11 yo DD "play" dates

(51 Posts)
FullOfChoc Fri 28-Oct-16 14:30:36

11 yo DD has just started secondary school. She's had a few friends over but all they seem to do is stare at screens (phone/TV).

My attempts to play board games with them have been met with rolled eyes and desperate pleas for me "to stop being so embarrasing or I'll die".

I've had some success with getting them to make the tea (something simple) or a cake, but we can't do that every time.

Any ideas for activities when friends come to visit please?

Pointeshoes Fri 28-Oct-16 14:32:06

Let them entertain themselves smile

usual Fri 28-Oct-16 14:36:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FullOfChoc Fri 28-Oct-16 14:37:54

What do yours do to entertain themselves Pointe?

I just want ideas to tempt them off the screens.

I was thinking I might say they need to entertain themselves for an hour before they can resort to TV/phone/laptop.

They seem clueless as to what to do.

When DD was younger she would put on plays, dress up, play schools, shops, play with lego, barbies, etc but obviously she feels she's "too cool" for all that now.

5moreminutes Fri 28-Oct-16 14:38:28

My eldest is 12. Stop micromanaging!

You can say no screens if you want but don't tell them what to do.

My dd and her friends are quite musical and make videos of themselves singing and playing their instruments (which I have to watch...) They use phones to film but are active. More mundanely they practice together. They also write and perform little plays (which I have to watch... Sense a theme...)

Dd and her friends go for bike rides (without me but tell me their route). They have a couple of geocaches they hid and keep maintained, which sets their route. Whether that works for you depends where you live of course. They also walk or cycle to "locations" for their music videos...

They do sometimes paint (dd has proper grown up art materials) but not often (partly as the materials are expensive and it's dd's solo hobby).

I haven't told my kids what to do when they have friends over or tried to play with them when they have friends over since they were preschoolers though - they should be able to entertain themselves!

MakeItStopNeville Fri 28-Oct-16 14:38:57

The only thing I do for my 12/13 year olds is take them and their friends to the movies or the mall or something. If they're home, it's up to them to decide on their entertainment.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 14:40:18

Let them sort themselves out!

MakeItStopNeville Fri 28-Oct-16 14:41:52

Sorry. I misunderstood! Your worried about they screen issue? I would talk to your DD ahead of time and say that it's fine to have her friends over but this time, they're not sitting around on their screens. And then let them decide what they're going to do.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Oct-16 14:43:03

Why does it matter?

They'll start chatting/gossiping as a fun activity soon.

DS often plays on his tablet with his friends but today they got bored of that after an hour. Now they are playing monopoly.

TBH I see playdates as being blessed time where I don't have to entertain DS myself! I provide snacks, intervene in arguments, and offer suggestions if asked. That's all. Everything else is up to them.

LadyPenelope68 Fri 28-Oct-16 14:43:36

You don't organise activities when they have friends round, no wonder your daughter was embarrassed! They make their own entertainment and if that's on screens, that's totally normal.

5moreminutes Fri 28-Oct-16 14:44:17

They do also just sit in dd's room listening to music and chatting - or outside on the swings. I don't think it would occur to them to watch TV unless it was a sleep over. They use phones for photos and videoing their routines and for chatting with mutual friends but non of them seem into playing games on the phones while together.

I do restrict x box to rainy days only or the last 45 mins if friend is here for hours and hours, for ds1 (9) as some of his friends nag him to ask to play x box, bit they never ask to watch TV either and dd's friends have no interest in the x box.

NerrSnerr Fri 28-Oct-16 14:44:35

How often is she having friends over? If it's not every day is it really a problem for her to be watching TV or on her phone during that time? I would just leave them to it, it won't be long before she'll be going out to the pictures (more screen time I suppose), going to the skate park or whatever else floats her boat.

Cel982 Fri 28-Oct-16 14:48:56

Oh God, leave them at it. When I had friends over at that age all we wanted to do was hang out in my room and talk about boobs and periods (neither of which we had yet) blush

jaykay34 Fri 28-Oct-16 14:48:56

This is what (most) modern day pre-teens do.

I found at this age, that my son went out with his mates a bit more, or they played games consoles together - but my daughter and her friends (who had always been the type of girls who dressed up, played dolls and did crafts) dropped it all for their phones. It's incredibly frustrating, and I don't think we can really ever understand it, as at their age, our lives were very different.

