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Almost 4 year old only child not interested in friends, should I be concerned? - Page 3

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

not everything in life (even at 3 or 4) is a good learning experience- there are time when behavior is clearly inappropriate, not healthy or warranted and my child does not need to be punching bag to learn a lesson

 

knowing as a parent when to be in a situation and when not to is the key

 

 

 

this is so true and often the case at this age

 

 

I wanted to agree with this and say ... 

I find it to be very true that some things just don't need to be experienced to "learn" something. I don't need to witness a murder or assault to know it's wrong. I've never been to a prison but you better believe I've learned it's somewhere I'd rather not end up.

I know these are extreme examples but it's just the point of saying that it's not necessary for our children to view other children being mean to teach them that being mean is wrong.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with playgroups, playdates or getting children of the same age together. However, this thread is about a child who does not enjoy being a part of that. At best it is uninteresting to her and at worst upsets her terribly. It should be more than okay for her to not have to be a part of it. 

post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I don't think it is something to worry about yet, if she gets to five and still won't interact with children she knows well then I do think you should look for an underlying cause but at this point she may just be a little late at developing socially. For my dd it really happened overnight when she was.about three and a half. Even then she preferred playmates who wanted to talk a lot as they played games involving a lot of detail so the desire and ability was there but it was hard to find kids who were interested in having conversations.
A few things that helped make playdates fun and play focused were letting her put her toys she didn't want to share in my room. I kept some toys that were multiples aside for playdates and encouraged Lego play. When things looked bad I pulled out art supplies. When using the house was too much we used the park.

 

I know I just posted but I saw this after and wanted to comment on it. I agree that it's really hard when you don't have a "mainstream" kid. After the kids turned four it was soooooooo hard to find a girl to play with that was open to anything other than American Girl, princess, fairy or some other fantasy. Finding a boy that would even play with a girl was hard enough but almost always he doesn't want to play a board game or tag, it's warrior or terrorist or karate, etc. I know these seem like generalizations but I'm sorry to say I've found it to be overwhelmingly true.

 

On the putting things in your room thing ... WOW was I unprepared for what happened with that. I would have never gone in someones room without permission as a kid but I've had nothing but trouble with this at my home. I provided so many things to do and play with in the family room and figured this would be great but the kids actually whined and fought with me about why they weren't allowed in dd's room. On one occasion, a parent actually had the nerve to question and argue with my dd about it and tried to shame her and tell her she was bad for not sharing! I swear this really happened. I think I've just gotten a lot of bad luck but I just wanted to put it out there that what is sometimes seemingly an easy solution can cause more trouble than doing nothing at all. 

post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

 

 I provided so many things to do and play with in the family room and figured this would be great but the kids actually whined and fought with me about why they weren't allowed in dd's room. On one occasion, a parent actually had the nerve to question and argue with my dd about it and tried to shame her and tell her she was bad for not sharing! I swear this really happened. I think I've just gotten a lot of bad luck but I just wanted to put it out there that what is sometimes seemingly an easy solution can cause more trouble than doing nothing at all. 

I just wanted to make an OT comment about this: the sharing things can sometimes get out of hand. I hate forced sharing.  The point is to encourage unselfishness, or so I thought, but the attitude about MUST SHARE can get so supremely selfish in and of itself.  I hate it.

 

Sorry, this just gets my goat.

post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I just wanted to make an OT comment about this: the sharing things can sometimes get out of hand. I hate forced sharing.  The point is to encourage unselfishness, or so I thought, but the attitude about MUST SHARE can get so supremely selfish in and of itself.  I hate it.

 

Sorry, this just gets my goat.

 

Thanks! It's obviously a pet peeve of mine too! My child has learned to share communal things, take turns at public places, wait on lines, etc. but just like I don't think she needs to be forced to socialize with kids her age, I also don't think she needs to be forced to share her own personal items. And surprisingly - I guess to some, she's quite generous and does share a lot of her own free will but when she doesn't want, let's say ... to have her friend lick her ice cream cone because she thinks it's really gross to have someone else's spit on her food (and I agree with her) I think it's the other party that needs to recognize that things will not always be given to them. And yes, this happened IRL too. The child and their parent were appalled that dd didn't want to swap spit! 

