Hi All! I'm feeling like i need some reassurance/advice. My DD is 19 months old, and is not around kids her age all that much. I truely believe parents put too much emphasis on socializing their young ones when quality bonding time with caregivers will take them farther in life. Having said that, I've been taking cues from DD and noticed her having an increased interest in other kids. So, trying to take her lead I want to get her out and playing with other little ones.
So, today I took her to our local cloth diaper and natural parenting store for a play hour they host. She really didn't know what to make of the other kids! There was a 12 moth old there that was, bless his heart, trying to play with her. He was being silly, climbing up her and babbling and giggling away- and my DD was, well, just scared of him! She was a little clingy to me at first, but then just as content to run around and play by herself!
Once she was in her own world for a while a 2.5 year old arrived, but she didn't really care to play with him either. I don't really know what I expected to happen, but I needed to tell my story and hear what other parents think about this :)
Up until this point her playmates have been older cousins ages 4-7, and a friend's daughter who is only 6 months older than my DD. But that friend's daughter is, let's just saying she's very aware of the pecking order, and she knows she's the "big" girl. The play with her is very one-sided and requires very little from my DD besides being bossed around.
So, how normal is this and what should I do? Just keep bringing her around kids? Do I need to begin to put forth a real effort with her and get her routinely around kids her age? I don't want her to be an outcast and unable to enjoy herself around other children :(
I promise this trip doesn't indicate she will be an outcast, unable to enjoy herself. Her response was completely normal and this is exactly what one could predict would happen. It's called parallel play and is a developmental milestone for toddlers.
Why did the 12 m.o. come right up to her and climb on her? I don't know, but in a few months he'll probably become a little less outgoing and become more circumspect. Or, maybe he'll always be that outgoing. Maybe he'll be that 6 y.o. who's always just a little too close, into people's personal space. I kid. My point is don't conclude that there's something wrong with your child when she doesn't behave like some other child.
Someone moved my effing cheese.
Sorry, I forgot I wanted to say this. Yes, just keep bringing her around kids, because it's fun for her. Not because it's something you're supposed to do. Why wouldn't you? What bad thing will happen if your 19 m.o. plays for an hour or so with other toddlers, even every day?
Someone moved my effing cheese.
Something my DS does is to observe things the first one or two times in a new environment. Then he goes for it. Also, little kids do odd things so I think your LO is just watching and "taking notes" as it were. She'll begin to play with other kids and have a blast. Plus, it's great to learn how to deal with kids of all different ages (and people too!). DS here plays with kids ranging in age from newborn baby baby to 5 and 6 yr olds. He does great with them all. He's quite taken with the "big" boys now ages 4+ so that's hysterical.
Loving wife to DH mama to DS1 3/13/09 , DS2 4/20/11 and expecting baby #3 in January!
Professional and attempting to while
I find that whether or not toddlers appear to be interacting, they find other children interesting and stimulating. My 26 month old daughter will often talk about things she saw other kids do long after hanging out with them, or I will see you get ideas and expand on them later. So just because they aren't sharing a toy or working on the same project doesn't mean that they are getting nothing out of the interaction. When she was much younger I am not sure she got much out of it but I enjoy talking to other moms and did it for my sake as much as for hers.
mother of 2, wife, daughter, lawyer, toddler wearing, extended breastfeeding, ec-ing, water birthing....
I agree with the others here - don't fret! My DD (19 months) asks for "kids" incessantly, so I try to do something most days that involve other kids. Her response ranges from wanting to leave, to clinging to mommy, to playing very busily by herself. She has only recently started to actually play with other children, and it's very rare when it happens. None of the other kids play with each other either, so I think it's just the age.