or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting Multiples › 4 year olds becoming picky and anti-social about kids/playdates
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

4 year olds becoming picky and anti-social about kids/playdates

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I started a playgroup with my twins when they were less than a year old. We only attended a handful of play dates between 8 and 12 months old. Then once they turned 1, we started going more frequently. We met with our playgroup 1-2 times per week. Then by age 3 we were attending 3-5 times per week. We slowed back down with play dates a few months before they turned 4 and I eventually gave up and closed me group for several reasons. The biggest reason was that my twins became really picky about who they would play with, who they liked and did not like, and then they started to be even pickier after they turned 4. They have only chosen like 2 kids that they will tolerate playing with on occasion, and when I say tolerate.... I really mean tolerate. They generally prefer the company of each other and no other playmates. Once in a while they ask for one of the very few kids they like to come and play but I see them getting annoyed with the kids really fast. The couple of kids they do like are about a year younger to a year and a half than they are, they might be getting annoyed with the kids lack of maturity. My twins are going to be 5 in April and their friends turn 4 over the summer to fall this year. We also made a lot of changes from just going to play dates at age 3 to now with starting up play based learning at home. I plan to home school them for kindergarten too, if not longer..maybe indefinitely. They have so many opportunistic to play with other kids here at our house, or for a play date, or at the park but they choose to alienate most kids or tell me they don't want to go at the last minute if we are headed out to meet a friend for a play date. I usually take them anyways and one of my twins warms up to the kid(s) but the other one doesn't until the last 15 minutes we are there. I had to stop holding play dates at our house because my twins were getting so annoyed at other kids playing with their indoor or even outdoor toys. They have plenty of toys that sharing would not be an issue.

So they have been plenty socialized. They have been to many playdates at parks/playgrounds, zoo, science center, splash parks, seaworld, library storytime, our yard, in the house, at other kids houses, etc. We even had a play based learning group for a while too, we did play based learning activities 1-2 times per week at the library in one of their free meeting rooms.


Does anyone else have twins that do not like kids playing with their toys, do not like playing with other kids most all of the time, and are super picky about kids (as in "i don't like so and so)?
post #2 of 14

Do they play well with their other siblings, or is the gap too large?  Some of my kids definitely prefer each other's company to "outsiders", but we do have a unique situation where we live next to the neighborhood park and so in good weather they have lots of interaction with neighbor kids.  I wonder if a less structured environment might help?  Instead of having a particular group, they can start to socialize without the demands of an ongoing, continuing relationship.  It's definitely harder to achieve this at this time of year, if your climate is anything like our climate.  But as we head towards spring, maybe just think, where can we go where lots of kids are likely to be there and they can choose how, when and with whom to initiate a spontaneous relationship.  

post #3 of 14

I'm of two, conflicting minds.  On one hand, it might be beneficial to let them be just with each other for a bit-- a long bit, if needed, so they can play the way they want to and get "hungry" for interactions with other kids.

On the other hand, I can see getting more firmly set in one's ways if the only experiences are playing just together.

 

Would they be more willing to play with others on neutral ground? I know it is difficult to share toys, and I remember that being a big deal for awhile.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
If we go to a park, they sometimes single out a kid they like but it is always Parker, the smaller of the two who seeks out this accepted child. Then within 20 minutes of Parker playing with the child, Graham will join in. I gave up on the playgroup or any group situations. I closed my groups down in mid 2012.. I am also now having to temporarily give up have 1-2 different friends over to play because it ticks them off when the kids play with their toys.

They do not mind my friend's 4 yr old daughter with autism and apraxia to come play but they don;t like that she can not talk like they can and that she can not play the same as they do. They also get upset if she attempts to play with the toys they have out to play with together. They have no problem with her playing with their toys but she isnt allowed to play with them or with the toys they are playing with together at that moment.

They don't like kids that make messes with toys, or are destructive with toys. They have a lot of really specialty type learning toys (see my blog in signature), so it irritates them when a kid tries to roughly handle their toys.