This is relevant to the OP question because I think it goes to what children are actually learning in these playdate type of situations. It's natural for a child to not want to have her belongings mishandled. It's natural for a child to not want to have a forced encounter that they find unpleasant when all they have in common is their age. I don't find it to be a great learning experience to have to explain these strange encounters to my child. It's just a lousy experience.

post #45 of 57
Quote:

 

 

I am curious Serenbat, are you saying that you don't let your kids play with other kids at all so that they will never get kicked or spit at?

 

 

NOPE! Never said that nor implied it because I do allow it- you need to assess the situation and provide appropriate healthy situations (IMO) but what the OP described and the effect it has on her child is appears to be a result of the situations and clearly not working for the OP's DD.... and I pick and choose what "I" need for my children. At 4 my children did not need playdates, especially NOT in the home and not play that involved unhealthy play/activities. Can't seem to make it more clear for you sorry- apparently it does come off to others as clear- see below.

 
Quote:
I think I am misunderstanding your message because I seem to be the only one stirred up by your posts.

I don't think you get what I or other's are saying at all. You just seem bent on going after me. Have you even read the other posts? I had commented on another poster that also did not do playdate for the negative ramifications 

 

 

Quote:

 

Quote:

 I wanted to agree with this and say ... 

I find it to be very true that some things just don't need to be experienced to "learn" something. I don't need to witness a murder or assault to know it's wrong. I've never been to a prison but you better believe I've learned it's somewhere I'd rather not end up.

I know these are extreme examples but it's just the point of saying that it's not necessary for our children to view other children being mean to teach them that being mean is wrong.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with play-groups, playdates or getting children of the same age together. However, this thread is about a child who does not enjoy being a part of that. At best it is uninteresting to her and at worst upsets her terribly. It should be more than okay for her to not have to be a part of it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #46 of 57

Why I am addressing your posts: 

 

(Yes I read all and reread just now) Below are a few of your statements where it seems you are lumping all play dates at age four as useless and even damaging because they are forced by the parents.  You did say that playground play is okay and exposure is okay.  Overall, your statements make broad sweeping judgements on moms like me who want to get together with other moms at houses (you can't always go to a park/mall playland) and let their kids play. 

 

To bring this back to the OP:

The OP said her kid has issues with sharing her own toys but happily goes to play at other kids houses with their toys.  So this is a maturity issue IMO.  It is also and only child issue.  I had the same situation with my oldest.  When moms brought kids to my house it was horrible. So, I took her to their house where they have siblings and the kids were used to sharing until my daughter matured in this area.  Now she has no problem sharing, but I believe it was because I continued to take her to other mom's houses so she could learn how to share with the other kids toys.  It was not stressful for us or them.  Just needed to redirect a little here and there.  This is why I say there is value in taking your child to someone's house where they can see a group of siblings or friends sharing and dealing with all the emotions that come when interacting with their peers.

 

And on the matter of the OP's daughter saying something about only mommy and daddy are friends.  At that age they don't even know what a friend is really.  In the younger years they tell their friends "I am not your friend anymore" and then the next day they are BFFs.  So, that statement doesn't mean much to me.  The value of the play date is to let them learn about the behaviors that they should do to be a friend eventually (kindness, patience, waiting for the other, taking turns,  letting the other go first, manners, being polite).  Sure they learn this from adults, but they have to learn to do it with their peers even when you are not watching.  So, the play date has a great deal of value if it is carried out in the proper way. 

 

There was one toy my daughter did not want to share recently (her Repunzel hair).  So, I said fine, make sure you put it up.  She said no I want to share and play with it. Her choice.  Just throwing that in so I don't get blasted as an evil, forceful mom who "makes her kid share". 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I feel so different about this and find most don't agree with me- but, NO way would I be doing what you are doing.

 

I don't feel playdates are helpful at this age- you are the one picking her friends, you are picking children younger than her and who you want- if this was you would you like someone to do that to you?

 

Why rush things here? She is 4, life is not measured by the number you have and at 4 is happens to be just fine to have NO friends! It won't effect her life in any way- 4 is young, she is meeting and socializing at public places with others, that enough right now, that's just fine!

 

Let her alone, if she likes adults- that's OK too!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I have such issues with force like this- we don't do this in the real world with adults, we do not force adults to play with others they do not get along with but yet we want children to do this-why?

