I stay home with my just turned 3 year old daughter. We live in the country and don't have other kids nearby but I make an effort to make sure we get together with friends or see other children at least once a week - and we do the library and other errands, and visit people, and swim. Sometimes when we get together with larger groups of children she is quite "clingy" and would prefer to play with me than the other children. I guess this is not surprising. It's just that the other kids all seem more comfortable in this situations, and I'm not sure what I can do to help her feel that way too. Sometimes she spends time alone (without us!) with a neighbour, who reports she is chatty and at ease, probably more so than when we visit together. It makes me wonder if it's having me around all the time that stops her from playing with other kids. That said, I don't think I really believe children need to be away from their parents, and it should be said, all the other children we play with at at home with their moms as well. Is there something I should be doing differently? (I should add that we would like another child but that so far we have had no luck, and sometimes I think I attach my unhappiness about that to worrying that she is "shy" because she's an only child, if that makes sense...)
Love to hear you thoughts. Mainly I think I'm just feeling a bit "wobbly" and hoping I'm doing an OK job...
We get together with other kids several times a week, and have done so since she was about 6 months old... And she has always been kind of clingy. So I don't think it is an issue of how frequently we/you socialize; it is probably just her temperament.
Since I am also the kind of person who would rather have a one on one conversation than get together with a big group of friends, I get it.. I just feel lost in a crowd... We have a lot of extrovert friends, who I love to see, but if I don't spend some time regrouping alone or with only those closest to me, I tend to feel overwhelmed.
I would suggest continuing as you are, and also scheduling play dates with just one other kid to see if some friendship/imaginative play doesn't blossom in that kind of dynamic.
Thanks for the reassurance. Like you, and am very much an introvert, and so is my husband, so I suppose it is no wonder! I think I will try as you suggest, keep working on the smaller playdate times (although we seem to only know people with more than one child, but still, that is better than a crowd.) Sometimes I wonder too if maybe starting off those get togethers with an activity or story time might ease her in a bit so I'm not expecting her to "play" with kids right away. But it's nice to hear other people have similar experiences. (you also do get people assuming that they are the way they are because you are a stay at home mom and they don't see enough of other kids, but as you say, they just are the way they are!)