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or was I the only child in the world who was like this?

(53 Posts)
dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 09:53:28

Not a fred about a fred but inspired by another poster who mentioned her DSD finding holidays boring because she'd want to make friends not hang around with adults.

I remember people saying this to me as a child about holidays and things - "don't you want to make friends?". "Wouldn't you be happier with kids your own age".

The answer was always a resounding no! I had friends, quite a few, at school and locally. Did that mean that whereever I was, I would always want to choose any random other child to hang around with? Absolutely not!

I find it funny looking back because lots of the adults who would say such things would have rebounded in horror had anyone suggested they take part in any enforced socialising. I mean, if you said to someone "there are two other 35 year olds coming with us! I'm sure you'll have a great time with them" they would probably think you were bonkers. If I said to my great aunt - "there's another old age pensioner! Why don't you two go and make friends?" she'd think I was being a patronising git.

Now lots of children do enjoy the company of random other children, but lots don't. My neices and nephews (two only children, three sibs), for example, all seem to be quite like me. As a society, we tend to except it of adults, but not of children.

Why is this? Or was I, and are my DNs, just old before my time?

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 09:55:00

accept it.

wannabedomesticgoddess Fri 24-May-13 10:00:08

I used to hate this. Even when it was children I did know. I wasnt "cool" or good at sport or I didnt know what the games where that they were playing. I was old before my time.

I didnt fit in with kids and hated being told to go play.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 10:04:50

Although I have used the phrase "old before my time", I don't really like it, because I feel passionately now (and did then, though couldn't have articulated it like this) that there is more than one way of being a child, just like there is more than one way of being an adult. It didn't mean that I was a five year old moaning about a bad back or wanting to get a mortgage, I just wanted to be a child in my own way.

HeathRobinson Fri 24-May-13 10:05:43

I was like this. 2/3 of my kids are like this too.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Fri 24-May-13 10:11:35

I never did play with random other children on holiday and neither did my parents encourage it, but I think it might have been the types of holiday we went on (holiday cottages etc). I think I would have liked to have had more opportunities to meet other children.

WIth my own DCs I do encourage them to play with other children, we go camping quite a lot and there are usually lots of other children around. DD is a complete natural, she can make friends with other little girls in an instant and play for hours with them on campsites, parks etc. DS has Asperger's Syndrome and finds friendships a bit harder, at times I think I have been so paranoid that he is being left out that I have pushed him into playing out more than he wants to. When he goes off and plays with other children of his own accord he is very happy to do so, but sometimes when a child has been at the tent or our front door (there's a park opposite) asking him to come out and he doesn't want to I have probably pressured him too much. I realised this last summer and have decided to back off more now, maybe try a little persuasion but let him decide ultimately. I just worry that with the ones from school who call, if he doesn't go out they will stop asking, and then he complains that no one comes to play with him.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 24-May-13 10:14:13

YANBU! MY DS (Only child) much prefers the company of adults. When we go on holiday we try to encourage him to maybe go to the kids club, make friends or whatever and he done so a couple of times to humour us but he doesnt really like it, he would rather be with us.

I was a bit of both, loved adult company but equally loved being with other kids and always made loads of friends on holiday.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 10:19:49

Betty I remember that humouring the grown-ups! I remember thinking when I was nine or ten, I'll do three days at the kids club so they can go and do "their stuff" (which it was slowly dawning on me probably included rose wine and bonking) because they paid for the holiday, but I'll be damned if I'm doing it every day!

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 24-May-13 10:22:49

Dancing - we went to the Dominican and badgered DS to go into the kids club for the superhero lunch. He was 8 at the time and ended up sitting on a table with real little ones....the look on his face was hilarious as if to say "what the hell am I doing here" and that was the last time he dabbled with the kids club haha!!

Rose wine...yum smile

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 10:28:56

Betty I can imagine it. I remember pulling that face.

I mentioned this just now on the phone to my mother. She remembers when I was four or five and was interviewing an afterschool nanny/housekeeper. I was sitting at the kitchen table drawing while they chatted, and apparently the woman was saying why bringing her children with was her big selling point. "Kids love running around in a group and making a mess" etc. I apparently looked up and just said quietly "no they don't".

DorisShutt Fri 24-May-13 10:32:52

I hated "kids" stuff growing up. We didn't go to hotels very often, but I detested the kids meals, the enforced "fun" and the "lets all be friends just because our parents happen to have booked the same hotel".

