Jumper will never have a get together at ouro house...I'm angry and hurt

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, our house is rented and not beautiful, but we have a wonderful back yard with a fire pit. Almost every night Jumper goes to some friend's house to a fire. She never ever has one at our house. Because of this, I know her friends by sight, but I don't really know them at all. The other moms all know the group of kids, but I don't.

    I am insisting she start bringing her friends to our yard for a fire. I want to know the kids too and I feel very awful that she will never bring the kids to our house. Are WE so terrible? Is the house THAT awful?

    She is not open about why she won't do it. I feel like she is hanging out with a bunch of kid that I don't even know. They are good kids, but I've almost never spoken to any of them except to say "hi." The parents of these kids are cliquish and not friendly so I don't get to meet them either. Gives me no idea who these families really are. I think I"m going to make her stay home until she plans a few bonfires at OUR house. After all, it is easy enough for her to do and she has a lot of friends. It's not like she can't do it.

    What do you think?

  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't think forcing anything is ever a good idea. Instead, how about trying to get her to open up. Maybe plan a summer party, she can string lights and decorate and make it real festive, plan the food and beverages, etc.

    easy child was always a homebody but usually only had a friend or two at a time. difficult child was always out and didn't much care to hang out here. I did, however know her friends and lets just say I was less than impressed.

    Best of luck, maybe she likes the independence of not being home or with her parents.
  3. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My daughter would never entertain at home. I knew her elementary school friends and many of her middle school friends but not all of the ones she added in HS. Her reasons were that her brothers were annoying and some of her friends were allergic to and/or afraid of our dogs.

    I never took it personally, but since you are, maybe you might want to take jumper out for a meal - just the 2 of you - and ask her why she doesn't want to entertain at home. Her answer might surprise you but in any event it would be good to know. When H asked daughter (because he did feel like you do, I'm more introverted and was happier not having kids over), she said that she just liked seeing how other families do things and having a break from being at home. it was part of her separation process; now that she's in college, her friends are always over when she's home.

    Since you do want Jumper to entertain at home, maybe plan a specific event with her - birthday party, mid-summer party or the like where there's a theme and she can show off her fire pit (which sounds awesomely cool, can't have anything like that in poo poo ville where I live).
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with the others. Ya know, many kids don't like to admit they even have parents at all (LOL) at starting when they are in middle school and sometimes that doesn't end until afteer they get out of high school. I wouldn't worry about it given all the other indicators they she has a healthy social life and isn't straying from what good TTs like to do. I'd let her know she's welcome to bring her friends over to use the fire pit and you wish she would, then let it go. It could be that she's gotten the message you really would like to get to know her friends better and maybe she's not comfortable with the idea that you'd be sitting out there with them all the whole time. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, just that teens like their space and it can be very awkward to have friends over then the parents trying to stay right with them.

    ETA: Sorry about the typos- I slept late and am just now having my coffee so am not awake enough to fix them. LOL!

    As an afterthought, I like the idea of a low-key party or something. Maybe suggest that you'd be there to serve refreshments or cook out some burgers and dogs, then the 'kids' would be hanging out just by themselves at the fire pit. That would still give you a little opportunity to get to know them better while not actually hanging out with them, or appearing to her like you are. (I know you aren't asking to hang out with them, but a teen's perception isn't always the same.)
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    difficult child 1 HATES having friends at our house. He says difficult child 2 and I embarass him. HUH?? I agree that the two of you need to have a heart to heart with NO distractions or interruptions. Simply ask her why she never wants to have fires at your house and let her talk. If she doesn't answer you or says she doesn't know, tell her how YOU feel. I do understand but don't take it personally and I would definitely NOT "make" her have her friends over.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't think the problem is "you" or "your house" at all...

    I'm going to suggest that Jumper is not always the same person around her friends that she is around her Mom. She has a version of 'Jumper' that you don't get to see....and she can't BE that person if you are there - Know what I mean??

    Maybe invite the friends to do something in a very small group: you + Jumper + friend. Get to know the friends better. After Jumper feels more comfortable being "herself" around everybody (including Mom) it will be easier to have a bonfire at your house.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    MWM I remember that you posted this same concern six months or a year ago. Since that time I "think" I remember that her friends have "run in and out" of your house. in my humble opinion there are always certain houses where kids gather and most houses where they just visit a bit. She evidently is doing so well. I wouldn't turn it into an issue. There "could" be reasons but more than likely it's just that she is a "go go go girl" and prefers to be on the run staying active. DDD

    PS: I'm sure she was fine with you attending games with her, too. She's not hiding you, lol, she just likes the flow of her life right now.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is what I think. It has nothing to do with your house. It has everything to do with the amount of monitoring you will be doing vs. the amount of freedom they have at other houses. I am speaking from experience here, those bonfire are not just sit around the fire and tell camp stories fire. Starting at about age 14 difficult child went to bonfires all the time. She came home smellig horrible fromt he wood smoke so I couldn't detect that she was smoking pot but that's what was going on. There was also a lot of drinking going on. In the early years it was just beer but as she got older the drinks were harder and so were the drugs, usually pills mixed with alcohol.

