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Does Little Brother Get to Participate in Big Sister's Playdates? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
I understand that you seem to be ok with this amount of childcare for your friends - and that your dd enjoys it. It takes a village, etc. Ok. But it isn't working for your family. Ds has a problem, and so do you. 4 to 6 days a week, 6 to 8 hours a day, turning into frequent sleepovers?? Sounds like (from an outside perspective) you are a daycare provider. Do all these friends provide frequent care for your kids? Sounds like you may be being taken advantage of? Sometimes people will do that with people like yourself who are kind and love kids and want to be helpful.

Also, this is preventing YOUR children from the time together needed to really build THEIR sibling relationship. If your dd didn't have a friend(s) over every day, all day long, do you think there may be more of an option for your two kids to play together? I know that mine (8, 4, 2 years old) play GREAT much of the time, until one of the older kids has a friend over. Of course the kid and the friend want to do x,y,z without the other siblings. It is TIRING to keep the others out of the kid/friend play!!!! I hear you!!! They want so much to play together so you really have to jump through hoops to get them to forget about it.

IF your dd's playdates were once a week, I COMPLETELY think that ds should be kept busy so the girls can have private time to do "big girl" stuff. But every day?? That is not fair to your son at all. It will hurt their sibling relationship - and helping your friends with childcare is not worth the price you are paying with the kids' relationship.

I'd explain to my friends that I can do once a week, with a preset length of time and no sleepover. That is more than reasonable - you and your kids need some down time, time to be together without friends to host, etc. Let us know what you decide/how it works out.
post #22 of 32
WOW!! That is a lot of time and I can see your son's side of it.

Yes, your dd need her more mature time but 4-6 days a week for 6-8 hours and stay overs is too much. That home is your son's home and I think you need to curb your dd some.

This doesn't mean you don't give her private without the brother time but limit how much.
post #23 of 32
I have to agree with the others about it being way too much time! If my husband had "playdates" over that much, I'd be a little cranky. As it is, sometimes I get cranky if he plays golf too many weekends in a row!!! Curb it to 1-2 times per week, plan something special to do with your son during that time and see how it goes. Your daughter won't be happy, but she will learn to play by herself and with her brother. And you will have a much easier time for yourself! Good luck!
post #24 of 32
This is a wonderful, thoughtful thread. Thank you, all.

It brought up a lot of sibling relationship questions for me. And the fact that my kids are very sibling oriented, and even though that's fabulous, I do have questions for those who grew up sibling and family-oriented, rather than peer -oriented.

I am just wondering if i should start another thread, or tack it onto here?
post #25 of 32
I'm just popping in on this post, but a couple of things struck me.
Originally Posted by May May
Mom4tot, we used to home-school, too, and these issues seemed to come up less. I don't know if it was because of the ages they were when we home-schooled, or because of the fact that, even amongst our local home-school group families (large, large. . over a hundred families belong), the age barriers were less than they are at school, where the division of children (by grade/age) is more pronounced. It was always a very mixed-age, communal feeling that I had at the home-school group meetings with all the moms and children all gathering, literally, on common ground (at a big, city park ). That's how it still is in my home, and that's why I don't want this divisiveness feeling!
I think it is homeschooling that makes the difference. If you think about it, a school is a very divisive society. Kids are kept with other kids their same age all day. In some instances you have the further divisiveness of girls and boys, *popular* and *geeks* etc. You just don't see that as much in homeschooling. We started Hsing when my DD was 9 (she's 11 now) and I noticed a difference at that age as well (and still do). Everyone's younger sibs tag along and it's well accepted.

Originally Posted by May May
But my dd is the one who is leader to her friends; they always take her cues. Doesn't that mean that she has a strong 'independent personhood?' Remember, she only acts this way when her friends are around. When we're in private, she's very attached to me, still.
This would concern me. If she's acting in such a blatantly different manner around her friends, that suggests peer orientation to me. When her peers are around she's more interested in being with/pleasing them then her family. She sounds pretty conflicted. She knows she is not acting the way she should (since she doesn't act that way when alone with you all and readily apologises for her behaviour) but she continues the behaviour. Just because she's a leader doesn't mean she isn't modifying her behaviour when her peers are around. If she was secure in her personhood she wouldn't change who that *person* is depending on whose around. Does that make sense?

David Ekind talks alot about this sort of thing. He calls it a *patchwork self*, one that changes his or her values and behaviour to suit who they are with at the time. This is not considered a good thing. Since she is so young I don't think you need to worry that she's doomed or anything but I would work very hard to get her to realize she doesn't need to do this.

I think cutting back on some of these play-dates is a really good idea. It seems that DD might need a little more exclusive family time to help her get her priorities in order. I would also speak with DD and make sure she knows the attitude is unexceptable and that there will be consequences if it continues. My DD knows that if she acts in an unacceptable way when a friend is over, that friend won't be coming over much!

Just my 2c!

post #26 of 32
Yes IMO it's unreasonable to require her to allow him to participate in her time spent with friends. There is a huge age difference between them and she has the right to spend time alone with her friends if she wants.

But I will admit I am biased, this is a huge issue with my dd's friends parents constantly assuming that all younger siblings are invited to all get togethers.
post #27 of 32
I have an 11 yr old DD and a 3 yr old DS and no she does not have to include her 3 yr old brother in when with her friends.......She plays with him when she wants on her time. I dont want her to grow up and resent having him have to tag along.... (not that i am saying you are doing that ... i have not read all the replies yet.... )
post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi all.

