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Didn't handle telling dd off very well

(9 Posts)
loopydoo Sat 04-May-13 18:56:37

Hi, just a quick query...
Just had a word with 11yr old dd at the tea table about this afternoon when visiting family. A group of us adults were chatting, partly about DDs last sleep over and she began interrupting (dh said she was just joining in' which I guess she was).

She thinks she's getting too old to play with the little ones at family do's so sits with the adults (ear wagging) and bless her, trying to join in all the time with conversations.

How do I explain to her (more subtly than I did earlier) about not always interjecting adult chats. I feel bad because she loves chatting but sometimes it's a bit embarassing. She does like to hear the sound of her own voice and she does have a loud voice but she gets over excited as well; making her sometimes sound attention seeking (and she sometimes tells people things about our family that I don't particularly want them to know but can't stop her soon enough)

I feel awful writing this because she is great and i love her to bits but just wondering how to deal with her over confidence without trampling on her self esteem???

Andro Sat 04-May-13 20:55:46

Are you sure it's over confidence and not overcompensation?

If her only options are play (supervise?) children significantly younger than herself, or sit with the adults then she may be trying to fit in...and trying too hard! Are you unhappy with her joining in the adult conversations full stop, or just with the lack of filter?

If it's the former, then have her leave the table but tell her she can amuse herself with a book/ipod/etc and explain that sometimes grown ups talk about things that are not suitable for an 11 yo, no matter how smart she is. That said, if this is the case I feel a bit sorry for her because her choices are rock, hard place or isolation.

If the problem is the lack of filter/impulse control then a little chat about grown up conversations being a little calmer and taking an extra breath when she's getting exited to slow down would be good. Maybe a chat about what it isn't a great idea to discuss in company as well - teaching, not criticism. Children learn the 'rules' of grown up company by being in grown up company.

Startail Sat 04-May-13 21:06:42

Learn to live with it. I was your DD. I hated the company of younger DCs and always joined the adults. I am forever grateful for the tolerance of my parents friends for letting me.

MummyJetsetter Sun 05-May-13 10:32:43

I was the same, I was an only child so was better at talking to adults than kids. Maybe just have a word about boundaries, I was always in trouble for saying inappropriate things. x

ellesabe Sun 05-May-13 18:50:10

I think your dd sounds lovely!

Why don't you have an initial chat with her, explaining the etiquette of adult conversation and set some ground rules. If there's something that she is struggling to do in practice then could you have a code phrase or signal to remind her without causing any embarrassment?

loopydoo Sun 05-May-13 19:12:41

Thanks everyone....some very helpful suggestions....I especially like the code word idea!!!

Se is adorable but it's just the talking over adults bit that's unacceptable. She is just so sensitive at the moment....I have to tread on eggshells about everything.

I don't want to exclude her from chatting with adults and I wasn't particularly saying she had to play with the younger ones. The iPad idea/book thing might work.

DeWe Sun 05-May-13 20:32:34

I have the same problem with dd1 who's 12yo.

With her, it comes from a lack of confidence with other children. She takes ages to warm to others her age, whereas her sister can be declaring undying love 5 minutes after meeting others-so she feels pushed out there.

I know exactly what you're saying. With dd1, it's along the lines of me saying as a quick comment "oh we were a little late because we got caught up on the way out."
Meaning it to be a quick comment before moving on, and dd1 will jump in with a long story on how dd2 went back to change her socks (and exactly why) then ds needed the toilet (including that he insisted on using the upstairs one) and then mum had found a hole in her tights and wanted to change them and that one happened two weeks ago too when we were going to watch X at the theatre...
So information that isn't really very interesting, is really stuff they don't need to know, and occasionally stuff that I don't want her to say.

Problem with dd1 is that it's two fold. Because she lacks confidence with other children, she won't go and play with them. So they're a good friend, asking her to come and play, at something she likes, and she'll still keep drifting back to join in with the adults, often multiple times, with the friend asking her to come and play each time. Eventually the friend gives up, and dd1 sees it as them not wanting her to play rather than them feeling rejected, so she comes back to the adults again...

There's also the issue which sometimes happens which is wanting to talk about something I don't want her to be present at. For example if I was asking a friend's help on ds/dd2's behaviour, or, as happened a couple of days ago, I was comforting someone whose friend had just committed suicide.

I have ways of dealing with it. Firstly, I will send her off on a job/give her something to do. She likes that, taking drinks orders is a good one. She doesn't know that's removing her from the situation.
I also will touch her gently and give a slight nod. That means wrap up the story now. I'll often tell her afterwards why I wanted that. She's getting better at that, I don't have to use that anything like as much as I did at one point.
Catching her eye and a brief shake of head means nothing more on the subject. Particularly useful if she's complaining about her siblings at length.
We also have a code: If I ask her to go and check what dd2/ds is doing, that is saying that the conversation is not for her ears. She'll complain later, and usually be back within quarter of an hour or so, but sometimes she goes and joins in with the others and enjoys it. I use that usually when it's something the other person wants to say but is obviously awkward in front of her.
Sometimes I will tell her very basically afterwards, if it's appropriate.

loopydoo Sun 05-May-13 22:09:13

Aha! That's pretty much dd too. Especially the going into too much lengthy detail that I could wrap up in a short sentence. Bless them. Perhaps it's an age/preteen thing where they just everybody to listen to them all of the time!

peppajay Sun 05-May-13 22:25:06

My almost 7 yr old is exactly the same we have a few older friends who have grown up children so in my dd's defence there is no other kids to play with but she will not play on her own or with her brother if there are any other adults in the vicinity. She loves chatting and would chatter away all day if she could she constantly interrupts and needs to be part of everything! She is extremely inquisitive and asks questions all day she has no interest in tv, video games or toys just wants to know who is having a baby, who is getting married and where Jenny down the road bought her new washing line from. It drives us completely mad she wears us down with her intensity but she knows so much more than her peers about the world around her !!

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