Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Email conversation with my daughter

Names have been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty...)

We're hosting a party on Friday in honor of the debut of "High School Musical 2." (If you don't have tweens in the house, you just won't understand.) Alex's friends aren't interested, and aren't coming. Fortunately he gets along well with Susie's friends, so we'll all be entertained.

So here's what went down in email between Susie and me yesterday afternoon:

Me:
Can you make sure to invite whoever you are going to invite to the party on Friday? People need to be invited TODAY. Please do this now, or it won't be much of a party.

Thanks, sweetie.

I love you.
Mom.

Susie:
ummm, i think I want to invite J_, is that ok? i dont want m_ to sleep over though ok? i am inviting these people if its ok
m_
j_
g_
m_
i_


Me:
Okay, how are you going to manage having some people sleep over and not others? That could cause hurt feelings. Maybe we should just have a party, not a sleepover? What do you think?

Susie:
:-( :-( :-( I just know m_ would do exactly what she did last time, keep everyone awake! And g_ and her always get in fights. mom i am serious i am going to cry if i cant have a sleepover. :-( :'-(

Me:
I understand. I just want you to figure out a way to do it and not have M_ feel left out.
Susie:
can i have just 2 or 3 people sleep over like not for the party, if so they will be
g_
i_
maybe j_


Me:
Like I said, figure out how other people's feelings won't be hurt.

Susie:
mom, it would be just to sleep over not 4 the party!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me:
I understand.
But if you went to a party and some of the kids were going to sleep over and some weren't, how would you feel if you were one of the kids who didn't get invited to spend the night?
Susie:
ugh u dont understand, if u want me to be grumpy that morning then i will let m_ sleepover but i like being happy and i like sleep


The gist of this is: if you only have boys and that makes you sad and you think you want girls, read this post again and again. The drama. Ugh.

But, seriously, Susie's right. This girl, M_, has a history of being, erm, difficult, especially at slumber parties. She doesn't do well in groups of girls: she's a possessive friend who hates sharing Susie's attention. She and G_ are an especially volatile combination.

It gets sticky, though, because I really like M_'s mom (and the rest of the family, actually). (And I'm confident that they don't read my blog.)

So, do I talk to the mom about this? Do I trust Susie to talk to M_ about it? Do I let her spend the night and then bust it up if she causes problems? HALP!

6 comments:

Kelly said...

how close are M and Susie? Can you coach Susie in talking to M about being a little more chilled out than last time?

Grandma said...

No, it shouldn't be Susie's job to police her difficult friend. An adult needs to do that.

How about a "contract" for those sleeping over, giving a specific hour for quiet to begin and end? Or a place to go (home, maybe?) if you don't want to sleep so the others can sleep? Or maybe urge the mother to keep the child at home? (Much more difficult to do.)

One "slumber party" (my birthday in 6th grade) made me never have a second one!

Cee Jay said...

This really brings back some memories. My advice is to let Susie handle it from here. I used to get involved in these things with my daughter and there was another mother who used to get even more involved. Our involvement always turned out badly. Some things kids just need to find out from experience. M might learn that keeping people awake and being possessive of friends has consequences. Susie might find a tactful way of dealing with this on her own. They all might have a big girl fuss and not talk to each other for a week or two then talk it all out with tears and hugs and be better off for it. M might decide that she really doesn't like this group and find a group that likes staying up all night or find a friend that doesn't have as many other friends as Susie. I found the best way for me to deal with the drama was just to be a good listener and ask the right questions. Like, Humm, Do you think some of your friends will feel left out if some are invited for a sleep over and others aren't? Then listen , watch, hold your breath and be ready with a box of tissues if needed.

I watched some pretty good drama with my daughter and her friends. Now they are all grown 20 somethings, most are still friends, pretty tactful and socially comfortable people.

Another thing I had to do was keep my own relationships separate from my daughter's. There were mothers I liked and she couldn't stand their daughters and visa versa. For my daughter to be her own person, she had to be able to choose her own friends.

Parslife said...

Separate the two activities. Party on Friday for everyone, with a strict ending time. Sleepover with a couple of friends on Saturday, NOT to be discussed at the party.

Hot Librarian said...

I, for one, am eager to see how this plays out, as sooner than I think I'll be dealing with the exact same thing... so, um, please update and let us know!

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