Seventh grade has brought quite a bit of social fluttering to Alyssa’s schedule.
Not only is she busier with school (homework every night, weekends included, band and choir performances, art projects/shows) she’s also got a lot of social invitations going around.
In the past three weeks she’s either spent the night with a friend or had a friend over to our house for a night on each weekend.
Last night, a Tuesday! she was invited to go with a friend and the friend’s mom to a Bingo game.
Because she’s doing so well in school, always gets her homework done, practices her flute without cajoling from me and/or Tom, we tend to let her do these social things as they come up.
But…Alyssa is like her mom. She’s an introvert. She loves spending time with her friends but not getting enough down time, alone time, she wears out quickly and easily.
Last night after the Bingo game, which ended around 8:00 and she got home from at 8:30, she was worn out.
She said to me, “Please don’t let me go with any friends to anything for at least two weeks.”
I hugged her close and laughed, “Even if you swear that you want to go?”
She shrugged. “I love my friends but they make me tired.”
“How about if we have a couple of friend-free weekends in a row?” I suggested.
She nodded her agreement. We do love her friends but sometimes the best things in life are best enjoyed in small doses. We are having the Porch girls over on Friday, but only for a few hours. That’s just enough to get friend time in without wearing a girl out.
Overnight events are just sometimes too much. Alyssa is not a night owl. She needs to be asleep by 10:00 each night in order to be functional the next day. Most of her friends would rather be up until 3am and then sleep until noon.
That’s not our schedule. We go to sleep early(ish) and get up early(ish). We like it that way and so going friend-free for a couple of weeks seems like a good plan.
After that, we’ll try to space it all out for her.
She has told me she appreciates that I am willing to be the ‘bad guy’ when she doesn’t really want to go to a friend’s house but doesn’t want to tell them. I will say no and she can tell her friends that her mom is mean and won’t let her do something.
I’m okay with that. That’s just one more aspect of parenting that I’m getting pretty good at, even if I have to say so myself.
I am just glad she’ll tell me these things so I can help her get her alone-time needs met even as she and her friends meet each other’s social needs.