of weekends, but actually DSD herself realised that she'd prefer to be with her friends and us. One weekend I had 5 hormone riddled 14 years old running rampant!
I was always flexible, and I think that helped. I was honest with DSD, told her that I missed her when she wasn't here, and that I'd rather 'share her' with her friends rather than not see her at all. She 'got' that, and I got used to seeing her as part of a pair (and DD actually refers to DSDs best friend as her 'other' sister she saw her so much!)
We were lucky though in that despite the relationship between us and DSDs mum being bad, DH was good friends with DSDs best friends parents (confused yet?) and they understood how awkward it was for us.
The problem is, there are only 4 weekend days out of every 14. 2 of those DSD is with you and therefore only 2 of those she is with her mum. She may be there weekdays but lets face it, how much quality time can you have with a teenager during the school week? They are at school all day plus time getting to and from school and then loads of homework most evenings.
I think you should let her arrange sleepovers sometimes but also ask her to arrange some on the weekends she is with her mum. Perhaps your partner can discuss this with DSD's mum and come to some kind of agreement about it?
Can she come more often? Perhaps a night during the week and travel to and from school to your house? Or if it's too far do it on a day you or your partner can drive and collect her / drop her of the next morning.
I think she should be able to go on sleepovers on access weekends.
Please be glad that she wants to spend time with her friends at weekends and facilitate this. The alternative is not good, trust me.
I do think it's a bit off to be organising this and then not wanting the reciprocal sleepover to be on one of your weekends with her. If I were her mum I'd not be happy with someone else influencing what can happen on my weekends - I have loads of things to do with dd at weekends and only have every other that we can do them.
Hi op first up you sound like a lovely step mum .
My step son also lives over a hour from us but I must admit he never had friends come and stay as he seemed to just want that time for his dad and me . However once he hit 15. ( now 19) he was allowed to decide how often he came to us due to wanting to spend time with friends so we then didn't see him as much. I think what your doing is great and I'm sure the other parents will understand your need to have contact every 2 weeks .
I think you know the answer, and yes you do need to let her go some of the time, at least. To never allow her to go back in the weekends when she's at yours would mean:
a) the freinds may not continue to make the effort to come over to yours
b) she may miss out on things that can't be moved to the other weekends (eg because other people are involved to)
c) she'll see very little of her mum at weekends if she's always off at sleepovers, which isn't really fair either.
It's a bit different with my DSC as they come every weekend (so obviously most sleepovers, etc happen on nights they're with us) but my own DCs go to their dad's alternate weekends. I do pass on requests to him if they come up at times when he has them, and expect him to let the DCs go if possible. As the parent with main care it can get difficult to fit everything you need to do just into half the weekends (buying clothes/shoes, fixing bikes, sorting out bedrooms, homework, hobbies) If all their social life has to happen just in these weekends too, then either they don't get much social life, or I'd get very little quality time with them.
Not to say you can't put some sort of limit on it - eg not having sleepovers every weekend. And well worth asking her. In my experience there are two types of sleepovers - big groups all together (when the date is fixed) and one to ones, when you are more able to negotiate with the other parent the best date.
Are she and her friends able to get to your house by public transport? Might be worth getting her used to that if possible to save all the driving you'll otherwise have to do if she starts wanting to see friends more often.
I think that's something that needs to be sorted out between her and her father, as he may feel differently, and all you have talked about is the way you feel about it. I'm afraid you don't have a right to her time.
I'd appreciate your advice, even though it seems like a fairly trivial question. My DSD is 13 and comes to stay with us every other weekend. We live just over an hour's drive away from her mum's house, and from where her friends are.
I feel it is important for her to be able to see her friends, and I have encouraged friends to come and stay over when she is with us (something which my DP had never arranged before I came on the scene).
Now that we've had her friends over a few times, they've stayed over and it's all gone really well, the natural consequence is that she is being invited back to spend time at their houses. If she lived with us all the time, I would see no complication, but as it is, I find that I would prefer her to stay at her friends' houses on the weekends when we don't have her. As we only have her for two nights out of every 14, our time with her is too precious to give up!
Is it OK for me to ask her friends' parents to let their children continue coming to stay with us, without me returning the favour, as it were? Or should I treat her as though she lives here all the time, and arrange for her to spend a day or night at her friends' hosues every so often?
I fear that I am answering my own question, and that this is all part of the process of letting go and allowing her to be independent. I also realise that I can answer this question by asking the one person who can tell me what she would prefer - DSD! But your views and any experiences would be good to hear.
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