I was just being friendly!

I had the best conversation with one of Emily’s new friends last night. By best, I mean, she came up to me, offered a hug and we chatted just a bit while Emily was finishing up her volleyball practice. I had never chatted with this girl before and thought she was very sweet and outgoing and loved that she would interact with me.

Em started middle school this year which means there are a whole bunch of new kids I don’t know. Emily has made new friends and to this point I have only met them in passing. I’ve been contemplating how to change that because I want to know who she is spending her time with. We’ve just been so busy, there hasn’t been a lot of time to work that out.

So, the opportunity presented itself to interact with her new friend. It turns out she lives in our neighborhood just a few houses away in the culdisac near our house. She mentioned that she had nearly come by one day, so I invited her to come over whenever she wanted. I did let her know that she might want to call first because we are rarely home. Then we chatted a bit more, just small talk. Wherever the natural flow of conversation between a middle schooler and an adult would lead.

So, I was feeling pretty good about this. I was very happy that I had gotten to actually chat for a second with one of Em’s new friends. Em finished up her game. Another girl joins them to laugh and giggle and hug and off we go. That is when I found out it is apparently not cool to talk to your middle school daughter’s peeps and both my girls knew it.

They laughed and giggled and poked fun at me all the way to the car for talking to her. Everything I relayed that we had talked about was met with, “No you didn’t? Why did you say that? Hahaha!”. Really? I just asked her if she had any brother’s and sisters. I just offered my hospitality.

Well, at least they had enough pity on me to laugh at me and not glare and turn their noses up. At least I was somewhat cool enough that they walked and talked with me as we headed down the hall and out the door. At least I got a little glimpse into the personality of her new friends.

If you have that book on middle school parent etiquette, could I please borrow it?


11 thoughts on “I was just being friendly!

  1. Lisa says:

    Do NOT read that book on middle school parent etiquette! You were doing a GREAT thing and this is one thing you need to do in defiance of your kids’ expectations and opinions. You don’t know what sort of life other kids lead. You don’t know what happens in their homes or who influences them. And you don’t know what sort of doors you are opening simply by being kind and interested in someone who is in a tender state and a confusing stage of life. Many of us had other “moms” when we were younger. Young folks need adults who care, adults who are NOT their parents. And honestly…if I were you, I wouldn’t relay much of your conversations with other kids to your daughters. A relationship with you is a relationship with you, no matter how old the other party may be, and it deserves a confidentiality level. Your kids may potentially be as hard on the girl for talking to you as they were on you for talking to the girl!

    Anyway…keep it up. Keep talking to their friends. Just be friendly and interested and respectful…that’s all it takes for you to become the mom all the kids talk to.

    • Laurie Wade says:

      Lisa, I doubt there is really even a book on parenting etiquette. Not to worry!!! I’m really not that fond of parenting books. I was blessed to have other adults in my life as a teenager I could talk to. I firmly believe in that!! I know there will be a time when the girls won’t want to come to me and I have always prayed they will have positive, Christian adults in their lives who they will feel free to talk to. I do hope my kids friends will feel free to talk to me. I was very happy that her friend was comfortable enough to come up to me for a hug and some idle chit chat. I have been concerned that I don’t know her new friends and this little interaction put me at ease for the moment. Em will have to get over me talking to her friends and I will take the advice on the confidentiality thing. You have always been a model of that kind of friendship and it does make a difference. That was something I hadn’t considered on this level. We didn’t chat about anything confidential, but it is good to consider for the long haul.

  2. Victoria says:

    Wow, it must be a different code to follow in this generation of kids….my kids were always very cool about me talking with and getting to know their friends, in fact…it was just part of the package…if they had friends than they should expect their mom to get to know who they were…not even a choice in our home. But, they were very okay with it…actually called me the “cool mom” for spending time with them and their friends, having their friends over, etc.

    I’d just keep pushing…maybe if they realize that it’s inevitable and they don’t have a choice in the matter, they will be more accepting of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Laurie Wade says:

      Victoria, Em has always been one to keep her thoughts to herself. I’ve always had to pull her day out of her. She’s very much in a “cool” stage right now. Uh, maybe since she was, oh, 3!! The best one was, “Mom, are you going to wear that?” Yes, at 3!! Looks like I’ll be scheduling some sleepovers and get togethers at the house. Let the embarrasing of the children commence!! lol

  3. Joann says:

    You are doing just fine! Your girls may not think that it’s great, but what you are doing is the best!!

  4. Deborah Way says:

    My oldest used to complain that we had too much of an open-door policy for his classmates. “Other kids have friends over and their friends ask, ‘Where are the drinking glasses?” I have friends over and they ask, ‘Where are the twinkies that were in the pantry yesterday?” But, not that he’s in college and his friends are grown and moving on in life, he really appreciates the flavor of his middle-school homelife. Hang in there…I think many of them–or at least the boys–outgrow that embarrassment. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Victoria says:

    A couple movie nights, couple pizzas, couple sleepovers…you’ll have all the kids eating out of your hands ๐Ÿ˜› (so to speak)….

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