How do/ should I make my son want to go out? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 12-05-2012, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need suggestions and your viewpoints on whether what I have is a problem or not. 
My son is 2.5 yrs old and I quit my job when he was 1 yr old. We moved twice across state lines since then. In every city I worked hard to build a network and playmates for him and it worked out nice.
Now we are in new city since 2 months and it's different this time. I am finding it more difficult here to find other moms. But I agree I am still very new here.

But my problem is my son doesn't seem interested in socializing. He is not a very shy boy but he just seems to have lost interest ( or maybe never had much but was too young for me to read him ). This is also the first time that we are living in a house  vs. a small apartment.  He is content with being indoors all day. And of course wants me as his playmate! 

I don't regret quitting my job but I  am not cut out for a home maker. I enjoy going out. We do lot of outings like zoo, museum , mall , lib etc. He does enjoy them. However I was hoping that he would also want to be around other children and I would have a social support circle. 

I am NOT expecting him to play like a older child. I understand at this age I would still be his primary companion and parallel play is most common. 

But I am slightly annoyed that he doesn't want to even go and meet other kids. And I am tired of trying to trick him to get dressed to be able to go out and attend playdates. 

I  am not looking for babysitter/ mother's  helper. It wont work , I tried those options. It's a new city and I am not going to trust ppl off Craigslist and secondly my son doesn't speak English. Most babysitters are not mature enough to handle that. greensad.gif

I also looked up all quality preschools and everything is fully booked for this calendar year. I don't see a point in sending him to a home daycare since really it would be more daycare than socialization/ quality play. I am sure there are few such awesome daycares but it would take me time to find out. I did mail in applications for next academic year but that's almost a year away!

Oh and he is going to be an only child.

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#2 of 15 Old 12-05-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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My hunch is that he's dealing with moving so much in a very brief period of time. Not your fault, nor his. I would just let him get used to living in a new house for a couple weeks, then just start doing story time at the local library, museums, and booking play dates. He can't tell you how he's feeling, but to me he's saying he needs some down time to adjust. Moving is hard on everyone. Trust me! I totally get that. We just recently moved with our 2 DS's and one more on the way. It's not always a cake walk. Soon, he'll open up more. If you push too hard too soon, it will backfire and he'll never ever want to go out.

For you, maybe when DH is home you can go and get some much needed along time. You can go out and start meeting some moms in the evening for coffee/dessert whatevs.

hang tight!


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#3 of 15 Old 12-05-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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So, does he not put a struggle about getting ready to go to other places, like the museum?  Is it really only playdates?  Because my daughter is also about 2.5, and it is a struggle to get her out of the house for ANY reason.  And that's a pretty recent thing.  We used to get out a lot more, but over the past few months it's just gotten to be such a hassle that we stay home more.  Even when we're going to do something incredibly fun, she'll keep saying in the car that she wants to go home.  But when we get there she has fun.  So, it could just be a phase.  Maybe try some small playdates (1 or 2 kids) and see how they go?

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#4 of 15 Old 12-05-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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My son is the same way. When he turned three he started to loosen up a little, however it's still more common for him to not be interested in socializing. The only thing I can say is find people you want to be around and then determine if the good you get outweighs the hassle of getting your lo out. I take it on a case by case basis. I also moved to our new house (all the way across the country from where we lived before) right before we had him. It has been challenging to meet new people as it is. I have found that repeated get togethers with a small group of people (not all at the same time, just a variety of people) has gotten him used to those people and helps him know what to expect. If he shows a strong dislike for a certain child because of a weird dynamic then I don't push it and let them go for a while without seeing each other. Other wise I feel it's more about me and my needs to be around other people, so I pick people I want to spend time with. He has time to work it out and I'm not concerned about weather or not he will eventually be interested in socializing. Hope that made some sense :) Good luck


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#5 of 15 Old 12-06-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with all of you. Moving must have definitely affected him. We had a thriving playgroup. He is young but am sure misses his buddies. The last thing I want to do is push him. But since he is an only child and we are new, if I dont get us out we literally spend days with no other human contact. So, am trying to avoid that.
I have heard this age is tough as it is. He is otherwise a very mature kid for his age and we get along with each other very well.

I just needed to hear from you mamas. I think I am also mourning the loss of my friends, and just wanted to hear that we are normal:)

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#6 of 15 Old 12-06-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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I agree. We moved when our son was 18 months old, and he really missed his friends. He kept asking for his best friend for a month after we moved. She has visited twice, and thy totally remember each other and are overjoyed to play together. Her mama calls it a "soul connection".

Since you've moved twice, he might be afraid to make new friends for fear he'll lose them and feel sad? Could you ask him about his old friends, and ask whether he misses them? He might want to talk about his feelings--our son did. Maybe some verbal reassurance that you're not going to move again (if that's true) might help, too?
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#7 of 15 Old 12-06-2012, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He does miss them I know that. He names them during his play in books , in his puppets. I have talked to him and validated his sorrow. I haven't thought of telling him that we won't move again. But I guess he needs more time or maybe going through a development milestone.
He is overall happier than last year since we now have room to play and do activities.

