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To think this was strange behaviour from this 17 year old? Or maybe it's normal you tell me.

(58 Posts)
Flamingo1980 Mon 16-May-16 21:46:13

I had a bit of an odd experience this week. I went to meet my colleagues daughter as they are local and she wanted some childminding work with my daughter.
The girl is 17. I took my daughter to their house and knocked on the door. My colleague answered the door and greeted me in a friendly lovely way. She's really nice, down to earth woman, I really like her.
Then her daughter steps forward and we are introduced and shake hands. All fine. Then, her daughter then looks at her mum, throws her arms around her neck and gives her a long, clingy, hug. Erm. Okay. Then my friend's husband arrives and we are introduced. He seems nice. Daughter then throws her arms around his neck, more hugging and cuddling and embracing ensues. I have been there less than two minutes at this point.
We go into the kitchen and make small talk about the weather and her house for a bit as you do. And the daughter continues with the hugs and embraces at around 5-10 minute intervals. Doesn't pay that much attention to my daughter.
Now, I'm no expert, and I hardly came from a normal balanced amazing family, but is that much affection required by most 17 years old girls from her parents? In front of a total stranger? Who is potentially wanting her to be in charge of their child?
And mostly, WHY? Why would a 17 year old girl be doing that? I was there for about two hours and it reduced but didn't stop. She just hovered around her parents mostly and kept up some sort of physical contact.
I might add I will not be requiring her to look after my child I'm not sure she's... Mature enough? Grownup enough? Independent enough?!?
What's going on here do you think? Or is that totally normal and am I over reacting?

katemiddletonsnudeheels Mon 16-May-16 21:47:59

It's not normal, but it's coming from somewhere. I do think some families are just naturally more tactile than others although this sounds like a v extreme case!

FeckinCrutches Mon 16-May-16 21:49:39

Not normal. Not sure what's going on though!

toffeeboffin Mon 16-May-16 21:50:52

No, bit weird that.

DixieNormas Mon 16-May-16 21:52:53

No not with any of the 17 year olds I've known

houseeveryweekend Mon 16-May-16 21:53:03

There could be something going on you dont know about. Something difficult could have happened to her that is currently causing her to need alot of affection. Really its not your business and it doesnt automatically mean shes immature or dependant. You are well within your rights not to use her as a babysitter though obviously you need to be totally confident with whoever you use.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 16-May-16 21:53:57

Not an entirely normal response in my experience , having had two 17 year olds and currently housing a 16 year old ds.

Is she very nervous usually?

nobilityobliges Mon 16-May-16 21:54:38

Ehh I've never given it too much thought but I actually think that does sound pretty normal. My memory of teenage girls (from being among them when I was one!) is that they're always throwing their arms round each other. I think a lot of girls are quite touchy-feely at that age. I think probably this girl hasn't quite worked out the whole public/private thing - ie what it's ok to do when you have guests and when you don't. But not having all social norms worked out at 17 is itself pretty norma. And just standing with her arm round her mum or dad seems pretty normal.

Flamingo1980 Mon 16-May-16 21:55:23

When I was 17 I wanted as much physical distance between me and my parents as possible! That's the only frame of reference I have but again I don't know what's 'normal' exactly. Boy did it make me feel awkward though!

Littleballerina Mon 16-May-16 21:59:03

She sounds possibly like she's incredibly shy. I'm with you on not being mature enough look after your child though.
I feel for her.

Flamingo1980 Mon 16-May-16 21:59:40

I totally agree it's not my business which is why I'm not sharing this with them or anyone we both know, but like I said it's just made me very curious as to what it was about and whether that's normal. Mumsnet is a great place to throw open a discussion like this to get ideas and opinions.
Oh and I don't know if she is normally nervous as its the first and only time I'd met her.
She actually didn't seem nervous at all. Quite confident if anything.

Shallishanti Mon 16-May-16 22:00:29

no, I think that's odd, and while some girls that age are very touchy feely, that's with their friends, not their parents
but the fact that she didn't pay much attention to your daughter is more relevant really- were you planning for her to have sole charge of your daughter? and how old is she?- did she seem like the sort of person who would cope in an emergency?

LizKeen Mon 16-May-16 22:00:44

The first time I met PILs and SIL, she sat on FILs knee the whole night. She was 19.

With her it felt like some strange kind of territorial thing. She is a bit odd in general though. Her behaviour certainly didn't get less weird, but there hasn't been the same level of physical affection since.

228agreenend Mon 16-May-16 22:06:52

Bit weird. In a. Touchy freely family, maybe a hug when parent comes home, but not throughout the evening.

(Disclaimer, we're not a touchy feely family, and even as adults, don't hug)

Flamingo1980 Mon 16-May-16 22:07:19

It is more relevant to the childminding aspect that she didn't pay much attention to my four year old yes. But that's sort of obvious that I won't be doing that for that straight forward reason.
I'm interested in human behaviour and so I'm just now fascinated into what was going on with all of that.
I need to reiterate that she really wasn't shy. She was chatty, confident, good eye contact and joined in with the chat straight away with good body language. (Apart from when she was smooched up to either one of her parents...)

NowSissyThatWalk Mon 16-May-16 22:11:36

Agree this is odd, and I come from a long line of demonstrative and tactile family members. Nothing beats a good hug from my mum at any age if you ask me, but this seems excessive. It may well have been a nervous thing, or perhaps she was wanting to show you how warm she was, albeit it's an odd way to do it, I agree.
Are you going to let her babysit?

MrsJayy Mon 16-May-16 22:13:26

I dont think she would make a very good babysitter if she didnt even look at your Dd the hugging is quite strange too maybe she is a bit immature and clingy maybe the parents baby her? Ive had 2 17yr olds and they never acted like that infront of people it all sounds really odd and awkward

ScarlettSahara Mon 16-May-16 22:14:06

I guess it must be on the spectrum of normal. My DD (15 ) sometimes wants me to keep my distance & others wants cuddles but definitely in private. She would however have been making a massive fuss of your DD.

flanjabelle Mon 16-May-16 22:15:34

It sounds like she was putting on a bit of a show of how close she and her parents are. Did it come across like that? Like she was trying to prove how they were so close? Any reason she might have been doing that? Perhaps to show you that is she is that close with her parents, she must be a good kid?

Flamingo1980 Mon 16-May-16 22:17:37

Lizkeen that's an astonishing story about your 19 year old SIL siting on your FILs lap all night! Truly awkward. And also, WHY?!?

NowSissyThatWalk Mon 16-May-16 22:22:12

I agree! Liz, I can't stop picturing your SIL perched on his lap looking all territorial and it's unnerved me greatly!

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 16-May-16 22:24:40

I'd have found that weird and l'd think she was immature. I wouldn't leave my kids with a person who behaved like that unless I knew her quite well and knew her general maturity/capabilities to be far higher than that implied by all the clinginess.

hunibuni Mon 16-May-16 22:26:49

My friend's DD is very tactile, as are her friends. She's very confident and articulate but she is just a huggy person. She watches TV with her headbnin my lap lol

Spangletangle Mon 16-May-16 22:29:24

I don't think it's abnormal exactly but I'd think it a bit immature.

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 16-May-16 22:32:56

That's a thought op - if your family's level of huggery (bear with me) is so different to their family's level, then surely your DD will have a proper WTF confused face if she's around there watching it happen. We're not especially tactile as a family and DS1 (5yo) has been known to politely say 'Please stop hugging me'..... therefore it might just reduce embarrassment on all sides if you seek childminder help elsewhere.

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