Friday, 30 August 2013


 Yesterday my now 14 year old daughter had a birthday party with her friends.  Eight teenage boys and girls were here between 4 and 9 p.m.  I have to admit I was very impressed with their manners and their behaviour.  I drew the line at them chasing my hens, as they were playing Truth or Dare and decided to challenge one boy to round up the hens.  Luckily I overheard the plan and intervened.  I didn't want my hens having a heart attack!  It was the first time I had met most of the friends of my daughter, I had seen one or two of the girls before but mostly they tend to meet up in town for milkshakes or shopping so I only see them at pick up and drop off times. 

It got me to thinking about the old saying "birds of a feather, flock together".  I know we all worry desparately that our kids wont get in with the wrong crowd, go astray, wander off the path;  I have four daughters and all of them have always chosen friends who reflect the values and beliefs that they have been brought up with.  Its very hard to "make" your children do something or behave in a certain way, the only way we can be sure that they do grow up in the right way is to set an example to them, to talk to them and try and guide them.  If my girls have had problems, whilst part of me is itching to go and fight their corner, I have to sit them down and ask them what they would like to happen in the particular situation they find themselves in, would they like me to go and speak to someone on their behalf or would they prefer to deal with it themselves and if so what tack will they take.  If it was someone else going through this how do they think it should be dealt with.  And then watch with heart in mouth as they go off to deal with it.  Obviously there are going to be times when they cant sort things out alone and then we do have to intervene but so far it seems to have worked. 

A couple of months ago one of my daughters had been invited to go swimming for the day at a friends house, another girl had been invited that my daughter didn't like very much as she said the girl was unpleasant and bad mannered, so I asked if she still wanted to go, what was it the girl did that upset her and how could she deal with it.  My daughter decided she still wanted to go but with the proviso that if the girl was too difficult and she didn't want to stay she would text me and I would collect her early.  As it turned out the girl didn't go to the swimming party but at least my daughter felt empowered to deal with it if she had. 

My late husband used to say you would meet the same type of people where ever you went in life, if you changed job or belonged to a group, the same types of people would always be there.  Ive found this to be true enough.  I have also tried to explain to the girls that its better to have a group of friends rather than just one whilst they are at school, obviously when we are older it is different and I have found that I now have several really good, close friends and a wonderful group of acquaintances.

Today, being my daughter's actual birthday she decided she would like us to go to Exmouth for the day.  I used to have all my family holidays down there as a child and its a beautiful beach and the water is so clear and clean for swimming in.  Amazing rock pools and every year we all go down for a family day out, the whole family gets together, we sit on the beach, swim, eat loads, play crazy golf and go to the playpark where they have lots of things to do including these amazing Swan boats

You have to pedal with your feet to get them around the lake but great fun.  Also there are trampolines, model boats to steer around a small lake and for the younger children a large adventure playground amongst other things.  Everything is paid for with tokens that you buy at the kiosk.  Crazy golf is my favourite and I cant believe its been there since I was six or seven and now I am 51 and I am still playing the same game!! 

We had a great time today, Im glad my daughter decided to choose Exmouth, especially as they go back to school next week, it was a brilliant day out and we all feel sleepy from the sea air and the swimming now. 

Have a good evening everyone. 

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