The complicated attempts of navigating social tween-aged kids

The other night, the mom of a boy in my daughter’s class reminded me that Friday is a PA day. No school.

Didn’t we just have a long break from school? ๐ŸŽ„

Argh. ๐Ÿ™„

The reason she and I were texting was because our children, along with some others, arranged a movie at a cinema amongst themselves for Friday evening. All the details were ironed out at school and via texts with each other. It was all finalized.

Until they realized maybe they should ask parents for permission. And also they will need a ride. And money. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Have you ever had to navigate the social life of a bunch of tweens?

OMG. ๐Ÿ˜

I mean, I don’t even know either boy, nor their parents, in this group. I do know the girl in the group though, and her parents, but still.

Which is why I was texting the boy’s mom. I asked for her number.

“Before you guys continue your planning, tell your friend to give his mom my number. You’re not going anywhere with people we’ve never met.” I told my daughter.

Lordy. ๐Ÿ˜

Long story short, after a lot of drama, texting, phone calling and back and forth between the four of them, which went on for a week, time and movie has been picked.

The final question however remained: will there be adult supervision? Because as per the dad of my child, a chaperone is required inside the movie theatre.

“You just volunteered,” I told him.

Ha. ๐Ÿ˜ถ

He was willing, but in the end, one of the boys mom’s has offered to escort the little group. And she’s coming here first so we can all get acquainted.

This evolving socializing is going to be quite the ride with this girl child of mine, I think…Makes me *almost* thankful my own boy is tethered to his gaming rather than girls, and going out, and needing chauffeuring, and money, and drop offs, and pick ups, and, and, and…

Almost. ๐Ÿ™„

Sigh.

We’re on the threshold of the teen years. I expect to be busier now, because teen socializing will inject another dimension to the scene. A new element of more, not less, parental organizing, is inching into my lists and calendars. That’s all I need…๐Ÿ˜ต

Just think, I now get to insert tween and teen social activities in between their heavy sports schedules. Yippie! ๐Ÿ˜ด

But there is another way to look at this situation.

Frankly, the simple fact the kids are in sports will probably make the entire teen social scene a little easier to bear.

At least I hope so. The sports seem to continue to be of primary interest at the moment, which gives them a good distraction for when stress about school or with friends happens. Neither child has shown indication of waning interest in their various sporting activities so far.

To us parents, we breathe a sigh of relief, for several reasons.

First off, they don’t have a lot of free time to contemplate all the ways of getting into trouble. (Maybe I’m delusional about this but time will tell. I am hopeful…)

Secondly, they love their sports, and the developmental aspect of improving their skills has not waned. It makes them happy to go to practice or play in games, which is the primary objective in youth sports, isn’t it. If they don’t enjoy it, why bother?

Third, they have a diverse set of friends whom they are close to: school friends, neighborhood friends, hockey friends, baseball friends, etc. Some of the kids in sports they’ve known for years and their families have become close to us parents too. Personally I like the idea of my kids being around other kids outside of their school and neighborhood. Fresh perspectives and outlooks are always a welcome diversion when one gets bogged down by same old, don’t you think?

And, the fact that physical activity has a slew of health benefits doesn’t hurt.

So when my girl was asked to the movies on Sunday this coming weekend, her response was simply “I can’t”. She didn’t elaborate on the many activities she has going on, but the rest of the group found a new date to accommodate her schedule.

In the meantime, I consulted the colour coordinated calendar and her various teamsnap apps to see when she was free, as well as which adult was available to accompany them, for the social activity on Friday. That was my job. If she needs money, let her go to the other parent. ๐Ÿค‘

And so it begins…

Feel free to send thoughts and prayers. Or send wine. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tell me, this is all normal, right? Parenting in the age of smartphones certainly isn’t for wimps.

13 thoughts on “The complicated attempts of navigating social tween-aged kids

  1. My child will be able to legally drive, alone, by the end of this year. In many ways, I dread it, knowing the worry that will come with it every time she’s out of my sight in a vehicle. On the other hand, I remember how good it felt to have a little freedom to get where I wanted to go without having to depend on my folks for a ride. I think I’m looking forward to those days for her more than I’m dreading them.

    One thing that has not changed as my daughter has grown, is my complete paranoia about her spending time with people I don’t know. I’ve always had that “talk to/meet the parents first” philosophy, but I don’t think it ever gets easier for me. It feels so awkward to reach out to strangers because our kids are friends…I HATE doing it. Thankfully, most of her long term friendships are now established, I know their folks pretty well, but soon enough she’ll be where she can hang out wherever, whenever, and with whoever she chooses. At that point, I have to trust my own parenting. I can’t believe that day is getting closer all the time….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kids are grown and flown, but I remember those days all too well. Yesterday I met with 4 other writers and we chatted about so many things but when the conversation came to kids and traveling sports, it was such a common bond for the 3 of us who live(d) through it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Itโ€™s funny. The kids here have so much freedom because of the mass transit system. I know mine is 17 now, but I canโ€™t think of the last time she actually needed me for a social outing

    Liked by 2 people

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