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How much socialising does your 11/12 yo do?


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#1 zogee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 12:44 PM

My daughter is 11.5 and loves being with friends. Some of her friends seem to do long sleepovers and all weekend play dates, eg: out from Friday night then to another persons place till Sunday. Don’t even get me started on the group iMessage chats!

Trouble is my daughter has anxiety and low mood so she really can’t handle this much interaction. Eg: she was in tears on Sunday night really depressed and took a good hour or two to calm down. She’s seeing a mental health clinic soon & has been having psychological therapy for about 9 months.
Im tempted to limit the time for socialising and declined an invitation this weekend, as I want her to spend some quality time with her Dad. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Am I right in my approach?

Edited by zogee, 14 November 2019 - 12:45 PM.


#2 cstar

Posted 14 November 2019 - 01:04 PM

At that age not much really.

Maybe a play date for a few hours here and there, sleepovers were only with her best friend who is also our neighbor.

She's 13 now, weekends she might organise to see some friends either at their house or ours, a sleepover maybe every few months, but only for 1 night. I would not let them do a whole weekend like that, it's too much.  I like them to socialise but I also want to see them too.

#3 zogee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 01:16 PM

Thank you cstar! I’m an introvert so I wasn’t sure if I was being too restrictive. If she’s not able to cope on Sunday night that’s a sure sign I guess 😊

#4 Wahwah

Posted 14 November 2019 - 01:16 PM

My 12yo is sociable, but also appreciates down time, especially in the holidays. This time of year is nuts because there's a lot of end of year stuff going on with dance and school, as well as birthdays.

She also had a meltdown this week because she was overwhelmed, tired, had a bit of a cold and is probably dealign with hormones. I gave her a very rare day off school on Monday because she just need to centre herself and do nothing. She loves school and won't usually stay at home, but didn't argue this time.

Also I said she couldn't go to a sleep over next weekend. I got a bit of begging and huffing, but we said she needed to come to a bbq with us, because it was a family thing and family are as important as friends.

So I'd say you have good reason to put the brakes on socialising a bit...they're still just kids and don't always recognise what's good for them.

#5 zogee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 01:27 PM

Thanks WahWah :D yes this time of year gets so hectic!

#6 JBH

Posted 14 November 2019 - 03:08 PM

He has arrangements to either go to someone’s house or have someone at ours for 3-4 hours maybe 4 times per term. He has sport, we enjoy spending time together as a family, and he is the kind of child who needs time to mess about in his room, lie on his bed reading, and tool about with his brother without the need to “act social”. If he spends too much time socialising it exhausts him and he becomes very difficult.

#7 SummerStar

Posted 14 November 2019 - 03:21 PM

At that age barely any outside school and parties that were arranged. Rarely had sleepovers or went to any. All my kids are home bodies and have felt their home is their space so rarely had friends over either past about 8.

Edited by SummerStar, 14 November 2019 - 03:22 PM.


#8 Tinkle Splashes

Posted 14 November 2019 - 03:59 PM

At that age my dd was very social. Sleepovers every weekend, one or both nights. Seeing additional friends during the day on weekends. Texting constantly. It was really full on.

She’s 21 now and still likes to be with people all the time. She doesn’t like being alone at all.

#9 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:00 PM

DD1 has recently figured out that sleepovers that last longer than 24 hours are not so good for her, so she tends not to want to do all weekend sleepovers etc (which thankfully have only been asked of her a few times). It exhausts here and then we bear the brunt of her meltdown. With sleep overs, I always give her the option of a late pick-up (10pm or so) and she has opted to do that a couple of times, knowing that she will prefer to sleep in her own bed that night.

General catch-ups with friends are usually 3-6 hours.
On the weekends, DD1 would prefer to catch up with her non-school friends and while she's happy to socialise, she's not too concerned if she has a weekend every so often with no social event of her own, but I would say she generally has a social catch-up for 3 out of 4 weekends.

As for group chats, she hasn't had too many problems yet with that. But we also have a rule that devices are off at 8:30pm on  (7pm for two school nights) and I think that helps. DH and I have told DD that we think she need a technology break before bedtime and we are happy to cop the brunt of it if her friends give her a hard time about it. It cuased a few issues when we first got tough with the rule, but she has settled into it and it seems to be going okay so far (cross fingers!)

#10 #notallcats

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:13 PM

We are similar to pp.  A catchup after school once a week maybe, a sleep-over once every few months.  Sleep-overs do not last more than 24 hours here too, everyone is tired and emotions all over the place.   There is no chat groups, but will text friends during the week, nothing too crazy.   Will play games on-line with friends too, but that comes and goes.  

Even without the anxiety and meltdowns, I think you are right to bring it in a bit.  Down time is important for everyone but especially I think for kids, they have to be 'on' all the time at school and around friends, it's good to have your own space and be with your family.

