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40ish and beyond... 40ish and beyond...

How do Digital Natives Socialize?????

Posted by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 8:35 AM
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I'm 42 years old with 3 children, the oldest of whom just turned 12 and is a girl. The younger two are boys not quite 3 and 2 years old (11 mos. apart) who are smack dab in the middle of the terrible two's.

So my oldest was princess of the house and center of our universe until she was 9 years old, but she longed for a sibling so this was a mostly positive change. I think because of her age, that I'm distracted with younger ones, and that kids (and parents) communicate differently than I'm used to, in the last decade, I'm having a hard time connecting with her...and knowing what to do.

She's sweet, loves her brothers, is an A student, contrbutes around the house. But she tends to want to tell me what to do, like she's the parent. She criticizes me, for many things but especially my unfamilarity wth things like computers and texting. Usuallu won't let me finish a sentence, back talks...I do send her to her room if it's real bad, but usually we end up arguing til I have to tend to someone else in the house and she escapes to her room on her own.

Our biggest problem is getting together with her friends. I've literally been telling her for 2 or 3 years now that if she makes plans with her friends, I have to confirm those with the other parent. She fights me on this until I get the parents' cel phone number last minute, and often the plans fall through and she is mad at me.

I don't get how things work today, exactly. When I was her age I would ride my bike up to 5 miles to my friend's house on a Sat. We did plan that ourselves, but it was different because all my friends' parents were married and lived in one place, had the weekends off from work, and at least the mom was home all day. We didn't spend every playdate going somewhere exciting, we just hung around talking in each other's rooms, went for walks around the neighborhood and in the woods, sometimes meeting up with other kids. The biggest planning we had to do was if we were invited over for dinner, and that was just a phone call.

I feel so unconnected to these parents who since kindergarten would just do a drop and go playdate. My daughter is what I've heard called a digital native, while I'm a digital immigrant, and I feel like new technologies aren't just tools to enhance our lives but have actually made socializing a parental nghtmare.

Am I alone in this?

by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 8:35 AM
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Replies (1-6):
LFosterfarm
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 9:12 AM

 damn it I have to get ready to go, keep bumping this so I can come back!  I have words of wisdom, so to speak!!! lol

sahlady
by It's a jen.thing :) on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I have a 17, 15, & 11 yr old.... so a tad older.  I have no issue at all with the drop and go playdates.  It would keep the little kids busy while I got house work done.

As far as getting to know the parents, I would do park playdates and then we would have time to chat while the kids played.  When the kids were a bit older and in pre-school and/or elementary school I would call moms and ask them out to coffee or (my favorite) a walk/hike.  It was a wonderful way to get exercise and get to make a new friend.

As far as the 'digital' part.... Im not sure where that fits into the dilemma.  When the kids were little at my home for play dates, they played.  I didnt allow the tv or computer on for a PLAY date.  I told them to PLAY.  

However, I think it is a GREAT tool to keep in touch with other moms.  I often would/do send out emails to 10+ ladies saying who wants to do this or that.... and often I get at least one who is available to do what ever the outing is.


When the kids were little I would find out what is going on in the area and send out a mass email - example: who wants to go to story time on wed. @10 @ local library.  We will have a picnic in the park next door after.

Just Thurs.  I sent out an email that said "who wants to play" and I listed about 7 things in the area from a cooking class, kayaking, to an art exhibit.  So far I have had about 5 response.  I will be setting up dates for late in october and give the ladies a couple weeks to get their schedules set.


It takes a bit of being pro-active and really putting your self out there but it isnt hard at all!  I promise!  I have run playgroups for the kids and a mom's adventure group all via email.  And it has been FANTASTIC!

rosebud727
by Mac Goddess on Sep. 29, 2012 at 1:18 PM
1 mom liked this

If you want to get to know the other parents you have to make an active stance to do so. Drop and goes at people's home's I don't know well never worked for me.

I had to know these people. When my girls were little we did lots and lots of play-dates.

As they got older and were involved more in school stuff we took a very active role in their sports teams making sure we knew who the parents were as well.

Technology will always advance. Just because your daughter can use a cell phone or a computer a little better than you doesn't mean she is smarter or has the right to treat you disrespectfully.

