Author Topic: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite  (Read 9954 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #165 on: June 14, 2014, 10:53:48 AM »
No, it is rude if you are not in a mentoring position. Not all mentors are parents and not all parents are mentors. MM is a mentor to this girl, unless I've completely misread the situation. And, telling someone else how you wish to be treated, and pointing out rudeness and giving an etiquette lesson, are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Very well said. It sounds like this girl's parents have abdicated their duty as mentors; it's great that MM and her family are stepping up to the plate.

Do we really know enough to condemn the girl's parents this strongly? If every parent whose preteen kid ever broke an etiquette rule had "abdicated their duty," then you could say that about almost anyone's parents.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #166 on: June 14, 2014, 11:06:59 AM »
I feel like the part about "telling someone how you want to be treated" is spot-on. If the OP waits until Lea invites herself to something again, like the zoo trip, I don't see anything wrong with saying in the moment, "No, and I wished you hadn't asked, because I feel bad telling you no, and I know you're disappointed now. But this trip is only for me, X, and Y. In the future, please don't invite yourself along to my events. I will certainly invite you when I'd like you to come with us."

To me, that's completely appropriate to say, even to someone you have a casual relationship with, if they have overstepped with you. To me it's no different than saying, "Please don't eat in my living room, keep your food in the kitchen," or "At our house we recycle cans instead of throwing them away, here's the bin."

Additionally, since the OP feels she has a much closer relationship to Lea where she can be a mentor--which I think only the OP can judge--I think it would be appropriate to add further lines about how not inviting yourself is a pretty standard rule of etiquette, if she wants. My only caveat would be to wait until an actual, unambiguous rude situation arises, and not do anything to link it to the BBQ, since Lea did nothing wrong about that situation.
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m2kbug

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #167 on: June 14, 2014, 11:12:40 AM »
I think as far as inviting herself to your other events, like the zoo, just keep doing what you're doing and telling her "no" or "not this time," and I think that's the moment to bring up inviting yourself if there is a time to do it.  Lea might just have to learn this the hard way.  I agree with words like "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no." 

I think one big issue here, which I probably don't even need to say, is that you need to have a discussion with your mother and your sister in advance, that Lea is not invited to this one.  You do not plan on including extras in the BBQ on Labor Day, which means Lea is not invited, and please do not invite her, which includes not discussing it around her.  If she is an "adopted daughter," it's natural to assume she's included, so you need to stop that before it starts on the occasions you do not wish to include Lea in the family gatherings.  This is more important when you find that not only do you have an extra, but now you're left with a slumber party on top of it, that you're not particularly interested in doing, at least not this time.  I think that this "teaching moment" lies more on the shoulders of Sister, as the "adopted mom," or your mom as "adopted mom" (not clear who did the adopting) or Lea's own parents. 

In the meantime, I'm not sure how comfortable I would be having a discussion about inviting herself.  You sound close enough you could reasonably do it, but I think I would be more inclined to just deflect and continue saying, "Next time," or "Not this time," etc., and have a talk with Sis about them inviting people without clearing it with you.  I would hardly expect my sister to leave her kids or stepkids at home, and if Lea is a member of the family, it should be expected she's a part of the package.  My kids, nor my neices and nephews, expect to be included in all activities other people are doing, friends/family, something Lea seems to not have picked up on, so something needs to be said.  The big question is if it's appropriate for you to be the one.

TootsNYC

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #168 on: June 14, 2014, 11:16:34 AM »
Quote
I agree with words like "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no." 

My worry with this is that in a way, it's telling her that her tactic might work sometimes or with other people.

So I might follow up with, "That's not a nice place for you to put me in, and that's why it's an etiquette rule that you don't invite yourself to other people's activities. It's hard sometimes, because it would be fun to go, but you can't directly ask. Instead you say stuff like 'That sounds like fun!' and then see if they ask you go along. If they like you, they'll ask you for -something,- even if it's not that thing."

Yvaine

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #169 on: June 14, 2014, 11:18:28 AM »
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I agree with words like "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no." 

