only one twin invited - I knew this day would come - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 01-14-2010, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My children are 5 ½ . They have never gone on a play date without my staying and have always gone together. My daughter was invited to go to a schoolmate’s home after school to play. My son and I were not invited. The mother wanted to drive my daughter home but I said I would drop her off at their house.

So…
I’m a little nervous about leaving her at basically a stranger’s house. The husband and older brother will not be home. I've met the mother twice on field trips.

I’m a little nervous because my daughter can be a handful and I am hoping she behaves.

I’m a little heartbroken seeing the sadness on my son’s face when he heard he was not invited.

I'm sure it will be fine. Any tips to make it go smoothly?
I've already talked to them about how this will happen more in the future with play dates and birthday parties - especially since one is a boy and one a girl. (There have been no birthday parties for school this year.) While my daughter is there I was going to take my son shopping or out for a bite to eat (both of which are a treat for him).
Thanks
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#2 of 21 Old 01-14-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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I remember when me and my sister started getting invited individually to play dates and things - it was a little sad, I felt a little left out sometimes, but then I also loved being out without my sister myself now and then. We hit a point around the age of five where we really needed some space and time apart.

I'd be really matter of fact about it, frankly - they are different people and will be closer to different friends. The outing you have planned sounds nice, but maybe it would also be a good idea to suggest that your son invite a friend over for the afternoon sometime?
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#3 of 21 Old 01-14-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The outing you have planned sounds nice, but maybe it would also be a good idea to suggest that your son invite a friend over for the afternoon sometime?
Thank you for your reply.
yes, he suggested this - without his sister. I haven't invited anyone over because I was waiting to meet parents but it looks like that might not happen. If I invite a friend over for him another time his sister will be here since I have no one to watch her. As the night goes on, I think I am more nervous about leaving her at someone's house than my son is upset about not being invited. He seems almost relieved he wasn't invited once he heard I wouldn't be staying. We'll see how it goes Monday.
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#4 of 21 Old 01-15-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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I don't have twins, but if I were you I would think hard about starting to institute special treats for when one gets invited out and the other doesn't- it could be the beginning of a beast. It is only normal that siblings don't always keep the same friends, and do the same things at the same time, especially opposite sex siblings.
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#5 of 21 Old 01-15-2010, 01:36 AM
 
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My twins are that age. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving either (or both) at the home of someone I didn't really know. I think (know) I fall on the over-cautious side though.

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#6 of 21 Old 01-15-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My twins are that age. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving either (or both) at the home of someone I didn't really know. I think (know) I fall on the over-cautious side though.
I'm also considered over-cautious so I was trying to be a little less so. I've never allowed anyone else to drive my children which is why I offered to take her over their house. I figured it gives me the opportunity to stop in and come back a little early. I've spoken with the mother briefly several times when we both volunteered on field trips and in length on the phone when she called to invite my daughter. We also have mutual acquaintances. I'm considering taking my son to my uncle's house and asking if I can stay with my daughter. (I didn't want to ask to bring a second child when he wasn't invited and they are all in the same class.) The fact that I am not exactly a social person doesn't make the situation any better.
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#7 of 21 Old 01-15-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have twins, but if I were you I would think hard about starting to institute special treats for when one gets invited out and the other doesn't- it could be the beginning of a beast. It is only normal that siblings don't always keep the same friends, and do the same things at the same time, especially opposite sex siblings.
good point
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#8 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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My twins are 2 1/2, so really I am only speculating on how I might handle the situation. At 5 1/2 I might allow my daughter to decide whether she felt comfortable enough to be dropped off for a playdate, or if she would prefer I stay. I have yet to allow anyone but DH (and I have always been with him) drive my twins. As for your daughter being 'handful', as a former preschool teacher, and an aunt of 7, I know that children are completely different when away from their parents, especially when it comes to challenging behaviors.

As for doing something special with your son while his sister is at a playdate, I would definitely take advantage of the time. It could be a one time event, easing the transition of the separation, or a ritual. As a parent of twins, our only children, I sometimes feel a little cheated. All of time we spend together is shared, we didn't have 2 years alone with our first child and then 2 years with the second child when the first goes to kindergarten and then later college, it's all shared. So when occasions arise that allow us to spend individual time with one child, I think that it's okay to make it special, a treat. For the record, I LOVE having twins and I treasure their relationship with one another, I just find that they're growing up way too fast!

