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dds not wanting to see old friends anymore

(165 Posts)
Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:17:05

I feel fortunate that I have some lovely old friends with dc, and mostly over the years we have all grown up together with the children playing when they were younger and it has been great, but just lately it has become quite strained.

DDs (13 & nearly 16) do not want to see my old friends' children anymore. They tell me they have nothing in common and don't enjoy it. I dds are old enough to decide who they see, so I have since tried to organise just adult evenings and days out with my friends, and this is where the difficulty lies.

My friends for a multiple reasons really are insisting on doing things with dc still.
Some have dc that don't have many/any friends and so really want to see my girls, others see my eldest dd as a good influence and want their dc to hang out with her to keep them away from what has become a troubling period. One other set have a dd that is really quite unkind to my youngest dd. So we obv avoid them. Others have younger ones and can not organise babysitting because of lockdown! I It has become really fraught now we are out of lockdown, and friends want to catch up.

Do I:

1) Insist on adults only get togethers and if I don't see them, that is fine
2) Take tc and make it short and sweet
3) Distance from it all for a while, see more straight forward friends
4) A solution I haven't thought of!
Am I being unreasonable or selfish?

This is causing some tension between us, because I don't want to say outright and hurt anyone's feelings that my dc are no longer interested - and probably never were really, so I have been saying dc are busy with sports, revision etc but then they ask for the next free date!!

How do others manage this transition?
The whole group gathering just doesn't work anymore..

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Echobelly Tue 15-Sep-20 13:19:10

Try to keep it as adult meetings I'd say and just tell your mates that your DDs really want to spend time with their own friends these days and that it's no use bringing reluctant teenagers to places where they won't engage.

FelicityPike Tue 15-Sep-20 13:26:57

When you meet your friends leave the girls at home. Friends can still bring their DC, but yours have said no.
It’s total CF-ery of your friends to have expectations of your daughters like you’ve described!

MulticolourMophead Tue 15-Sep-20 13:40:32

The DDs are old enough to make their own decisions and have said they don't want to see the children of your friends.

So I'd go with saying that they prefer to meet up with their own friends now. I had a similar issue a few years ago, and just said "oh, they're off doing their own thing these days" and left it as vague as that. Luckily no one tried to push further.

Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:40:35

Thanks for your posts, I know it is first world problems, but I genuinely don't know how to manage it politely, and I do understand that my friends are just doing the best for their dc, the issue being it is no longer best for mine.

I will say dc are not available, we can still meet up if they want to. I am probably going to need to be firmer, and I am not really good at it!!

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Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:42:17

multi Yes so that is interesting, I have said similar too, but the difference being some of them just don't really listen, and still semi insist on trying to include dc.

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merryhouse Tue 15-Sep-20 13:42:48

Roll your eyes and say your daughters are being stroppy teenagers and don't want to spend their leisure time with mum?

TweetUsOnFacebook Tue 15-Sep-20 13:43:21

It's a shame to let these old friendships go but like pp said, dragging teens along to something they don't want to do is going to be miserable for all concerned. At your dds ages school gets harder and they quite rightly want to do their own thing in their limited spare time.

Would they be happier if it was a meal out to catch up every now or then, rather than a whole day? If they're really reluctant to do even that I think you need to tell your friends your dds want to do other things.

Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:51:40

tweet that is really how I feel, it is shame to let such old friends go, they are know each other from baby age or school age.
My dc will say they are my friends, not theirs, and they were happy enough when they were younger, but now it is just too awkward. They are all very different teens, with very little in common. It just doesn't work anymore now they are older.

The dinners are the worst, because they all get bored and the conversation is 'dry' apparently once everyone has spoken about school for five minutes grin Nightmare! I tried activities instead for a few years, and that was even worse because some of the teen girls did not come dressed for rounders or were just not into it at all.

Rather than endure forced get togethers, I have tried to bail the dc out quietly with limited success.

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Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:53:19

merry that is such a good idea, yes I can say I am the most uncool mother in the world (not a lie!) and they would rather stick their eyes in pins than go out with me now. I should make it all about me.

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Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 13:54:43

Instead of my dds not wanting to see them, I should make clear.

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Lindy2 Tue 15-Sep-20 13:56:07

Meet somewhere where your friends can bring their DC and you can go on your own.

Leave your DC at home if they'd rather not attend.

PersonaNonGarter Tue 15-Sep-20 13:56:20

Quite torn here because OTOH it is fair enough for your DDs to want to do their own thing, OTOH it is important to understand about social obligations and family life.

Can you talk to your DDs and ask them to go to a couple of things ‘as a favour to me’ and offer to swap them for friend favours for them?

Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 14:01:54

persona I have been asking favours for at least the last few years, exactly along the lines you have suggested, just come for a few hours - it won't be long etc. But now they have truly come to the end of doing it 'for me', and are truly busy with revising and stuff in their own lives. My dd will see it as a lost day to revision, and she is right. They say they want to spend their limited spare time with their own friends.

I am trying to understand more about social obligations, and what is acceptable and why we have them. I don't feel I should necessarily have to transfer my obligations to my dc, without their permission, surely they are just my obligations? Not theirs?
It is not straight forward is it!

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Breckenridged Tue 15-Sep-20 14:02:46

My Dad dragged me along to a lot of these kinds of social engagements as a teen and I really resented it. Funnily enough I am now friends as an adult with a lot of those childhood friends with whom I wanted nothing to do as a teen!

I think you could insist upon the odd get together - your teens might find, as I have, that these very old friendships become precious later in life. (My Dad and one of his good friends passed away in the same year - Dad’s friend’s daughter and I found it really comforting to chat to each other about our losses and about our shared childhood experiences.) But I wouldn’t force it too much - it’s just not fair on them at this stage of greater independence and transition out of the family bubble.

MulticolourMophead Tue 15-Sep-20 14:02:59


Quite torn here because OTOH it is fair enough for your DDs to want to do their own thing, OTOH it is important to understand about social obligations and family life.

Can you talk to your DDs and ask them to go to a couple of things ‘as a favour to me’ and offer to swap them for friend favours for them?

Social obligations?

The DC are not obligated to entertain the DC of their parent's friends. I would never inflict that on my DC.

Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 14:03:39

Part of the problem is they have all grown apart, and are very different people now, they are no longer little kids that will just rub along and play, it was so much easier back then!

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wishywashywoowoo70 Tue 15-Sep-20 14:06:31

I wouldn't make your DC go.

Make your plans with your friends as usual and just turn up alone.

Just tell them the DC didn't want to come. End of.

Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 14:07:32

very old friendships become precious later in life This is why I have always considered it to be quite important. I wonder if they will become closer once they are adults, or maybe not. I am abit lost! My oldest friends are rock - I could not do without them. But I guess my children have the right to choose their own 'oldest' most precious friends themselves, and not have to make do with my choices.

I am quite conflicted now they are teens. On one hand they have the right to independence and choice, on the other hand they have known these people for all of their lives it is sad just to drop them!

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Friendsoftheearth Tue 15-Sep-20 14:08:01


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Breckenridged Tue 15-Sep-20 14:09:40

I think it’s a tough balancing act! On the plus side, Covid restrictions give you a good excuse to keep your teens away from social gatherings for now..

babba2014 Tue 15-Sep-20 14:10:19

Please make excuses for them! I was dragged along and hated it. Missed finding my own way as with school and activities, I had hardly any time and whatever I did have was used up with parents friends.
Also the whole being a good influence. I had to do that and in the end the negative stuff rubbed off on me. Don't make your kids take on such a huge role, which it is at that age.
Leave them be, tell your friends they have too much work to do and just tired with all the things going on and you'd love to meet up with them alone but can understand if their children are present due to childcare. If they say no then they're not really friends. They should want to meet you alone. They're asking for too much from your teenagers!

fairlygoodmother Tue 15-Sep-20 14:10:22

Do your friends actually come out and say that they want your dd to be a good influence on their wayward children? Or is it just what you glean from the conversation? If it’s overtly stated I think it would be quite easy to comment that that isn’t fair to your dd.

I have similar age children and my dd also doesn’t really want to hang out with our friends’ children. And I can see that it’s awkward for them all if we do. But she understands that there are occasional family social obligations that she might not especially enjoy but she comes along anyway. Could you maybe get them to meetups once or twice a year to do something specific that would be a shared experience but doesn’t require too much conversation? A play, panto, laser tag?

MulticolourMophead Tue 15-Sep-20 14:10:30

Not all friendships are lifelong. And trying to force "friendship" when your DC aren't interested simply won't work.

If your DC had been interested in friendship with your friends' DC it would be obvious by now. And they have the right to make their own friends.

TenDays Tue 15-Sep-20 14:10:33

The excuse that your dc are off doing their own thing, 'You know what teenagers are like!' should be enough.

I do very slightly wonder though if something's gone on that you don't know about?

I used to be taken to play with my large extended family's many children and we girls used to try anything to avoid being alone with one particular male cousin.

Not saying your kids or their friends have been up to anything! but there may have been a falling-out that the adults aren't privy to.
I'd respect your dc's wishes and give the above excuse. Let things blow over.

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