    It got to the point where I hated bonfires. Nothing good ever came out of them. It stunk up her clothes and hair and our house and she burned things and she started sleeping over she said because they were having a sleepover, it really was because they were all drunk or high. It's my experience also that if they don't want you to meet their friends it's because they know you won't approve. My easy child loved having her friends over our house and her friends love coming here. To this day some of them still call me their second mom. In contrast difficult child never brought her friends over and her friends didn't even have last names.

    I hope that's not the case but I agree you should stick to having the bonfires at your house so you can monitor what goes on.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Last night we had a long and not always friendly discussion about this. At first Jumper kept shrugging and saying "I don't know." Finally, she blurted out, "I DON'T LIKE TO BE THE HOST!"

    That clicked.Jumper is a good kid and I am not concerned she or her friends are doing things that are wrong and there is plenty of supervision where she goes (I'm jealous because the parents usually sit out with the kids a nd interact). But Jumper has got to be the laziest teen on the planet. I askesd her about it and she said, "I don't want to be the one who gets the drinks and has to clean up." It sounds just like her. Her one problem is that sh e does n Occupational Therapist (OT) really do much in the way of chores, even when she says she did.

    That didn't change a nything. I don't stalk after her nor does she have a lack of freedom. I want her to have some bonfires HERE. She goes to a different one almost every night and if she wants to keep doing it, she will have to have two a month at our house. Whether she plays host or not. Although I know her friend's faces and reputations, that is NOT the same as interacting with them to find out who they are first hand. I'm going to insist and then it's her choice.

    As for throwing a small party, she would think that was even worse. More work to do with the extra food, etc...lol.

    Jumper and I had a tough night last night We'll talk again when she wakes up, but I'm the one who always gives in...not this time. It's not the e nd of the world for her to bring her friends home sometimes. This also includes sleepovers.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    My entire life......It was my Father's wishes that we NEVER EVER had anyone at our home. He was that much of a recluse. My Mother would have DELIGHTED in having parties, Father forbade it. We hardly ever even had relatives there growing up as a child. We did go other places....but for some reason it unnerved him to have people in the house- he was just that private. Sounds weird, but that was just him.

    When I got my own place? I had a few people over, but it kind of carried over with me. Then I got married and it was like Grand Central and it wigged me out. Then I got divorced and had a few people over. Moved out to the country to the DA ranch and had EVERYONE out to the house......and for a while really enjoyed being hostess until we got taken advantage of and no matter what? The party was always at our place. It got old quick. Paying for it got old quick too. It's been over eight years since I've had ANYONE in my house. I don't miss it, I don't care.....and I don't think I could go back to having boatloads of people back. When I joined a bunco group it was with the understanding that NO ONE came to my home. DF is about like my Dad. So......I guess things really can be like Jumper says. But when Dude and Steven were little? We WERE the popular house and had a pool and I can tell you this much? It was fun for a while.....and then they have friends and they have freinds and they have friends and eventually you start wondering WHO is in your pool, and who is in your house, using your bathroom, and in your kitchen and WHY all your pizza rolls are gone, and how in the world 3 cases of soda are gone in a weekend? And then it's not so fun anymore. Throwing them all out isn't fun either.

    And we didn't have top notch everything either - but I did have locks on the doors and at one point caught one of Dudes friends planning to come back in the house when we left - soooo maybe count your blessings. I dunno -
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope it's just that MWM but good kids get into bad things too. I misunderstood you saying you didn't know her friends so that would concern me. Perhaps I'm just jaded because I've heard every excuse in the book to cover up for doing things they know we would disapprove of. I've also known many parents who interact with their young teens and allow them to drink/smoke pot at their home, even hide kids from their parents. And I'm talking about families you would never expect that from.

    While it's great that you have so much confidence that it she just does not want to play host, please watch closely because I don't want you to be going through the same thing we are in a few years.

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nancy, I take you very serioiusly. You have taught me a lot. I am going to start dropping in on those fires to say "hi" and introduce myself to the parents of the kids (partly to make sure they are there). I do think the kids are good k ids, but it doesn't hurt to check. Jumper didn't say much when I told her I planned on checking in on her bonfires...and I have every intention of doing so every time she goes. I can bring all the kids chips and soda or something, but I'm going to drop by at unexpected times and I still expect her to have her friends back at our house too. We're even going to buy a volleyball/badmitten set and a cooler so I can stack drinks.