#11 ExpatInAsia

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:25 PM

Our 12yo has a close knit social group and always seems to have something on. She has sleepovers but only one per weekend, not every weekend and usually from around 6pm until 10am the next day. 24 hour sleepovers are way too long.

We stopped DD using iMessages for about 8 weeks as it was getting to be too much and a bit toxic. One-on-one chats were ok but the group chats were problematic. DD could see this and was happy to be “banned” and have a break. We continue to monitor her message/internet usage very closely and will do so for some time yet.

#12 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:43 PM

My 12 year is old is very sociable by nature but there is no way she'd be allowed that must time.  

She's a swimmer and plays and instrument so that takes up a lot of her time.  She might have one play date a term, two or three parties and one of them might be a sleepover.  Never a full weekend!  

She also catches the tram home with friends here and there.  

In the holidays she might see 3 or 4 friends.

#13 MincePieMasterchef

Posted 14 November 2019 - 04:59 PM

My kids are younger, but could you say something like 'DD can come round on Saturday but we have a family commitment on Sunday' to give her an out?

#14 zogee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 06:37 PM

View PostTinkle Splashes, on 14 November 2019 - 03:59 PM, said:

At that age my dd was very social. Sleepovers every weekend, one or both nights. Seeing additional friends during the day on weekends. Texting constantly. It was really full on.

She’s 21 now and still likes to be with people all the time. She doesn’t like being alone at all.
I think this sounds a lot like my daughter. I think being with other people also distract her from feeling anxious or bored. They are also a source of stress though at times!
Also she has a sense of ‘missing out on the goss’ if she’s not there.

Expat in Asia - yes this seems to be the norm with her group - the parents don’t seem to mind having frequent sleepovers and weekend long hangouts. I’m not as keen and we have a small house so it feels very cramped with an extra child over for that long.
We do monitor her screen /iMessage use but it’s very alluring. I struggle to put my own phone down!

Edited by zogee, 14 November 2019 - 06:41 PM.


#15 gabbigirl

Posted 14 November 2019 - 08:14 PM

My 11yo daughter loves to socialise so we have play dates most weekends. I love it as the parents often come round too and we have a laugh. We always make sure she has downtime on the weekend though or else we suffer her tired cranky moods. No sleep overs though ever. Way too exhausting

#16 Kreme

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:01 PM

At that age she would have a play date most weekends and perhaps a one night sleepover once every 4-6 weeks. I wouldn’t allow full weekend sleepovers.

DD didn’t have a phone til she was 12.5 and just about to finish year 6. She wasn’t involved in any group chats etc so stayed out of all the drama.

#17 lozoodle

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:28 AM

few hours here and there, sometimes a sleepover that might eat into half of the next day. Sometimes a whole Saturday spent at a friend's.

its usually fairly spontaneous.

there's a fair few imessage chats but she removes herself from the ones she's not interested in and only chats to close friends. they have BYOD from year 3 at our school so they all have ipads they can chat on, its not phones

Edited by lozoodle, 15 November 2019 - 07:29 AM.


#18 zogee

Posted 16 November 2019 - 04:40 PM

Yes it’s an iPad not a phone that she uses. Not that there’s much difference! She’s at the movies with her dad at the moment :)

#19 annodam

Posted 16 November 2019 - 05:02 PM

My soon-to-be 11yo son only socialises at School & during the week at Sports training.
We don't do play dates nor Birthday parties (too busy on the weekends & I CBF) plus hell would freeze over before he has a sleep over at some randoms house.
Every kid in his class is on iMessage except him, over my dead body he will partake in that, all I hear is nothing but issues from the Staff.  A relative of mine is a Teacher at the School he attends, so I get the low down.
I went off my nut last year when some dicky kid Air Dropped him nudity pics!  This is what happens when i-Devices are allowed from Yr 3.  
Did the School listen when I told then it wasn't a good idea for iPads at such a young age?  No, now they're looking at phasing them out in the Middle School from 2020 & thank fk for that, if it wasn't a requirement, my son wouldn't even own an iPad let alone use iMessages!

#20 lizzzard

Posted 16 November 2019 - 05:48 PM

PP I think your approach might work for a child who is confident not being fully involved (even just as an observer) in the social scene of their peer group. My DD would be very unhappy in this scenario. Alot of her social interactions outside school time are online and she would feel very left out socially if I wouldn't let her participate.

#21 literally nobody

Posted 16 November 2019 - 11:04 PM

My 11 year old DD does birthday parties generally and a play date id say once every term at our place. No sleepovers or chat. She used to do group chat until it turned toxic and I got rid of it. As for the sleepovers, the ONE time i said yes she was exposed to something extremely sinister and had to go to see a psychologist for a long time. And to think I felt comfortable saying yes seeing as I thought we knew the other family for 6 years. Now it’s a flat no. I don’t care who gets offended.

Weekends are spent doing homework and family outings.

Edited by literally nobody, 16 November 2019 - 11:05 PM.





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