I think they just want a kid to play with that is their age or just barely older and can talk as well as they can. They also would expect that child to be able to play properly with their toys and not be rough with them or make big dumpy messes. There room is never messy and they have about as much toys as a toy store LOL. I trained them at age 3 how to properly respect their belongings in the most gently way possible. I also let them potty train themselves. They were fully potty trained at age 3 1/2.

Their older siblings are Mackenna who is almost 13, Cameron who is 14, and Haley who is almost 17. They will play with them but my older kids really just do their own thing at their age. My almost 13 yr old is always at a friends house or doing some sort of event with chorus, orchestra, or dance. She is in all 3. My oldest is an avid guitar player and she is always very busy she has AP classes, plus she plays keyboard and guitar at a professional level. She also is a big video gamer and completes games in like 24 hours. Plus at almost 17, why would she want to play with 4 1/2 yr olds. She will on occasion though. The older kids love them but they are just so much older. My son who is 14 has ASD, ADHD, and SLD so he is kind of annoying to them. They love him and vice versa but he can be really hard to hang out with for very long, he can become a bit of a nuisance at times. Plus lets not forget he is 14, 10 years older than them!

They also seem to be intimidated by most kids their age or older. I am not sure why but they just feel more comfortable with slightly younger children... but then we run into the issue of the child doesnt play or talk as well as they do. My twins were 32 weekers, it might be a preemie thing maybe? They spent 28 and 30 days in the NICU.
post #5 of 14
Saw this on new posts, so I'm not a M.O.M......but just wanted to chime in that it might be a 4r yo thing.smile.gif My 4 yo recently started this behavior even with her cousins (all of them really, but mostly the same age ones) whom she has always happily played with and shared until now.

I think maybe part of it with mine is having a big age gap; the 4yo has gotten used to big kids who mostly let her have her own way with everything!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormborn View Post

Saw this on new posts, so I'm not a M.O.M......but just wanted to chime in that it might be a 4r yo thing.smile.gif My 4 yo recently started this behavior even with her cousins (all of them really, but mostly the same age ones) whom she has always happily played with and shared until now.

I think maybe part of it with mine is having a big age gap; the 4yo has gotten used to big kids who mostly let her have her own way with everything!

Thank you stormborn! Maybe it is a 4 yr old thing then!!
post #7 of 14
Oops phone reposted without my permission.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPTwins08 View Post

They don't like kids that make messes with toys, or are destructive with toys. They have a lot of really specialty type learning toys (see my blog in signature), so it irritates them when a kid tries to roughly handle their toys.



They also seem to be intimidated by most kids their age or older. I am not sure why but they just feel more comfortable with slightly younger children...

Think about it from their point of view: They have some nice things, which they like, take care of, and believe there are certain ways to play with it. Probably most of what they have could be broken, if misused. They are naturally worried about their things. I don't see this as a problem of sharing, especially if between the two of them, they share. It's probably developmental, and will lessen (but not go away) as they age.
IMagine yourself: could you share something breakable and precious with someone you didn't know well?

 

My boys have a cousin noted for playing rough. When he is coming over, I prep the boys and suggest that they put up things they don't want to risk.

 

As for preferring younger playmates, I think this reflects their need to direct the play. They have a way they prefer to play, a "right" way to play with their toys, that they know. Younger kids are probably more easy to direct.   As an aside, I can remember preferring to play alone with my toys, because I had story lines established that I didn't want "messed up".  I was actually annoyed with the way other kids played.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

Think about it from their point of view: They have some nice things, which they like, take care of, and believe there are certain ways to play with it. Probably most of what they have could be broken, if misused. They are naturally worried about their things. I don't see this as a problem of sharing, especially if between the two of them, they share. It's probably developmental, and will lessen (but not go away) as they age.

IMagine yourself: could you share something breakable and precious with someone you didn't know well?

My boys have a cousin noted for playing rough. When he is coming over, I prep the boys and suggest that they put up things they don't want to risk.

