My 14 year old niece a freshman in HS wants to bring her "girlfriend" to meet the family for Thanksgiving.

Jandi - posted on 11/14/2014 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I sent my 14yr. old niece a text last night and asked her if her and her dad would like to join us and some family for Thanksgiving in our home. We don't see her often and have always asked her to join us for all the holidays.
Her reply to me and my husband was, "Thank you! Would it be alright if my girlfriend joined me, I would like to introduce her to the family?".
This was her reply to coming over on halloween too, but we didn't think much of it and we don't know this girl so we told her maybe next time.

My question is, how should we respond politely to this when we're both in agreence we don't feel it's appropriate at her age to ask us if her girlfriend can join us for Thanksgiving.

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Chet - posted on 11/16/2014

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We're really a more-the-merrier kind of household. I wouldn't be the person to say no to this. That said, I also wouldn't want to enable a 14 year old to skip out on a family event that she was expected to attend... so my answer would essentially be that the guest is fine with me as long as it's fine with everybody else.

I would talk to the dad to see if he approved of his daughter bringing a guest, and to see what he knew about the guest's family. And if it was all good there, I would tell the niece that her girlfriend is more than welcome to come provided she's not expected to be with her own family.

I don't understand why it's not "age appropriate" to bring a guest to dinner. Yes, there is a cultural convention that introducing someone to your family at a holiday means the relationship is serious, but what are you accomplishing by saying no?

Although, Halloween is a more low key and kid / teen / fun oriented holiday. It probably would have been better to say yes to Halloween.

Most teens work really hard to compartmentalize peers and family. A girlfriend who comes to dinner is way better than a secret girlfriend. It's way better than a girlfriend who pretends to be a best friend so they can fool around at sleep overs. It's way better than a teen who feels they can't be open about their sexual preference and who has a lot of negative feelings and emotional issues because of it.

I'd say yes to a boyfriend because I think you should take any opportunity to know a teen's friends and love interests, but I would be extra keen to say yes to this to support a teen in an alternative relationship since there can be such a lack of support. Bully and suicide stats for gay and lesbian teens are crazy.

Plus, not welcoming someone on thanksgiving is hugely ironic, and sort of flies in the face of the holiday. The native people and the pilgrims weren't family, and I'm not under the impression that they were all especially good friends either.

Raye - posted on 11/14/2014

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You can politely say that you want to limit the guests to family only. However, it might make her feel better if you were to set a date to meet the girlfriend. If it is only a matter of you don't know the girl, then get to know the girl. But, I can't help but wonder if you would say the same if it was a boyfriend? You don't have to answer that here, but don't lie to yourself.

If you'd rather not meet the girl ever, then you should explain your reasons to your niece and she can decide if she wants to spend time with people that don't support her decisions.

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Errin - posted on 11/18/2014

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Why not just let her bring her? I realize she's only 14 but why not show her u accept her , and assuming her parents are okay with her having a boyfriend or girlfriend what's the big deal?

Sarah - posted on 11/17/2014

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We have a huge family and if the kids all brought their GF and BF we'd be way too crowded. If it is your family tradition to keep the holiday to just family then that's ok and find another time to meet the girlfriend. If it is her age or the same gender relationship that bugs you, that is a separate issue and maybe you need to discuss that with your niece's parents.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/17/2014

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I'm an "everyone's welcome" sort, so I'd be thrilled that my niece thought enough of me to want to introduce her friends.

Wanda - posted on 11/16/2014

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Well honestly 14 year old girls do everything together lol. Most don't want to do anything without their friends. my daughter and her friend are inseparable and that's due to insecurities I believe. It gets hard to keep them interested in family events, so take it as a compliment if she thinks you guys are cool enough to invite a friends and be happy that she still wants to go 😄.

Sarah - posted on 11/15/2014

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I agree, let her know that Thanksgiving is for family. If you have time and are interested, set up day to meet the girlfriend before Thanksgiving.

Dove - posted on 11/15/2014

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I'd simply let her know that it's a family gathering only (assuming no one else is bringing a friend... if they are then you don't really have any ground to stand on there). Boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, etc.... I would not be having my kids invite someone along for our holiday get together unless I already knew the person AND they had no family of their own to spend the time with...

Jandi - posted on 11/15/2014

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Boyfriend or Girlfriend I feel like she's to young to be asking to bring someone, she's 14, if she were 18 and had been in a relationship with someone for a while I would feel differently. Being it's a major holiday gathering, sit down dinner kind of formal day not a bbq or pool party or something.
I don't know.

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