HTH

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#9 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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. For the record, I LOVE having twins and I treasure their relationship with one another, I just find that they're growing up way too fast!
I completely agree with this - the time goes too quickly!
Thanks for your response. It's true, my children get very little one-on-one time. I should look at this as a nice opportunity.

Ironically, we rec'd a B-day invite this afternoon for my son...our first school birthday invite and it is boys only. Of course, I've never left them at a b-day party, do not have much access to a sitter, and my husband works Saturdays...so the challenges go on! I am going to see if someone can watch my daughter so I can stay at the party with my son. I'm assuming most parents stay at a six yo party...maybe not.
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#10 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 10:39 AM
 
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I'm assuming most parents stay at a six yo party...maybe not.
Not in my neighborhood. Around here, most people expect to stay at parties for 4-year olds and drop-off for 5-year olds. I would ask when you RSVP.

If I wanted to stay at a 6-year old party, I would ask if I could stay and help. DS1 would be embarrassed if he thought I stayed because I thought he needed me there.

ETA: On the other hand, I have dropped DS1 off at parties where most of the other parents stayed. I always asked in advance, though. With triplets as his younger siblings, his friends' parents tend to give me quite a bit of help in that regard.

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mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#11 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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For a 6yo bday I would definitely assume drop off.

And even for the playdate, it might be awkward for the other mom if you said you wanted to come and stay. I know when my kids have playdates at that age, and even my 4yo, they are drop offs. I don't always actively engage with the kids- they are playing together and often I am getting stuff done that I need to do. Obviously if they need me for something, I am there to help, and to facilitate anything that needs be, but otherwise, it is definitely independent play. If *I* am looking for a mommy playdate, lol, I definitely put it as would you like to come over for the afternoon, we can gab while the kiddies play...
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#12 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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My kids aren't twins but they are closely spaced. Around 5/6 is the age when we started doing *short* drop offs, partly because of the 'what to do with the other one' issue.

Treasure the one-on-one time with the other one! I agree with the poster about buying treats for the one not invited (because then keeping things even can get tricky). But doing something simple together with the focus on how nice it is just to have time together is the perfect solution.

We so seldom get one-on-one time with our kids.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Treasure the one-on-one time with the other one! I agree with the poster about buying treats for the one not invited (because then keeping things even can get tricky). But doing something simple together with the focus on how nice it is just to have time together is the perfect solution.

We so seldom get one-on-one time with our kids.
I didn't mean I was going to buy him a 'treat'. I was thinking of taking him grocery shopping with me which is actually a 'treat' for him! My kids have only been to the grocery store twice!! (They go to other places like Costco, small shops, etc. it's not like they never leave the house) or I was going to take him to a cafe near the play date...my children love going to restaurants.

Thanks for all the replies. Since these are my only children and all my friend's children are in college I wasn't sure of the playdate B-day party etiquette. I'd better get comfortable with leaving them.
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#14 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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If you ask to stay, I would do so pretending that your daughter is uncomfortable at new places and wants you to stay, and I would only do so if eventually you would be willing to do drop off playdates (which it sounds like is how this woman operates.). I am not as cautious as you, but the norms at the school where my daughter attends kindergarten are definitely toward drop off, and I would not invite children over very often who also came along with their parents. It's a lot more to have a grown up over than just the kids, and she didn't invite you.