As for preferring younger playmates, I think this reflects their need to direct the play. They have a way they prefer to play, a "right" way to play with their toys, that they know. Younger kids are probably more easy to direct.   As an aside, I can remember preferring to play alone with my toys, because I had story lines established that I didn't want "messed up".  I was actually annoyed with the way other kids played.

thanks for your reply, makes sense!! wink1.gif
post #10 of 14

What happens when you separate them?  In other words, have you had your DP take one child out while you do a playdate with the other and a friend?  How much separate time do they get over the course of the week? 

 

I would encourage you, especially if you are considering homeschooling them, to give some thought as to how you are going to manage time for them to be apart if you are not doing it already. 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

What happens when you separate them?  In other words, have you had your DP take one child out while you do a playdate with the other and a friend?  How much separate time do they get over the course of the week? 

I would encourage you, especially if you are considering homeschooling them, to give some thought as to how you are going to manage time for them to be apart if you are not doing it already. 


They really have not been separated since they came home from the NICU in 2008, 28(Graham) and 30(Parker) days after birth. Except once when Parker had to be taken to the ER because he stuck a bead up his nose. They get individual time with me, dh, and their siblings though.
post #12 of 14

Your description reminds me just a bit of a set of twins I read about who in first grade were refusing to interact/speak with anyone else in their first grade classroom (including the teacher).  I'm not saying that's where your kids are with things but just that the behavior you describe is something I would want to keep my eye on pretty closely.

 

I do wonder if they didn't have the easy, comfortable option of defaulting to playing with their twin whether that would encourage them to reach out towards playing with others.  Obviously, separation is going to be very difficult and take a lot of experimentation but it might give them new opportunities for growth.

 

I will admit, I tend to be rather more concerned about the separation issue than others since I personally know a set of twins in their 40s that live in the same house, commute together in the same car and work at the same office.  While they have a phenomenal bond, that twin relationship has really excluded other relationships and life experiences and, in the end, has been limiting for them. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post.

 

I will admit, I tend to be rather more concerned about the separation issue than others since I personally know a set of twins in their 40s that live in the same house, commute together in the same car and work at the same office.  While they have a phenomenal bond, that twin relationship has really excluded other relationships and life experiences and, in the end, has been limiting for them. 

 

I disagree that you need to separate them or should make plans to do so. Twins are different. There is no reason to try to manage that relationship: it is theirs. If they get occasional time to run errands with the other parent I think you're good.  there's whole debates regarding twins and class placements in schools. Some separate as a matter of course, and much is written about the withdrawl some twins have when separated from the other. Again I stress: it's their relationship.

 

And no offense, Buzzbuzz, but I don't think it's very applicable to compare 4 year old twins who, as a product of their age, don't like to share toys, to adult twins whose relationship does not meet your standard of satisfaction.

post #14 of 14

Yes, it is their relationship.  Just as any relationship that a child might have with another child is "their" relationship.  As parents we intervene in children's relationships all the time -- to resolve disputes, to encourage cooperation, etc., etc.  To fetishize the twin relationship as being untouchable is, in my opinion, wrong.  Its our responsibility as adults to guide our children towards relationships that are healthy no matter who they are with.

 

I also don't think its wrong to acknowledge that twinship has certain upsides and it has certain downsides.  An upside may be an age mate with whom you have a close relationship who is always there to be played with.  A downside may be that there is not a need or motivation to reach out to others where there is a comfortable and convenient person always there already. 

 

Note:  I am not saying that there is necessarily anything wrong -- as I mention, it is something I would want to keep a close eye on and if I were homeschooling I would be investing some thought as to how to give my twins opportunities for independent experiences and opportunities to be places and with people where they are not viewed as part of a unit.

 

"And no offense, Buzzbuzz, but I don't think it's very applicable to compare 4 year old twins who, as a product of their age, don't like to share toys, to adult twins whose relationship does not meet your standard of satisfaction."

 

I was explaining why this is for me more of a hot button issue.  And per my discussions with one of them, their relationship does not meet HER standard of satisfaction but she does not seem to be able to break away from it.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting Multiples
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting Multiples › 4 year olds becoming picky and anti-social about kids/playdates