It is not the same as working with a mixed age groups, that is where school and HS groups come into play- at a much older age. We are asking children to form friendships and play with others and not allowing them to form them on their own at their own pace and with their own comfort level, instead we set up adult expectations often based on adult formed groups with the main interest of those adults. Just because you like the parent doesn't mean your child will love the other child- that goes for cousins too, yet so many don't get this.

Children can learn how to be kind, nice and polite to other children without being placed into forced play setting.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

sorry but you missed the entire point of my post!

 

all can be achieved without an organized "playdate" same way children use to do sports (we called it sand lot-parents stayed out of it-period) and learn to interact with others- without the over interaction organization planned out orchestrated stress-filled parent generated event they have become

 

nowhere did I even say nor imply that there is to be no exposure


 

 

I find it so odd that children use be able to develop (become social and polite) and become wonderful adults without "playdates" at age 4.

 

There was a time you waited until the child initiated the desire (not the parent) to have another child come over (to their space!) to play and that typically did not occure at age 4.

 

 

In years past there was no need for the play date.  Most families had a lot of siblings to play with while mom did house chores. Kids (even little ones) ran around the neighbor hood and all the families kept and eye out.  Now I feel like I have to keep my daughter 'shut in' and it's unsafe letting her play in our yard without me watching her. I am not going to buy a swingset for this reason.  She would be alone out there.  In fact, I don't let her, and I live in a quiet   neighborhood with mostly older folks.  I looked online and their are 60 sexual predators in our area.   I think this is why there became this need for play dates.

 

As a side note: I thought using capital letters is like SHOUTING.  I know I have heard that somewhere.  And the bold and underlining for emphasis feels condescending IMO.  Sorry, Serenbat, but it is off putting to me.  Just sayin'.

post #47 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

 

I know I just posted but I saw this after and wanted to comment on it. I agree that it's really hard when you don't have a "mainstream" kid. After the kids turned four it was soooooooo hard to find a girl to play with that was open to anything other than American Girl, princess, fairy or some other fantasy. Finding a boy that would even play with a girl was hard enough but almost always he doesn't want to play a board game or tag, it's warrior or terrorist or karate, etc. I know these seem like generalizations but I'm sorry to say I've found it to be overwhelmingly true.

 

On the putting things in your room thing ... WOW was I unprepared for what happened with that. I would have never gone in someones room without permission as a kid but I've had nothing but trouble with this at my home. I provided so many things to do and play with in the family room and figured this would be great but the kids actually whined and fought with me about why they weren't allowed in dd's room. On one occasion, a parent actually had the nerve to question and argue with my dd about it and tried to shame her and tell her she was bad for not sharing! I swear this really happened. I think I've just gotten a lot of bad luck but I just wanted to put it out there that what is sometimes seemingly an easy solution can cause more trouble than doing nothing at all. 

We have done the putting toys she doesn't want to share away in her room, but had the same problem.  Someone went in there and she just melted down, and she still had a hard time with the toys we kept out (blocks etc.) which I consider communal toys.  This may be an only child thing, but I am beginning to think it is just her personality. 

post #48 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfcat View Post

Is she an introvert? If she is, she may pick up on all the social cues but have no desire to have frequent interactions with other kids.

I think she may be.  She really doesn't care for group situations, and she gets very anxious and becomes clingy when we go to things like performances (musical events, etc.)  We went to a children's song and dance event at the library the other day, and she enjoyed the music, but was hiding her face in my shirt and kind of freaked out when they came in the crowd to shake our hands.  And yesterday we were biking by a children's circus, and she didn't want to stop at all and seemed a bit nervous.  It seems like she is afraid she will have to go up on stage or something.  

post #49 of 57
Quote:
your statements make broad sweeping judgements on moms like me who want to get together with other moms at houses (you can't always go to a park/mall playland) and let their kids play. 

what I and others have said is it is not needed at this age-it can all be achieved other ways- 

 

Quote:
 There is nothing about cooperation or teamwork that cannot be learned later on in childhood or from adults that makes the misery of putting your kid through this worth it. All it's going to teach her is that you will use your position of power as a parent to force her into things that have no clear point or desired outcome. 