Also, here, very few parents stay at a six year old birthday party. I am not saying you have to get used to it or anything(I certainly have my own parenting peccadilloes and don't care if they are normal or not), but if you are going to buck norms I think it is helpful to know ahead of time so you can figure out how people might react and what you want to do about it. I know it is so tricky navigating these waters.
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#15 of 21 Old 01-16-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I didn't mean I was going to buy him a 'treat'. I was thinking of taking him grocery shopping with me which is actually a 'treat' for him!
That's totally how I handle this stuff. My kids are older but it still comes up because one is in TONS of activities and one if very quiet and shy. The shy quiet one and I often go to Starbucks (which is a super fun big thing for her) while her sister does her zillions of things. It's nice!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#16 of 21 Old 01-17-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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Have you read Hold onto Your Kids by Dr Gordon Neufeld? Of all the parenting books I have read I think this one captures the quintessence of parenting, and is something I would recommend to more mainstream parents. It discusses socialization of children and addresses why adolescents in our culture have so many difficulties. I was surprised to find out the rebellious teenager phase we consider normal is not universal. He concludes by suggesting that what our culture has lost is a sense of community and suggests re-creating the attachment village (that more traditional cultures still have) as part of the solution. In this particular situation I think he would recommend that your DD see you socializing with her friend’s mother. Maybe even create a ritual where you go inside with her, when you drop her off, to help orient her.
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#17 of 21 Old 01-17-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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I am starting to feel weird because my twins have NEVER been asked to go on playdates together. My DD actually looks at playdates as a chance to get away from her brothers. The only complaint I have gotten out of her brother is that he does not get as many playdates as her (most of his friends have parents who work full-time so scheduling playdates and getting to know the parents is harder). We did not really start doing playdates until they were in kindergarten. The few we have done, I have talked with the parent before hand, hung around for a little while and then left. Most of the parents I have also had the opportunity to see and talk with when I ran into them at some public place were both sets of kids were playing.

As far as birthdays, I have dropped off since my kids were 4.5 years. Most of the time it was not a choice at 4.5 years. Usually it was I did not have care for my other kids or in one case, I had the sickies in the house. Usually there were other parents around who a knew/would watch out for my DD and my DD does pretty much take care of herself very well. With kindergarten (we had not had any birthday parties this year), the rule among her friends was parents could stay or drop as they saw fit. 90% just dropped since we knew each other and the girls (we did ask if the host parent needed help before going if we were able to hang around if needed). My DS who is 5 and in pre-school has just started the birthday party thing and we stay with him. It makes him feel better and I don't know the parents as well in his class.

My best recommendation is not make a HUGE deal about your daughter going on a playdate without her twin. Treat it as something normal and go on from there. They are not always going to have the same friends which I think is important.
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#18 of 21 Old 01-18-2010, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems as though this situation is worrying me much more than my children. Besides the initial disappointment, my son doesn't seem to care that he was not invited. My daughter is mostly excited about going and not too nervous. (Although it took her forever to fall asleep tonight. She normally gets/needs 12-13hours of sleep to be her best but she was still singing and talking in her room at 9:45pm.

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Have you read Hold onto Your Kids by Dr Gordon Neufeld?
I haven't read the book but have seen it recommended on other MDC threads. I'll check it out.

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In this particular situation I think he would recommend that your DD see you socializing with her friend’s mother. Maybe even create a ritual where you go inside with her, when you drop her off, to help orient her.
Although I prefer to stay, I was planning on taking her inside but not staying. As pp's mentioned, I do not want to invite myself and inconvenience the other mother.


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My best recommendation is not make a HUGE deal about your daughter going on a playdate without her twin. Treat it as something normal and go on from there. They are not always going to have the same friends which I think is important.
I think you are correct.
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#19 of 21 Old 01-19-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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My twin boys are 5.5 too and the first time one was invited over to an activity without the other what made me really sad was the other twin´s sadness.
What worked for me, and has ever since, is I make it a "special day with mom" event for the one not invited. That way I get to spend some one on one time with each and instead of feeling left out, it makes them feel like they are getting a treat!
Think of a creative way to make the twin not invited think of this as an opportunity, and he might actually look forward to those ocassions!
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#20 of 21 Old 01-21-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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I think taking him out for special me and mommy time is a good thing. I have twins that will be 6 in march and they are b/g. I even do that with my oldest ds when the twins go somewhere and he isn't invited. good luck with what ever you decide tho!

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#21 of 21 Old 01-21-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to update...It all went beautifully. My daughter loved the playdate and my son loved the one-on-one time. (We just went grocery shopping and to Hobby Lobby.) We arrived back at the house and were invited in. My son was able to play for ~thirty minutes and I was able to chat w/the mother.
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