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Tricky Situation on the horizon for dd (age 16)

(15 Posts)
Earlybird Tue 04-Apr-17 21:06:01

DD and I are planning a holiday to London to visit dear, old friends. We have been friends for decades, and our children spent many days together from a very young age to mid-primary school. We moved out of the country, but visit for an extended period every few years.

DD is especially close to the middle child - they were best friends when we lived in London. When we last visited, it was clear that dd and this girl were having different life experiences. The London girl was living a much 'faster' life - more independent, socially advanced, interested in boys, starting to drink a bit, etc. Now, a few years later, social media photo show her with cigarettes, cans of lager, wearing revealing clothes, etc.

DD has had a very different path. She is studious, sure of herself with girls but completely inexperienced with boys, and doesn't drink / smoke (and to date, isn't interested). I think her London friend is quite sophisticated and socially advanced, while dd is a bit innocent and naive.

I am a little nervous about how it will go between the girls, and think dd might find herself in some unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable situations.

Any suggestions about how I can prepare dd? I'm hoping the girls can find common ground and enjoy each other. I'm not judging the London friend at all, but if the girls go out together or spend time with the London girl's friends, I think it is likely dd will find herself in some situations that she is unprepared for. I think dd will be crushed if her long-standing friendship with this girl is strained by their differences, as she thinks of her friend almost as a sister.

Any advice much appreciated.

buckeejit Tue 04-Apr-17 21:09:30

Hmm, have they been in touch regularly? I would've thought if they're that close, they will know about each others lives and can respect their differences.

Talk to dd about it and get her to ask friend if she's goig out for a wild night to let dd know and she can avoid or go home earlier etc maybe?

MakeItRain Tue 04-Apr-17 21:18:34

Acruelly I think this would put me off going on holiday to your friend's. I wouldn't want to put my dd through such an uncomfortable experience, and if she doesn't go out drinking, smoking and socialising with boys she's going to find it really awkward and difficult, either by refusing to go out, or going out and feeling very vulnerable. I wouldn't want to put my dd in that position.
I would plan a holiday in London with your dd and meet up for a couple of days out with your friend and her dd during that time instead.

keeplooking Tue 04-Apr-17 21:20:15

I wouldn't overthink this, tbh. You haven't really any idea how the reunion will go, and you can't second-guess all the possibilities in order to pre-empt any problems. I think you really will have to 'play it by ear'.

If your dd and the friends' dd have always been close, the chances are that they will pick up where they left off, as they have such a long shared history together, and your dd is probably a lot more robust than you're giving her credit for. Hope you both have a lovely time. smile

SomeKindOfGenius Tue 04-Apr-17 21:25:35

"social media photo show her with cigarettes, cans of lager, wearing revealing clothes, etc."

"I think her London friend is quite sophisticated and socially advanced"
hmm

I should think your daughter is probably better placed to observe and make up her own mind about how to behave in that kind of situation than her friend is. Warn her about what to expect and ask her if she still wants to go.
Support her by being available to bail her out if she needs you to.

Patchouli666 Tue 04-Apr-17 21:45:14

She'll already know! If she is in touch on snapchat etc! I'm always surprised what my girls tell me! So and so are coming to France and will stay near us. Cue me texting the mum and yes, they are two miles away from where we will be staying! The girls had been chatting on snapchat / Instagram and had realised. You'll be the last to know!

NancyWake Tue 04-Apr-17 21:52:34

Oh for the love of God, the friend is a normal 16 year old girl. She's me as I was. My mum's best friend had a geeky, naive, awkward daughter. I managed to be perfectly nice to her without introducing her to smack, threesomes or selling her into white slavery.

NancyWake Tue 04-Apr-17 21:55:03

A 16 year old can go out with a bunch of people and not drink and not smoke, it's fine.

Earlybird Sat 08-Apr-17 18:50:30

Thanks to all for the advice.

I think I should talk dd through some scenarios that might arise, and discuss how she might choose to handle them. That way, she won't be caught completely off guard.

I just hope the two girls can find some common ground. It has been such a lovely friendship over the years - though obviously less close in recent years due to the distance between them.

AlternativeTentacle Sat 08-Apr-17 18:53:30

Discuss and agree a safe word. So she can text/call you at any time with it and you can pretend to need her with you right away.

corythatwas Sat 08-Apr-17 19:04:58

If your dd is 16, surely this is not the first time in her life she has come into contact with peers who are different from herself.

Warn her by all means and discuss ways to get out of tricky situations, e,g, if she wants picking up or wants to prepare a way of telling London friend she is not comfortable. As another poster said, there is no reason to believe her friend cannot be lovely and understanding just because she is different. I had a friend rather like this when I was your dd's age. She never judged me or tried to push me into anything I'd be uncomfortable with, I never judged her.

picklemepopcorn Sat 08-Apr-17 19:15:39

I had wilder friends, and they looked out for me. They would go places, but keep an eye on me and tone things down. Obviously, that depends on the girl herself. My wiser friends were quite protective of me.

Run through some strategies with her, role play, safe words, speaking to bar staff if she's uncomfortable etc.
See how it feels when you see her again. She may welcome some calmer time with your DD.

Earlybird Tue 11-Apr-17 14:41:36

In some ways, I think dd feels a bit guilty about our moving away. Her friend encountered some mean girls, fickle friendships and struggled socially. DD has commented that the friend might have chosen a different path if we had not moved, and they had remained best friends. Obviously, there is no way to know if that would have been true, and dd is not responsible for her friend's choices.

This friend has now found her 'circle' but as i said before, has had some different life experiences to dd. The way her new friends behave is not always admirable. (as an example: last time we visited one of the best friends of this girl proudly displayed the makeup she had shoplifted from Boots).

I think it is good advice to discuss some of the scenarios dd might find herself in, and give her some guidance on possible responses.

All of this might not be an issue at all, of course. But I want dd to be prepared to handle herself if things get tricky.

picklemepopcorn Tue 11-Apr-17 16:35:58

I hope the visit goes well.

HappyJanuary Tue 11-Apr-17 16:59:22

If they are in touch regularly they must already have some common ground, even if you can't see it. They will be well aware of the similarities and differences between them, and how best to accommodate both.

Surely the only advice you need to give is that your dd says no to anything she feels uncomfortable about, and phones you if you finds herself in any situation she can't handle?

These are good skills to have and 16 is a good age to learn them, you are worrying unnecessarily IMO. If your dd has never been faced with such a situation then this is her time to do so before she heads off to uni in two years.

They haven't been proper best friends for 8-9 years and may never have stayed friends anyway, it is their parents' friendship that predominantly binds them. As such your dd will be greeted as a family friend and the dd is probably under orders to 'be nice'; the wild fb photos are probably pure brovado anyway!

Are you sure your main worry isn't that she'll be introduced to boys and alcohol, and like them?

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