Demanding that you drop everything to tend to her social life is selfish and she is old enough now to start behaving a little more mature. If she wants to do something, and it's somewhere you may have to take her, she needs to get all of the information together first and then you decide if you want her to do this.

LFosterfarm
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 5:54 PM
I found that when the kids started telling me what to do our what they were going to do i finally asked them are you telling me or asking me? And once that was out of the way i responded with well it sure sounds like you're telling me, and last time i looked i am the adult here i also pay the bills and run this household so until you become me you won't talk to me that way again!
As far as the friends go either she makes the arrangements with all the pertinent info or don't even bother asking. I know where they're going tobe and who with or they don't go! And if i have a doubt I'll simply show up!
Technology really can be your friend. Don't be afraid of it simply use it to your advantage! I have GPS on the kids phones, I've have used it maybe 5 times in 2 years! But they know its there and I'll use it if i have to. I also text them and they text me.
We could go on and on but if you have questions just ask.
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hau_siyoka
by Doll Baby on Sep. 29, 2012 at 6:27 PM
,I'M. WITH MY SISTER.ON THIS ONE. YOU ARE THE LEADER AND EVERYONE HAS TO BE ON BOARD. YOU SET GROUND RULE AND YOU
UNDERSTAND CONSEQUENCE THEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO WORK WITH .... PARENTS FOLLOW THROUGH EACH DAY IT BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE AND YOU HAVE A COMPLETE FAMILY UNIT....

IF THEY TURN 18 THEY. CAN STAY IF THEY PAY INTO THE FAMILY UNIT TO GROW .... MIGHT SOUND LIKE AN ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE BUT AS A KID THIS IS WHAT I UNDERSTOOD CLEARLY....
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buttersworth
by Sister on Oct. 6, 2012 at 6:25 AM

I apologize because re-reading my post, I think it kinda goes off point a lot. I know the day I wrote it an issue had come up with my dd. Honestly, I'm really exhausted lately and having a hard time with her being in puberty to begin with. So to clarify, the little ones don't know any little kids and the drop and go playdates refer to when my dd was in kindergarten. I expected moms to stay for coffee or at least a few min. like they did when the kids were in preschool but things suddenly changed with a new group of moms we'd never met before.

Maybe it's the way my dd does things, I don't know. The difference between her and myself at her age is that I met with friends more often and talked on the phone, instead of using a computer or text, because those things didn't exist. It seems there's less face time with her friends. There are also times when she could confirm a get-together by simple phone call but instead she'll text which is usually a slower process, IMO.  Just call, I say. Is the girl coming or not? Just a yes or no? Not knowing and waiting for a text stalls my day.


 

Quoting sahlady:

I have a 17, 15, & 11 yr old.... so a tad older.  I have no issue at all with the drop and go playdates.  It would keep the little kids busy while I got house work done.

As far as getting to know the parents, I would do park playdates and then we would have time to chat while the kids played.  When the kids were a bit older and in pre-school and/or elementary school I would call moms and ask them out to coffee or (my favorite) a walk/hike.  It was a wonderful way to get exercise and get to make a new friend.

As far as the 'digital' part.... Im not sure where that fits into the dilemma.  When the kids were little at my home for play dates, they played.  I didnt allow the tv or computer on for a PLAY date.  I told them to PLAY.  

However, I think it is a GREAT tool to keep in touch with other moms.  I often would/do send out emails to 10+ ladies saying who wants to do this or that.... and often I get at least one who is available to do what ever the outing is.

 

When the kids were little I would find out what is going on in the area and send out a mass email - example: who wants to go to story time on wed. @10 @ local library.  We will have a picnic in the park next door after.

Just Thurs.  I sent out an email that said "who wants to play" and I listed about 7 things in the area from a cooking class, kayaking, to an art exhibit.  So far I have had about 5 response.  I will be setting up dates for late in october and give the ladies a couple weeks to get their schedules set.

 

It takes a bit of being pro-active and really putting your self out there but it isnt hard at all!  I promise!  I have run playgroups for the kids and a mom's adventure group all via email.  And it has been FANTASTIC!


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