    Last night I made her let me check her cell phone without warning AND her Facebook BEFORE she had any time to change anything and I really saw absolutely nothing ominous on either one.SHe was shocked because I have NEVER looked at either her cell phone or her face book before and it did make me feel better. Not one of the kids even posted more than maybe one swear word every four posts...lol. And no talk of drinking, drugs or sex at all on any of the posts...that can't be a bad thing.

    But I still want to see what she and her friends do at these get togethers. It can't hurt to get to know her friends and their parents baetter. To be fair, hub and I are fairly shy and don't drink at all so we don't get asked to many affairs (most which are drinking affairs). This keeps us out of the loop. Well, I think I found an acceptable way to sneak in at least a little bit.

    I never forget how my oldest Julie got into so much trouble. I'm not naive anymore.

    Thanks again, Nancy. You have become one of the my wisest mentors and I respect your advice and experience. Thanks to everyone else too. I value all your opinions. I have no intention on following Jumper around all the time or putting the screws to her too often unless there is a reason. But I do want to check up on her. I only have two more years where I can make sure all is well :)
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think popping over uninvited is a bad idea.

    easy child and his friends primarily hung out here. easy child is very much a homebody, and if they did hang out at the one other house they would hang out, he would come home at some point during the night (usually these were sleep overs, usually lasting days). I knew what the kids were up to, and if they stayed here for more than one night, they were expected to help around the house as if they were one of my own. They still stayed - so it wasn't lack of supervision or accountability that brought them here. Most of them still call me "Mom".

    That said, if their parents were to show up unannounced (or the ones I didn't know, rather), bringing chips and drinks and staying for a while, it would make me uncomfortable and I would find it strange. easy child had his friends here - it was his entertaining, not mine. Not only that, you risk the other kids not wanting to come to your house at all because they might find it strange, too.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you for such kind words MWM, I think you are doing all the right things, giving her space and also staying aware. I think popping in and bringing treats for the kids is a great idea. I think we have both learned a great deal over the years and grown a lot.

    Wishing you fun-filled easy child years with Jumper.

  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi MWM. I have to say I agree with flutterby - popping in uninvited to me seems more like Gestapo tactics than concerned parenthood :) Jumper sounds like she is mature and trustworthy and I really wouldn't, myself, go acting as if she is the opposite. Just my ho, of course.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I really don't care if it sounds like Gestapo tactics...lol. I think I can keep it friendly. I do see most of these kids at school and sporting events. I don't think the parents will find it odd, espeically if I introduce myself and explain it to them because the kids parents in this town are VERY concerned parents and would get it. And if they don't, oh well...lol. I am all for my daughter, not the parents of her friends. Jumper's friends don't come here anyway. There isn't any way less can come over and I'm sure a few, who are actually quite friendly at the sporting events, would come over especially if I increased my interaction with them.

    Once you have a child who did drugs, you take nothing for granted. I do trust Jumper. I believe her friends are good kids (I am a friend of one of three cops in our town and he has told me these k ids do NOT get into anything), but I still have two more years to keep an eye on my child. She is legally our responsibility until she is eighteen. Jumper is less hostile toward the idea than a lot of the people here...lol. She is a laid back kid who doesn't seem to care about my showing up at her friend's houses. When I told her she shrugged and said, "Fine with me." She didn't get worried when I read her cell phone or face book either. These are the little things that make me very sure she is not doing anything wrong. But I want to see what the other kids do :) And I did tell her, "I trust YOU. It's the kids I don't know that I'm not sure I trust."
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for you MWM. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get to know the kids yours is hanging out with. In fact the police tell us that all the time, get to know who your kids are hanging with and also get to know their parents. You will get much more cooperation from them that way. I trust you can do it in a friendly and non-threatening way.

  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Even in our strong family we don't always agree. It's a little odd for me to be on the opposite side from Nancy, lol, but this is one of those times. You already know about drugs. You've been there done that and know what to watch for and you have the assurance of a neighborhood cop. Some kids want to entertain. Some kids don't want to entertain. YOUR kid has given you NO reason to change the dynamics between you. in my humble opinion I think you could trigger future problems if you change your MO at this stage. You and Jumper have had a trusting relationship. I wouldn't make waves. on the other hand you are the Mom and I'm just a distant but caring Aunt. :) DDD
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And that's what makes us a happy family DDD. I am reminded of the take what you want and leave the rest. In the end we all have to do what we feel is right for us.

  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    No. I have to be there. I just have to. I don't know what to look for in drugs because all kids are different.