DS is not social - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-05-2003, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
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My ds is 15 months and does not really like getting together with other children, particularly in groups of more than 2 other kids. I have been taking him to a baby/toddler group since he was about 3months old, but he often cries/moans a lot of the time, wants to nurse a lot and generally does not play much. He plays better when he is around only 1 or 2 kids, but even then he is often very clingy and wants to nurse most of the time.

I have persisted with taking him out, as I thought he would eventually get used to it and he needs to learn to be around other children, but, for example, we went this morning and he is still clingy and moany an hour after we have arrived home.

I only want to do what is best for him. Does anyone else have a child like this? Do you still take them out, or do you mainly play at home with them? I am very happy at home with him or in small groups, but I don't want to keep him from learning to interact with others.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-05-2003, 09:05 AM
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My DD was a little on the anti-social side, though at that age I don't label it anti-social, it's just her personality. it could be a number of things that are bothering your DS.

She is almost 17 months now, and she still gets easily over-stimulated in certain environments and definitely lets me know when she is not comfprtable. I have discovered that she is noise sensitive, and in gatherings it can get pretty noisey. I keep her in a small playgroup with 3 other kids all the same age. At this age they pretty much play independently and want what each other has

between 12- 15 months I remember DD was really NOT into being around people, not even her daddy. Just be patient. Follow the cues and needs of your child and gently keep reintroducing him to playgroup situations. DD used to cling to me but now I put her down and she's off doing her own thing. One mom in our group has a VERY shy DD (20 months). For the first 30-45 minutes her daughter clings to her and hides. she handles it beautifully, allowing her to be who she is, and allows her to warm up naturally, and she does in time. So, for some children it's their personality.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-05-2003, 09:31 AM
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my ds wasnt quite as shy or reserved as your child, but i do recall him having a hard time in certain situations with a lot of people, he sometimes still does.. he is 27 months and does great with other children, but in big groups of mixed ages he can sometimes freak out.. at one year, we went to a b-day party that was all family and he was horrible, i just loved him and kept him close. This past summer we went to a musical at the park and one at an elementary school to see a child we know in her play... both situations he wanted to go "home" and clung to me...cried at the auditiorium, but was okay at the one in the park.....im pregnant with baby #2 and was bringing him to my appts but it was too hard and he would cry and say he wanted to go home......so i havent brought him in months.. well, im now 36 weeks and brought him with me yesterday as it has been so long, and he did wonderful.. he had a great time, never asked to go home, talked to my midwife who he doesnt know and was laughing and everything.. i think he just needed to grow up a little.... i just keep exposing him to new situations so that he can learn that it is ok and how to deal with his uncomfortableness, afterall i myself was a shy child and hated new situations when i was little....
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#4 of 8 Old 09-05-2003, 11:14 AM
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Some kids just take a bit longer to warm up to new situations. And my daughter was overwhelmed in a group, and to this day hates assemblies at school (she's 16).

Your child might really blossom into a social giant as he gets older, maybe when hes 3. However, he might always like small groups and play with only one or two kids even as he gets much older, kwim?

as long as he is interacting with you appropriately, making good eye contact, and doing well at home i wouldnt worry.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-05-2003, 03:47 PM
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oh yeah, I know this well....

Q (12.5 mos) goes through phases: one day he is Mr. Charm Your Pants Off, the next day he is Mr. Leave Me the H*ll Alone. :LOL

Like you, though, I persist in taking him out, both for his sake (and for mine!). I want him to be exposed to other babies even if he doesn't necessarily play with them. Sometimes he sits in my lap or close to me and watches the other babies play, sometimes he & I will play together then he will slowly join the other babies, sometimes as soon as I put him down he is off looking for his 'buddies' and his favorite toys.

I would just go with the flow, if I were you. Give him what he needs, whether it be arms or nursing or space. And he can still learn to interact with other children when it is a small group!

And one last thing: don't feel like you need to make excuses for him. I've heard too many mothers say "oh, he's shy" or "she's not having a good morning" or "I'm sorry he's not being social" or "usually she's so outgoing" etc. Sheesh! Not everybody is a social butterfly, nor do I think this is necessarily a quality that everyone should strive for. Let your baby be in whatever mood s/he is in, for goodness' sake! and don't make her/him feel ashamed if s/he isn't in the mood to play with others. (I don't mean YOU specifically, UK Mom!! I mean the general "YOU", people in general. )
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#6 of 8 Old 09-06-2003, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! It helps to know that there are others out there like my DS and that you all gave me the kind of feedback that I was thinking about myself. I never push him to do anything and always give him all the love and support he needs when we are out. I will just relax and let him 'be', and if it remains too hard for him to be out in a group, I will limit our outings to 2-3 other kids.

Thanks a lot!
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#7 of 8 Old 09-06-2003, 04:23 PM
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I think it is actually pretty normal for children under 3 to *not* particularly enjoy being with peers. Young toddlers don't really play with each other. If you watch, they will tend to play near each other -- engaged in parallel play. But rarely do they interact or even enjoy seeing each other.

Don't worry, when he is developmentally ready, he will enjoy being with peers. Its really not something to push.

Have you tried exposing him to older children? School age kids. Sometimes this is more enjoyable for them.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-07-2003, 04:53 AM
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I think that’s totally normal. There’s even a word for it with child development folks. I think it’s called “parallel play”. It means that most young children play next to each other but not with each other. I don’t think it’s until like 3 or 4 (and maybe older) that children normally begin to play with each other.

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