My worry with this is that in a way, it's telling her that her tactic might work sometimes or with other people.

So I might follow up with, "That's not a nice place for you to put me in, and that's why it's an etiquette rule that you don't invite yourself to other people's activities. It's hard sometimes, because it would be fun to go, but you can't directly ask. Instead you say stuff like 'That sounds like fun!' and then see if they ask you go along. If they like you, they'll ask you for -something,- even if it's not that thing."

That sounds like teaching her to hint instead!  ;D

TootsNYC

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #170 on: June 14, 2014, 11:22:32 AM »
I actually don't think there's anything terribly wrong with hinting, actually.

It's the "not dropping of the hint" that is rude.

Harriet Jones

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #171 on: June 14, 2014, 04:10:51 PM »

No, it is rude if you are not in a mentoring position. Not all mentors are parents and not all parents are mentors. MM is a mentor to this girl, unless I've completely misread the situation. And, telling someone else how you wish to be treated, and pointing out rudeness and giving an etiquette lesson, are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I'm not really getting that MM is a mentor, but maybe I'm misreading the situation.  Anyway, I don't think *this* particular situation requires correction from MM.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #172 on: June 16, 2014, 12:32:42 PM »
Quote
I agree with words like "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no." 

My worry with this is that in a way, it's telling her that her tactic might work sometimes or with other people.

That is true, though, it does work sometimes/with some people. So it could lead to empathy--"I don't want to make her feel bad in case she has to say no, so I won't ask"--or it could lead to manipulation--"She'll feel too bad to tell me no when I ask! Mwahahaha!" In a normal person I'd say the former is more likely. If they're inclined towards the latter, I'd say they would have figured it out anyway--it's not like one person is the gatekeeper of that information for the whole world. :)

To me the important thing is to say, "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no. But I'm still telling you no." So even though the person feels bad (and they may not really feel that bad, but it's a useful thing to say), they're not giving in to that and changing their plan. I think that's pretty powerful. Kind of like, "Well, you've hurt me a bit now, someone you like and didn't want to hurt; and it hasn't gained you anything anyway. So don't be so thoughtless in the future."
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #173 on: June 16, 2014, 12:42:08 PM »
How about,
"I wish you wouldn't have asked because you have put me in the difficult position of having to tell you no."

Sort of putting the responsibility back on her. It's not about that you feel bad saying no, it's about that it's not a nice spot to be in and that she put you in that spot.

turnip

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #174 on: June 16, 2014, 12:53:32 PM »
Quote
I agree with words like "I wish you wouldn't have asked because now I feel bad telling you no." 

So now not only is she not invited, she's made you feel bad.  Do we want to help this girl or just get her to shut up and go away?

Ignore the friend-of-a-sister-busy-parents-etc...   If this were my niece who I wanted to see grow and blossom just as I want to see my own daughter grow and blossom, I'd kindly and pleasantly tell her "I'm so sorry, I'm afraid we just can't take you" for specific "Can I go to the zoo with you" events.  For larger functions  - not an issue because she is invited!

I honestly probably wouldn't get into the "don't invite yourself" lesson even with a beloved niece.  I think it's a better spot for a parent because the parent is in a better position to provide examples:  "Sometimes we want to go <someplace special>  together and we don't always want <cousin> coming along -  what would you do if <cousin> called and said 'can I come'?"    With a niece, and with a situation where I specifically want the niece to stop inviting herself to _my_ events, a 'lesson' is just going to come across as rejection.    Maybe that's not rational nor fair, but neither are preteens. 


Two Ravens

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Re: How to teach a preteen to not self-invite
« Reply #175 on: June 16, 2014, 01:10:34 PM »
How about,
"I wish you wouldn't have asked because you have put me in the difficult position of having to tell you no."

Sort of putting the responsibility back on her. It's not about that you feel bad saying no, it's about that it's not a nice spot to be in and that she put you in that spot.

To me this is a lot of words she might not get. I think this is actually the time to be blunt.
"No. Janie, it's not polite to invite yourself to things. I'll see you at the party on Friday."