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#8 of 15 Old 12-06-2012, 09:03 PM
 
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Hang tight and keep talking about those feelings. Also, tell him how you are sad and that you miss your friends too. That will help because he'll really get that he's not alone in this. Also, if he wants to, you can suggest slowly making new friends and that you *hope* not to move again for a really long time (if that's honest of course). Talk about the benefits of having friends and that sometimes it hurts, but it's ok, because you guys have one another etc.


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#9 of 15 Old 12-06-2012, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I guess I have to push my comfort level in talking such matters. Its not in our culture to talk like that, definitely not to a kid. But if he can feel the sorrow he surely can grasp the meaning of such words. Thanks for making me think about it.

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#10 of 15 Old 12-07-2012, 03:31 AM
 
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Can I suggest something selfish here? Take him out once a week but for you not him... as in tell him "Mama misses her friends and would like to go out, make new ones". This might shift the focus off of him, make him relax a little bit. I think little ones pick up on everything, more than we give them credit for. He's probably feeling the pressure to go out and is resisting...


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#11 of 15 Old 12-07-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by organicviolin View Post

Hang tight and keep talking about those feelings. Also, tell him how you are sad and that you miss your friends too. That will help because he'll really get that he's not alone in this. Also, if he wants to, you can suggest slowly making new friends and that you *hope* not to move again for a really long time (if that's honest of course). Talk about the benefits of having friends and that sometimes it hurts, but it's ok, because you guys have one another etc.
I agree with this, it's a good way to help him understand his own feelings. It can actually be traumatic for kids to move, and he needs a way to work it out. You might even consider a few sessions with a play therapist for him to process what he's dealing with. If you're not willing or able to try therapy for whatever reason, at least read books about kids who have moved, and have him draw or paint about what moving felt like for him, play it out in your play with him, etc.
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Originally Posted by LilyKay View Post

Can I suggest something selfish here? Take him out once a week but for you not him... as in tell him "Mama misses her friends and would like to go out, make new ones". This might shift the focus off of him, make him relax a little bit. I think little ones pick up on everything, more than we give them credit for. He's probably feeling the pressure to go out and is resisting...
Yes, this takes the pressure off him. He may be feeling some stranger anxiety too. My own DS loves (LOVES!) to play with his friends but is terrified of making new friends. It took him a good year or two of weekly or more frequent playdates with the same group of kids, before he felt really comfortable with them. I don't know if it typically takes kids that long to warm up, I suspect it doesn't, but the point is that not all kids are outgoing, extroverted, eager to make new friends. Some prefer to stick with familiar faces. Some (like my DS!) also do better with 1-on-1 playdates rather than big groups of kids.

Another thing that might help is focusing more on activities than playdates... story time at the library, or music class, or open gym, might be more comfortable for him because it's not about making friends, just about having fun. And you can say this to him when it's time to leave the house -- not, "Hey, let's go make some new friends at storytime!" but, "We're going to listen to some stories, I will be right there with you, it will be lots of fun, and there will be a craft too!" Don't even mention friends or push it at all when you're there. He might make some friends without even intending to, without even realizing it, and he might not... but at least you've gotten out & YOU can go with the intention of meeting new people yourself, while he just has fun. smile.gif

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#12 of 15 Old 12-07-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Funny as it may sound, I LOVE our outings. I absolutely going to zoo! So, those outings are soul food for me too. Or the mall for example, I love window shopping so does he. I can even take him inside a store full of antique thungs and he wouldnt touch a thing ( he is mature for his age ) and actually enjoy as I point to him the various stuff. So those outings are fun else I woupd have been a seriously grumpy mama. Lol.

I am looking forward to next year spring when my dad come and stay with us. I would love to amd sit at a starbucks all by myself....i havent done anything like that in 3 yrs!

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#13 of 15 Old 12-07-2012, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LilyKay View Post

Can I suggest something selfish here? Take him out once a week but for you not him... as in tell him "Mama misses her friends and would like to go out, make new ones". This might shift the focus off of him, make him relax a little bit. I think little ones pick up on everything, more than we give them credit for. He's probably feeling the pressure to go out and is resisting...
Ok, that above reply was for you. Couldnt figure out quoting on ipad!

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#14 of 15 Old 12-07-2012, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok mamas, I am going to work on the trauma of moving. He loves books so will do some books about moving. And I will stop talking about friends. You all are right, I must have turned it onto a pressure thing.
You all are so smart orngbiggrin.gif

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#15 of 15 Old 12-08-2012, 03:48 AM
 
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Funny as it may sound, I LOVE our outings. I absolutely going to zoo! So, those outings are soul food for me too. Or the mall for example, I love window shopping so does he. I can even take him inside a store full of antique thungs and he wouldnt touch a thing ( he is mature for his age ) and actually enjoy as I point to him the various stuff. So those outings are fun else I woupd have been a seriously grumpy mama. Lol.
I am looking forward to next year spring when my dad come and stay with us. I would love to amd sit at a starbucks all by myself....i havent done anything like that in 3 yrs!

 

Yes me too! I love going to the zoo, to the christmas market and so on. So I do take DD out for my sake too :)


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