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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?

Kungfutea Fri 24-May-13 12:57:55

Actually I think that rather than kids copying adult social behaviour, the world would be a much friendlier place if we copied the kids'. My 9 year old dd just walks up to another girl, asks if she likes gerbils (she does) and they're instant friends! I'm jealous!!

5Foot5 Fri 24-May-13 12:58:38

I always assumed it was an age thing. When I was younger we all (Mum, Dad, and my elder susters) holidayed with another family who had kids the same age as us. However, when I was about 8 my sisters had left school and didn't want to come away so it was just Mum, Dad and me. The first time that happened I did easily make friends with two children my age staying in the same place as us.

However, 2 or 3 years later there is no way that would have happened. I remember when I was about 12 my Mum was considering asking her widowed sister to come on holiday with us and was suggesting that it would be nice because me and my cousing would be company for each other. My cousin would have been about 16 by then and I can't recall ever having met her so I was quietly horrified. Fortunately it came to nothing, probably because my Dad was less quietly horrified at the prospect of spending a week with Mum's sister!

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 13:44:47

kungfu I don't thinkthstthat children should have to copy adult behaviour. It just annoys me that adults tend to assume all children are like your daughter, can be or even want to be. As a child I found the pressure to conform from other children and from adults to be quite unpleasant, particularly because it was self-evident to me from a fairly early age that adults aren'tunder that same pressure. Yes, it is expected that adults be polite and helpful, but not that they will want to do things with other adults because they were thrown together by chance.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Fri 24-May-13 13:46:53

I might start a campaign on behalf of reserved and anti-social children everywhere. "What do we want? To choose when we make friends. When do we want to do it? In our own time and as the mood takes us."

limitedperiodonly Fri 24-May-13 14:06:34

I couldn't support that. I've never been that much of a joiner.

SixPackWellies Fri 24-May-13 14:07:54

Love that campaign slogan dancing. grin

I was like this and so is ds2.

Dd can make friends within two minutes of entering a park, it's really odd to me as I was always quite wary of new kids, don't get me wrong... Id make friends on some holidays but not immediately and not with any old child!

TigerSwallowTail Fri 24-May-13 14:14:19

I was like this too OP, and I'd hate getting sent to a kids club on holidays too, despised it.

TigerSwallowTail Fri 24-May-13 14:15:11

"When do we want to do it? In our own time and as the mood takes us."


MummytoMog Fri 24-May-13 14:42:48

I will join and so will DD! DS and OH can feck off and be all socially indiscriminatory somewhere else smile

ChewingOnLifesGristle Fri 24-May-13 14:54:11

I was EXACTLY like you dancing. The idea of joing a kids club would have brought me out in a rash. I am an only child, may may not be relevant but I don't think I'd be any different even if I had had a bigger family tbh.

I'm the same now. I absolutley detest being 'organised' socially. I like my own company (introvert I suppose) and if I want to be around anyone else then I will be, but pushing the issue has the opposite effect on me.

Many peolpe don't get it though. Very social people feel almost compelled when the see someone Not Joining In to try and make them and that's esp the case when it's relating to children.

Curiously my dc are most enthusiastic joiner-inners and will happily go off and strike up friendships with whoever is around. They must take after dh.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Fri 24-May-13 14:57:05

Rofl at PostBellum'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.' grin

Kungfutea Sat 25-May-13 01:22:43

I agree with you abut the compulsion bit. My dd may be OUT going but she's not EASY going so she definitely wouldn't be happy about having to spend extended periods of time with the same children regardless of how well she knows them!

But I do still love the relative ease (compared with adults) that kids can make friends. I wish it were socially acceptable for adults to go up to someone, find out something in common, and then just offer to be friends smile

Startail Sat 25-May-13 01:52:03

I liked my own or adult company. My DSIS would play with other DCs.
Likewise DH and DSIL and DD1 and DD2, which leaves me wonder if younger siblings are always the more sociable.