I want to say a really sincere THANK YOU for all the insightful feedback, especially from benjalo and 3momkmb. I had never even noticed these issues with/in my daughter, so I'm researching them pretty heavily, these days. I should point out, however, that it seems to be pretty mild, now that I've been observing her behavior with a magnifying glass.

It pretty much boils down to her just acting a bit 'cool' in front of her friends . . . . now that I've really meditated on it, that's as bad as it gets.

I am expecting some David Elkind books from the library in a couple of days (I reserved them). No Gordon Neufeld books, though, but I've learned a lot just from reading on his website - enough to gain awareness and help me formulate a game plan.

Again, thank you so much for pointing these things out. I DO see these behaviors in many, many children (even memories from my own childhood and childhood friends) and never noticed how destructive it is to the child's personality. It's so so true, though. Seems like more people should be aware of this subject. . . . No one I know IRL has ever mentioned it in my presence, just in general. I've even heard mothers say that it's 'neat' and 'something to look forward to' when children grow older and have all their friendships to insulate them and provide security for them. Now I believe that their insulation and security should be coming from MAMMA.

So my plan is quite a radical shift, but it's based on a holistic analysis/perspective of my daughter's needs.

Jen, your points about schools being divisive spurred a whole lot of thought for me. It's so true! They are divisive on so many levels, which, in my heart, I know is the foundation of all separatist thinking. It is what I loved about homeschooling - it's like a big village where all the children played easily together - all the different ages. "Difference" is far less obvious in that setting. I loved it at the time, and, even though we've been at a Waldorf school which I'm so grateful for, I've chosen to go back to homeschooling for a while. It's not only because of this issue: I've been feeling uncomfortable with several aspects of the school she's at for some time, aside from Anthroposophical philosophy, which I'm passionately dedicated to.

So I'm feeling it's a sign from the universe that we need some more opportunity to bond together, just hanging out; keeping her 'closer to home.' I'm not sure how long it will last, I'm just going to play it by ear. .

I've already started discussing my decision with her, as far as our plans for her to start participating in more homeschooling 'classes' and new extracurricular-type activities such as horseback riding, gymnastics, etc. It's feeling very exciting for both of us!

She is an amazing person, and I'm really feeling a need to preserve and maintain our very deep connection through this transitional time in her life as she approaches teen-hood. I really just want to hold her close, now. :
post #29 of 32
Sorry I haven't read all the responses but to the OPer

we do both. i try to give everyone 1 on 1 time with thier friends but they are also expected to play as a group. friends who expect to come over to our house must follow our rules about everyone gets respect. no bratty little sister comments, no "we are not going to play with the baby because she is a baby". when they can be nice to the littles, I make sure they get thier alone time. It doesn't kill them to include the younger kids for a while or every other play date.

also I often have a friend for each of them or we all coordinate playdates together so that everyone has a friend. We have teh same isue with older dd has all the friends (because I had nothign better to do when she was a child but coordinate friends and make connections - littles got stuck with friends littles )

but we homeschool and that is the rule in most of our friends families and there isn't realy a huge attitude of "big kids rule and little kids drool". they are more than happy usually to play together for most of the playdate. usually the only time the want to oust the little kids is when they are doing something thechnically crafty and little are eating beads or something. Only atfer the baby has made a decided nuisence of herself in which case I am happy to remove her. but they know they must still speak respectfuly, politely and accept my descision on the matter either way. I have special things set aside to entertain the little ones when this happens (fresh playdough, new sticker book, playing on the piano, candy, baking project, computer time etc)

I also have all girls which may make a diference but i would have the same attitude if i had boys. we don't allow boy / girl discrimination in our house.

anyway it has worked out beautiful. I love the way everyone who comes over to play hasaccepted this rule. one day the 11 year old neighbor girl came over and played with the baby (everyone else was gone) and they had a great time. (and I want to point out she is PS - just cause I mentioned homeschooling earlier) and she always does well including everyone. but she knows that is what is expected at our house and has learned that little kids can provide hours of goofy entertainment :LOL

my friends are equally good about inviting all of my children over for a playdate and making sure everyone has a good time.

Sorry this is so scattered. one last thought. all playdates (especialy the older girls) are highly supervised (dd picks up most of her bad behaviors, warped ideas and most atrocious attitudes from girls her age) so since I am there the little are usualy there, but also highly supervised and not allowed to annoy for the sake of anoying. so it is everyone in the playroom or outside or whatever.

also wanted to say that this is how we do it at our house. how my friends do it is up to them. And i would never let my child tag along to someone else house. only the invited child. BUt then we also limit how much time dd spends at other people house because how she percieves her siblings and thier relationship is very important to us. But my friends are at least as good as I am (if not better :P ) about inviting everyone over occaisionally.
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
Those are really excellent perceptions and approaches, lilyka! ITA!
post #31 of 32
Does she have her own room?I would provide my daughter and her friends all privacy she wants...in HER room.But I wouldn't try to keep a 4 year old away when they are in my living room. If they are in common area they have to sort things out by themselves.
post #32 of 32
Wow, amazing thread! That much friend over time and sleepovers would make me
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