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What age do you stop making your DC go on "duty" family visits?

(14 Posts)
Flyonthewindscreen Wed 10-Oct-12 10:39:26

Been thinking about this since a visit to my DF and stepM at the weekend. They live a 2 hour drive away and we see them around every 2 months. I don't have a great relationship with SM, but we keep things friendly on the surface, DF very dominated by SM.

Anyway I visited for the day with DS (10) and DD (8) (DH didn't come as working). The usual scenario happened. DD went off with her step cousin who is often there and whom she gets on very well with so she was happy and we hardly saw them. DS sat playing with my ipad, obviously bored out of his mind and looking it (I did ban screens until after lunch but then it would have been cruel to not let him have something to do). My DF/SM make a fuss about how lovely it is to see the DC, SM goes on constantly about how her DC/GDC visit her constantly and for days at a time, sometimes insinuating that I am a very slack DD in comparison.

However they make no effort to engage or interact with the DC, barely ask them a question even. They want the DC to be there in the background, entertaining themselves while they have adult chit chat. I don't expect DC to completely dominate family meet ups but I do think its pretty rude to basicly ignore any guest that has come to visit you whether adult or child.

So do you think that boring family visits are just something that DC have to suck up as life is not all fun and elderly relations have to be visited or do you reach a point where you only insist on attendance for big family occasions and let them decide themselves?

colditz Wed 10-Oct-12 10:40:43

Um, I don't do duty visits myself.....

PeggyCarter Wed 10-Oct-12 10:41:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WinklyFriedChicken Wed 10-Oct-12 10:42:33

I'm 31 & I still go

Toughasoldboots Wed 10-Oct-12 10:44:17

If they aren't interacting with them , then I wouldn't take them anymore. It's not fair on them. If they are making the effort, even if its boring I think you have to do the duty visits.

ZuleikaD Wed 10-Oct-12 12:03:22

Duty visits are hypocritical and seem pointless to me. I'd let your DS do something else for the day next time.

StrangeGlue Wed 10-Oct-12 12:07:26

Dunno I'm 28 and still get forced to do this sort of thing. I think once they're old enough to be home alone then maybe stop making them. If your DS doesn't complain though I'd keep taking him until he says something.

Flyonthewindscreen Wed 10-Oct-12 12:23:23

DS does already complain! I'm thinking now that once the DC are old enough to be left home alone I would let them choose unless it a big birthday/xmas type event and in DS's case if he had something else to do that would keep him occupied all day for ex. a scout camp I could start going without him now.

It is a case of reaping what you sow tho' as my ILs make a lot of effort with the DC and enjoy their company and I can imagine the DC will still want to visit them when they and ILs are both older as a result.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 12:25:35

DSs are 10 and 13. I don't make them do duty visits, the sort where they go round and get ignored while adults talk.

I give them the choice now.

horsebiscuit Wed 10-Oct-12 12:28:29

My poor DH spent all of Sunday this week on a family duty visit where he was totally ignored. He is 40.

SomebodySaveMe Wed 10-Oct-12 12:30:56

I'm 23 and still get guilted into duty visits. I'm thinking of finding weekend work as DB gets out of it this way!

exexpat Wed 10-Oct-12 12:34:09

If they are old enough to be left behind on their own, or if they have other plans (day with friend etc) then I'm happy to let mine stay behind. But I would probably insist they came occasionally (not every time) just to keep the relatives happy.

Wiggy29 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:02:48

Mmm, could you maybe just reduce visits so they do every other one?I think it's quite good to show that (even if they are a bit annoying) you still value family as sets good morals (if that's the right word). If they are rude and ignore dc could you take loads of toys for dc to play with when there? I'm guessing you know best as you know the relationship you have with your family.

Flyonthewindscreen Wed 10-Oct-12 13:22:53

I usually let DS have loads of screen time while we are there, take ipad, ds, etc (as the only toys he still really plays with is lego which isn't very portable). It seems a bit daft as he basicly had a day of enforced screen time, it was a lovely day and he would have probably been playing outside with his friends if he had stayed at home.

DD still happy to come as she nearly always sees her step cousin and is still sentimental about "seeing Grandpa" although not sure why as he wasn't taking much notice of her (or step cousin) either!

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