Startail Sat 25-May-13 01:56:26

I liked my own or adult company. My DSIS would play with other DCs.
Likewise DH and DSIL and DD1 and DD2, which leaves me wonder if younger siblings are always the more sociable.

Startail Sat 25-May-13 01:57:31

sorry site is crashing and confusing me and my kindle

Spinkle Sat 25-May-13 05:52:47

Oh god my sister always somehow found a 'friend' but they'd always be, umm, slightly edgy sorts. Sorts who would smoke or drink when they were about 11. She's like a magnet!
I was the boring one, happy with a book. Parents insisted I go with her/them. I hated it and felt uncomfortable with them.

kickassangel Sat 25-May-13 06:09:41

Until about 12 or 13 I preferred a book. Then I became incredibly social and now I am getting older and grumpier and prefer some quiet time.

Dd has friends, gets in well with them, but hates being pushed into joining in things. She is fine if there's a purpose, but general run along and play isn't her thing. I have learnt to respect that, o thank you for this thread which makes me feel better as a parent. We live in he States and people don't get why I don't send her off to endless day camps.

mathanxiety Sat 25-May-13 06:37:21

One of my sisters used to adopt 'strays', for want of a better word. She cried and cried when told we couldn't have a little boy from across the road as our brother and that he had to stay in his own house with his own family. It got to the point where mum and dad actively discouraged making friends when we went away.

TheBirdsFellDownToDingADong Sat 25-May-13 06:46:20

My Mum used to put me out of the door and say "go and play" (there were about 5 other kids on our street that were my age) I would wait behind the wall, then sneak in the front door, up the stairs, grab a book and go and sit back behind the wall, reading.

I don't like people very much.

I am however, happy that dd is the polar opposite. While she is happy to play on her own, and read etc, she is also mega sociable and likes nothing more than being in a big group of friends.

DontmindifIdo Sun 26-May-13 20:03:36

I wasn't really keen on making lots of random friends on holidays, but then my parents also did the holiday cottage thing so there was at best one other family to play with - but then DB and I are close in age so we had someone to play with already IYSWIM - I used to hate that other parents seemed to want to force us to play with their DCs.

trinity0097 Sun 26-May-13 20:28:21

I rarely saw any children in the school holidays, as I went to a boarding school and they lived all over the world, my best friends lived in along Kong and Germany and I lived in Swanage! I just accepted it as what happened, I got to live with my friends 24/7 term time, so to be honest it was nice to get a break from each other!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 26-May-13 20:52:07

I was the same OP. I remember one caravan holiday with just my parents because my siblings were older, a girl came knocking on our door...with tennis raquets in tow..."Wanna come play tennis?" and I was all hmm

Parents made me go though!

Trills Sun 26-May-13 21:02:29

Sounds like this is an introvert/extrovert thing.

Not in terms of being friendly or liking people, but in terms of how much "time with people" is your "correct amount".

Everyone has a point below which they feel lonely, and a point above which they need some quiet time.

Some people's "happy range" is wide, other people's happy range is narrow.

If you rarely get lonely and find it easy to have had "too much people-time" then you are very unlikely to find it rewarding to go and spend time with random other humans. You only want your time-with-people to be with specific people that you have chosen.

If you easily get lonely and want to spend time with people as much as possible, then making friends with randoms will fulfil that need.

TheSmallClanger Sun 26-May-13 21:47:57

I was in the middle, really. I didn't like organised children's activities, but I did strike up some good (and occasionally lasting) friendships with other children on holiday. Mostly, ones who were staying in the same hotel, not ones we met on the beach.

DD is quite similar. She will sometimes become friendly with other children/teens, and sometimes won't, and prefers being around DH and me. She also has an affinity with certain older ladies and has occasionally been found chatting knitting and dogs with people's grannies.

Actually, come to think of it, I went through quite a long phase of having some "odd" friends, some of whom were adults, like a lady pig farmer from up the road and her son, who was a bit younger than me and didn't go to school. They had been a circus family and told fantastic stories, which I now believe to be mostly made up.

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