Unfortunately, I don't think you can dictate what they are doing. You will probably end up detering other kids from coming round, or even worse - your daughter will become a bit of a laughing stock.

Perhaps a day trip, with phones barred, would be okay - or let them have a stroll round a local shopping centre whilst you have a coffee somewhere.

Remember, that unless they are saying they are bored, they are not "clueless" as of what to do. Staring at phones during social occasions seems perfectly acceptable and normal to them. It's difficult to accept, but I bet they are more than happy doing that.

lljkk Fri 28-Oct-16 14:52:07

swimming (4 some).

FullOfChoc Fri 28-Oct-16 14:56:07

Maybe I am micromanaging but this is today's situation: Friend comes over. They go upstairs and chat in DDs room for half an hour come downstairs and I gave them £10 to go to the local coffee shop. That took up an hour. They came back put on a film and sat on the sofa with the TV on but looking at phones and the laptop, barely talking. They could have stayed at home and done that. Brief break for lunch.

Is this what everyone's 11/12 year olds do ? There must be something more interesting. I want to encourage them to entertain themselves and have some suggestions for that at the ready. Any suggestions welcome!

Thanks for the video singing suggestion, She has friends she does that with on an app on the phone and I love that, but this friend doesn't seem into it.

MarianneSolong Fri 28-Oct-16 14:59:22

It sounds as though they are entertaining themselves.

Enjoy the peace. Model having an interesting life yourself. There's an extent to which it is all a phase.

Also you don't really know the different things they are doing with phones/screens.

HarleyQuinzel Fri 28-Oct-16 15:02:15

Leave them alone, I would have died of embarrassed at 11 too.

I was always quite happy to play board games with my family but no one could know until I was 16 and got over myself. Do interesting things when she doesn't have friends round.

FullOfChoc Fri 28-Oct-16 15:12:46

I hope you are right Harley and Marianne. It just looked SO boring. Her friend must have been bored senseless. And they could watch TV/play on their phones alone at home!

It's an adjustment for me obviously, in the summer holidays she was happy to do imaginative games in the garden, but now with secondary school it's all change.

Cel982 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:14:38

Their day sounds perfectly fine to me. Just because they're not constantly chatting doesn't mean they're not enjoying each other's company. Don't you ever sit watching the TV with your OH in the evenings?
Honestly, you seem to be treating them like much younger children. Leave them alone.

JessicaEccles Fri 28-Oct-16 15:16:11

It's called 'hanging out with your mates' and is one of the best things about being a pre teen/ teenager. Even before screens, me and my mates could spend literally hours, days, doing what our parents called 'nothing'. It was never boring- only when the parents would come in and say 'Why don't you go outside - it's a lovely day!'

HOW embarrassing!

FullOfChoc Fri 28-Oct-16 15:28:43

So this is normal? Your 11/12 yos are like this?

At 11 I was still playing Sindys / make believe and of course there were no screens apart from a couple of hours kids TV. this was the 80s though.

sofatrainer Fri 28-Oct-16 15:36:47

This is normal and to the previous poster, in the 80's I definitely wasn't playing Barbie's at 11 or 12, I was listening to radio 1 recording tapes or reading magazines or listening to my Walkman. I think that it's much more a girl thing to sit on screens all day. The boys do it a bit but my 14 year old gets a bit fed up after a while. He has a friend over, they played FIFA 17 for a bit, went to subway for lunch, came home and hung out in teens bedroom for a while. Now they've taken skateboards to the park and the friend has brought some football boots with him so I expect that they'll play footie later.

The girls are mainly more attached to phones and are on whatsapp, snapchat and the like 24/7 if they can be

LetitiaCropleysCookbook Fri 28-Oct-16 15:37:14

So this is normal? Your 11/12 yos are like this?

Yes! Honestly! It's completely normal. They're just hanging out/chilling. It's what they do. smile Get the scrabble out when the friends have gone.

JessicaEccles Fri 28-Oct-16 15:39:22

We used to spend our time reading Smash Hits; reading Just Seventeen; trying to tape songs off the radio; deciding who we fancied at school; moaning about the teachers; plaiting our hair. None of it all educational!

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