 

 

 

you in turn seem to be saying that if children do not do these playdates they will not know how to function and will not learn how to do so many things that I and other posters have pointed out they can learn without doing this-----------that is like saying if you do not do preschool you will not do well in school-that has not proven to be the case in countless studies - we are not talking about babysitting or being with other siblings but a direct parent chosen event here for a set agenda

 

with the OP it seems quite clear her DD is letting her know just how she feels about not wanting to do these playdates and so many of us are saying it is OK! and by not doing "playdates"at this age she most likely be just fine

 

you know frankly most mom's that I have meet that want the playdate really want someone else to watch their kid while they sit and drink coffee and talk-IMO- if you want to socialize with another mom hire a sitter, at this age the child would love the one on one attention and you can have your date

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

what I and others have said is it is not needed at this age-it can all be achieved other ways- 

 

My comments are in blue.

 

 

you in turn seem to be saying that if children do not do these playdates they will not know how to function and will not learn how to do so many things that I and other posters have pointed out they can learn without doing this-----------that is like saying if you do not do preschool you will not do well in school-that has not proven to be the case in countless studies - we are not talking about babysitting or being with other siblings but a direct parent chosen event here for a set agenda

 

No I have not said that.  I have said that it can help children later in life into adulthoodI have said that there is  value in a play date if it is carried out in a proper way and not stressful to either kid nor mom.

 

 

with the OP it seems quite clear her DD is letting her know just how she feels about not wanting to do these playdates and so many of us are saying it is OK! and by not doing "playdates"at this age she most likely be just fine

 

I also have said that it's ok in some post way back. However, there can be some value in finding the right kind of play date which might help the OP's daughter mature in some areas.

 

you know frankly most mom's that I have meet that want the playdate really want someone else to watch their kid while they sit and drink coffee and talk-IMO- if you want to socialize with another mom hire a sitter, at this age the child would love the one on one attention and you can have your date

 

This last sentence....offensive, inflammatory and the reason I said you are making broad sweeping judgements.  Most moms that I know are stay home moms and/or home schooling and are very involved parents who are raising extremely moral children.  The moms want to socialize and the kids want to play.  None of them is looking for a way to sit on their behind drinking coffee while their kids kick, spit and behave badly. 

 

I don't want to hire a sitter.  I want to raise my child myself and help her with her interpersonal skills.  Besides, I don't have a money tree out back for sitters. 

I am finished.. 

OP I hope you or some one out there got the answers you needed.  Sorry about all this back and forth.

post #51 of 57

Shami it seem very unfortunate that you want to make this personal and directed solely at me. No matter what is posted you want this all to be on me. It is not worth it to even engage you.

 

 

IMO-is just that, in my opinion, MINE-not directed at anyone but what I have found- if playdates are for you-yippie! No place did I or anyone say all should be stopped, but again to direct this that I am making a broad and sweeping statement is unfounded and not needed - you stated the kids want to play together- the OP's child does not, clearly not talking about the same thing yet you keep wanting to just turn this all onto me.

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:

However, there can be some value in finding the right kind of play date which might help the OP's daughter mature in some areas.

This is just flat out uncalled for. I feel this does not in anyway belong here- no where should this even be suggested there is an issue with the OP's DD on maturity!

 

It is not in anyway immature at this age to feel the way she does regarding playing with other or sharing or that something needs to be helped with her. In fact the DD seems extremely mature and articulate! 

post #52 of 57

I didn't read all the posts, but wanted to comment regardless. My DD sounds similar to yours, although mine is almost 5. We have many friends who want playdates often, and I think honestly, they feel rejected when I don't always jump on the suggestion/invitation. My DD has had playdates since she was a baby so it's not a "new" thing for her, but really, it isn't her favorite thing. So I just haven't forced it. And over the past 6-8 months, she has come a long ways in wanting to spend time with "friends" or have a playdate at our house or theirs. 

 

IMO, people over-do the orchestrated playdate thing and although it can be great for many children, we need to keep in mind that all children are different and some are extroverts, some introverts (my DD) and we need to respect who they are and respect what is comfortable for them. That said, if I were you, I would offer playdates but never force them, and in terms of homeschooling..IDK, but I may consider doing at least a pre-school program to see how she reacts to the daily interaction with peers. If you decide to homeschool, aren't there  still many ways to have homeschooled children interact with other children? 