Much preferred my parents company, but looking back and looking at DS now, I can see why they insisted some days! grin

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 24-May-13 10:33:07

I'm a firm believer in socialising only being fun if you enjoy it and given that its sole purpose is to be fun not much point if its not.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 24-May-13 10:35:34

I dunno, I love DS dearly but on holiday unless he is in the pool with me and DH pretending to be sharks for hours on end...........get's a bit tiresome and I am sure lots of kids would love to play that game :D

SixPackWellies Fri 24-May-13 10:38:06

I am with you also on this. I used to hate being told to go out and play. I would much have rathered spend my holidays reading, or just chilling, and doing it on MY terms, not on others.

Actually- this is a good reminder, as yesterday had a play date and I was trying to force DS to socialise more, when actually he was happy just running around looking at leaves. (he's 3)

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 24-May-13 10:41:16


It's okay if holidays are just family time, too.

cory Fri 24-May-13 10:41:39

Totally agree: it's funny how it never seems to apply to adults: nobody assumes that you will want to be taken to a hotel and dumped there and spend the whole time socialising with whatever other adults happen to be staying at the time. Of course there are plenty of things I prefer doing/can only do with other adults. But that doesn't mean any random adult will do.

ISpyPlumPie Fri 24-May-13 10:45:30

I was definitely like this. Had friends and enjoyed spending time with them, but if there was a group of children charging around I'd much rather have been chatting with the mums. Looking back bet they thought I was a right pain grin.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 24-May-13 10:48:36

I always wanted to make friends! I lived in the country, very few children in my village (yes it was very boring) It was awesome being able to do the playing out type stuff I had almost no experience of.

Chivetalking Fri 24-May-13 10:54:43

I have very,very fond memories of various holiday friends. I wasn't encouraged to find them but I'm sure my parents weren't sorry when I disappeared for hours on end grin

My own children have made friends and disappeared with them or not as it suited them. It never really occurred to me to send them off to do it officially though. Clearly missed a trick grin

limitedperiodonly Fri 24-May-13 11:03:17

I liked being with my parents best on holiday. Luckily they seemed to like me too grin

Lots of children like adult company but only some adults are mature enough to cope.

When I was about eight someone asked me if I liked school and naturally I thought he was interested in my opinion. Halfway though my detailed answer I realised it was just something some grown-ups said when they couldn't think of anything else.

MummytoMog Fri 24-May-13 11:44:17

I loathed this notion that I would have anything in common with other children - I very rarely did. Luckily I'm one of five, so generally could hang out with the sibs. Worst of all was hanging out with the children of my parents' colleagues. Seriously, we're the same age and gender so we MUST like each other? I still get updates on them now. I DON'T CARE.

This is why I am not that bothered when the teachers at DD's nursery go on about how she is self-contained and doesn't seem to want to play with the other children. Why should she? They're probably quite dull.

limitedperiodonly Fri 24-May-13 11:57:17

I was at a friend's birthday party aged about 10. I liked her and used to play with her and her brother quite a bit, but I didn't really like the other children. Didn't hate them but didn't have anything in common.

Her mum found me in the kitchen feeding and chatting to their cat. She was obviously worried about me and told my mum in nice way. My mum wasn't at all surprised or bothered.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 24-May-13 12:11:29

My mum still does this now!!! Last autumn I went to a funeral with my parents and at the wake/reception afterwards, Mum pointed at some people of roughly my age and said, "oh PBB, there are some people your age, go and talk to them". Blardy hell mother, I'm 43 stop telling me who to talk to.

manicinsomniac Fri 24-May-13 12:19:53

I always had my sister on holidays so didn't really need other children (plus we went to holidays cottages most of the time) but I do remeber making friends with other children on campsites sometimes and actually enjoying it. I think it happened naturally rather than being forced though. They were like holidays romances though - a little girl I met when I was about 7 and she was maybe 5 or 6 phoned me at home a few weeks after the holiday and it was hideously awkward. I had nothing at all to say to her really.

For my own children I feel it's important for them to make friends on holiday. They get on very well but they are 4.5 years apart in age and need different things. Also, we only ever go to Brazil, either to stay with friends or work with street children/in orphanages. The girls are half Brazilian but I am English. They will never meet their Dad and my Portuguese is good but by no means fluent so it is vital to me that they keep talking with other Brazilian natives. I want them to know my friends and their children and I want them to interact comfortably with the children who have nothing so they realise that those children are not a) inferior to them or b) scary.

I'd never thought of it as forcing them though. I hope they're happy to do it and I do like that they're mostly bilingual.

Viviennemary Fri 24-May-13 12:25:58

I found the summer holidays a bit too long though I still didn't want to go back to school when the time came. I had friends but seeing them so often they got on my nerves. And I suppose I must have got on their nerves too. grin I certainly didn't enjoy being in a large group of children. Awful!

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