The Introvert and kid/family social obligations (birthdays, sleepovers, etc) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 67 Old 03-09-2013, 07:11 AM
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Hmmm. First off, no you don't need therapy for not wanting people over. That's a pretty extreme reaction! 


I think the key is that we are all different and for all of us, we have to be ok to leave our comfort zone. That goes for introverts AND extroverts. Introverts need to recognise that their extrovert kids have different social needs and, IMO, listen to them and try to honour them. I can see how growing up as an extrovert in an introvert household would be hard.Extroverts need to stop acting like there is something wrong with introversion. At the end of the day they are just two different ways of processing the world. I'm quite extroverted, married to an extreme intovert, and we've both just had to adapt since having kids (my daughters are pretty extrovert, my son kind of on the introvert/extrovert border). I have to do absolutely all of the organising of anything social, I have to be the one there interacting because he literally cannot. However, he recognises that this is quite hard on me to an extent and does most or all the behind the scenes stuff.


But what I really wanted to say was this. Since when are sleepovers some kind of rite of passage? Is this an American cultural thing? When I was growing up we mainly had sleepovers for the convenience of our parents. That was about it. We lived in a tiny, inner London flat, and there would literally have been nowhere to put three extra kids. Even now, when my kids have sleepovers, behind it is usually parental convenience. I don't think it is a necessary rite of passage, anyway, though I recognise that if all the other girls are doing it it will be hard if yours don't.

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#62 of 67 Old 03-09-2013, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post
But what I really wanted to say was this. Since when are sleepovers some kind of rite of passage? Is this an American cultural thing? When I was growing up we mainly had sleepovers for the convenience of our parents. That was about it. We lived in a tiny, inner London flat, and there would literally have been nowhere to put three extra kids. Even now, when my kids have sleepovers, behind it is usually parental convenience. I don't think it is a necessary rite of passage, anyway, though I recognise that if all the other girls are doing it it will be hard if yours don't.


I don't feel they are an American rite of passage. They are something that some people like and have fond memories of and others may not like or don't care about at all.


When I was 12 years old and younger slumber parties were popular for birthdays. All the girls in my class at school would be invited to the birthday child's home. The boys didn't do these kind of parties at that time. I don't think it was convenient for any of the parents. I didn't particularly enjoy attending the slumber parties but it was what everyone did at the time. My parents didn't allow slumber parties at our home after my sister had one and the house got trashed and that was fine but we HAD to attend other people's parties.

No one over the age of 12 that I knew would have had a big sleepover party. They might have had one friend stay over occasionally but it wasn't a big deal if you didn't after that age.


My dd has had a friend stay at our home a few times for birthdays or parental convenience but I didn't feel she had to experience that situation to have a good childhood.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#63 of 67 Old 03-09-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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The party thing, in general, I think is somewhat regional. I know when my niece graduated from high school a couple of years ago in the DC area that a whole bunch of her classmates (maybe not every kid, but it seemed like it) each had graduation parties. I think she went to 20+.  That was not my experience at all growing up. One family had a graduation party and that was it. I know that she had several sleepovers and I think as a teen, too — like maybe the whole track team? Not sure. 


Anyway, I do think it can be cultural/regional, but I don't think we're obligated to buy into that. I don't think my kids will be going to 20+ graduation parties, either. 


Luckily my kids are both pretty much introverts — happy to read books or do other quiet activities much of the time. They veer a little more toward the middle of the spectrum, especially the younger one, but I don't think either one of them is really extroverted. At most the younger one might be an ambivert. Personally, I have just become more and more introverted over the years. I think part of it is some eldercare obligations I have that drain me and I just don't have as much left over for the rest of the world. 

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#64 of 67 Old 03-11-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by beanma View Post


I really just don't like having many folks to my house. I hope I don't annoy too many people in my real life with that, but I do like to get together with them—just on neutral ground preferably, their homes secondly, and my home last.


Yep, this is me.

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#65 of 67 Old 03-11-2013, 12:22 PM
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I've only skimmed these posts (workmen are here), but I really want to comment.

I never had a sleepover, and only had one kid birthday party when I was growing up. Would it have been nice to have other parties or a sleepover? Maybe. But I survived. And there have been sleepovers.

OP, I agree with your strategy. Reciprocal party or parties, then be don with sleepovers. Have other parties elsewhere. That's less stress.
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#66 of 67 Old 03-11-2013, 12:30 PM
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The idea that good relationships are based on tit for tat reciprocity is a concept that I have never embraced.


When my daughter was younger she would at times be invited to sleepovers specifically because the family or child thought that we would invite their child to a sleepover. We did not; I have never hosted a sleepover. When my daughter arrived in response to an invitation, she took flowers, food or a hostess gift to her host family as a courtesy. She also helped clean up and followed the rules of the household where she was a guest.


I know that "failing" to reciprocate in kind offended some people and we just ignored it. An invitation is a gesture of generosity and friendship, not a contract, and we treated it as such.

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#67 of 67 Old 03-11-2013, 01:18 PM
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I do think sleepovers (with 1 or 2 children more often than a party) are pretty common in the US. Not everyone does them, of course, but a pretty popular activity. I know "sleeping over" and "eating over" were favorite social activities when I was a kid and my kids are requesting the same. My DS has only slept at his sister's house and he at hers. My DD is eagerly awaiting her first sleepover. She just turned six and has been so jealous of DS.

I'm a noisy introvert, if that makes any sense. I prefer going to other people's homes or to common places (parks, museums, restaurants, etc.) I hate when my DSS social workers come over, even though there's no real reason to be uncomfortable. I'm a single, currently not working regularly, mom, and we live in a tiny townhouse. Everyone we come in contact with, friends and acquaintances, has more than we do. The kids school is in an upscale neighborhood, next to an even more upscale neighborhood. Even though their classmates and their families are wonderful people, I still haven't reciprocated a playdate at our house. I think if I was more comfortable having people over, in general, the housing difference wouldn't bother me as much.

We always have parties out of home. Usually at a park, pool, or rented room, but never at home. A neighbor had a home party with 12 kids, but that would be wayyyyy to tight for me.
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