 

I realize this is a scattered  response (I'm about to head out the door), but simply put...don't pressure her or make her feel strange for saying that mom and dad are her friends. I think that's great! Ch

post #53 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckymamaoftwo View Post

I didn't read all the posts, but wanted to comment regardless. My DD sounds similar to yours, although mine is almost 5. We have many friends who want playdates often, and I think honestly, they feel rejected when I don't always jump on the suggestion/invitation. My DD has had playdates since she was a baby so it's not a "new" thing for her, but really, it isn't her favorite thing. So I just haven't forced it. And over the past 6-8 months, she has come a long ways in wanting to spend time with "friends" or have a playdate at our house or theirs. 

 

IMO, people over-do the orchestrated playdate thing and although it can be great for many children, we need to keep in mind that all children are different and some are extroverts, some introverts (my DD) and we need to respect who they are and respect what is comfortable for them. That said, if I were you, I would offer playdates but never force them, and in terms of homeschooling..IDK, but I may consider doing at least a pre-school program to see how she reacts to the daily interaction with peers. If you decide to homeschool, aren't there  still many ways to have homeschooled children interact with other children? 

 

I realize this is a scattered  response (I'm about to head out the door), but simply put...don't pressure her or make her feel strange for saying that mom and dad are her friends. I think that's great! Ch

Thanks for your reply, it is good to know others are in the same situation.  I think I will do just as you said, offer but not push play dates.  It seems like DD has been really intense in general recently, and I don't want to make things any more stressful than they already are.  Everyone says four is such a wonderful age, and I hope they are right because the end of three has been a lot of work:)

post #54 of 57

I think it's good to point out what "forcing" playdates might mean to us.  Obviously, if a kid is crying about going to playdates and never enjoying them then it is clearly forcing the issue.  On the flip side, abandoning them at the very first whimper when it is what a mom really craves *both* for herself and her children, well that is obviously imbalanced in the other direction.  Somewhere between these two extremes is the squishy squashy middle.  I say I have never forced my daughter to do playgroups, but then she never screamed and cried and I tried regularly for a at least a full year before finally realizing that this just wasn't ultimately a positive experience for my daughter.  In fact I probably should have backed off a bit sooner, but she did have a lot of fun at times.  She also got a pretty big chip on her shoulder that took us nearly 3 years to repair (that's on top of the general grumpiness she experienced since forever around kids at parks, pretty much anywhere except around adults, with which she was bubbly and talkative.)  

 

Little, upsetting experiences can either strengthen kids, or it can be beyond their ability to cope at that time.  We cannot judge based off our personal experiences, or those of others.  Ultimately, we need to judge them based off what we see happening with our kids at that moment.  We also need to trust that interacting with kids can be unpredictable and frustrating.  Many children, like OP's, have difficulty dealing with kids their age.  And can you blame them?  Even the sweetest 4yo's can still be....4 year olds!  No wonder kids like OP's (and mine) prefer the company of loving adults.  

 

Really, this thread reads like the never-ending socialization arguments we HSers get.  So, I guess I am more than biased on this issue.  

post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbmomma View Post

Thanks for your reply, it is good to know others are in the same situation.  I think I will do just as you said, offer but not push play dates.  It seems like DD has been really intense in general recently, and I don't want to make things any more stressful than they already are.  Everyone says four is such a wonderful age, and I hope they are right because the end of three has been a lot of work:)

End of three was also hard for us and although we've had a few blips in our "fours", overall we've found that DD is far less intense, more enjoyable on a consistent basis and MUCH more able to handle and process things. Yay for that! :)

post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbmomma View Post

I think she may be.  She really doesn't care for group situations, and she gets very anxious and becomes clingy when we go to things like performances (musical events, etc.)  We went to a children's song and dance event at the library the other day, and she enjoyed the music, but was hiding her face in my shirt and kind of freaked out when they came in the crowd to shake our hands.  And yesterday we were biking by a children's circus, and she didn't want to stop at all and seemed a bit nervous.  It seems like she is afraid she will have to go up on stage or something.  
I recommend the book "Quiet" for really good understanding of introverts. It also talks about what drives introverts to behave in an extroverted manner for brief amounts of time and discusses the strengths of introversion.
post #57 of 57

Since the word introvert seems to come up in this thread, I thought I would share a really great Ted talk (The Power of Introverts) you guys may enjoy about introversion. 

 

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

 

Enjoy!

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