Do children need to spend time with other children? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-14-2003, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
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My three children are very sociable, and they love to spend time with other children and just play, play, play... They are happy to have any other child to visit any time. Nothing matters to them, not age, not sex, nothing!

It has been a complete revelation to me that the child next door has no friend except my son. Is this usual? Do your children need other children in their lives or would they be just as happy having just one or two friends?
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#2 of 7 Old 02-14-2003, 02:43 AM
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I don't know about ds but I can tell you from my experience growing up that I really only had a couple friends. There were others that I played with at school but never outside of it. It was that way all the way through high school and even college. My dh is the same way. We'd rather have a few close friends than a lot of people we feel like we barely know. So, I'd say its normal...but dh and I have never been called normal before.......

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#3 of 7 Old 02-14-2003, 11:04 AM
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I think I may be alone on this but this is my take:

We used to live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. All day long, every day there were kids around, knocking on our door and playing with all 3 kids. The one thing I noticed was that boys became over-stimulated by the constant attention/playing. They had no "down" time. Occassionally there were petty fights over stupid stuff that would get all the kids exhausted and cranky. Then the next day it would start all over again.

When we moved, we purposely chose to live in a rural area without close neighbors. My kids are all within 5 yrs. of each other. They can play together if need be. They go to school and see their friends there. They have playdates that last a couple of hours at least 2x or more per week. I honestly beleive it has been better. They really need some time to be alone and use their imaginations and creativity without the constant peer pressure.

Both the older two have a couple of good friends that they play with over and over again. I don't feel that they've been cheated from social contact. To me I guess the big thing is what's wrong with hanging out with your family? What's wrong with spending some time alone?

Anyway that my 2 cents.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-14-2003, 02:00 PM
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So far, Goo (almost 7 months) spend time with kids at day care and on days with me. She seems to enjoy playing with other children. One of my goals in working part time was to allow her to spend sometime with other kids since we are isolated from our family (not by choice, they just live far away).

I think a healthy mix of family time, alone time and other kid time is healthy. I wouldn't want one of those to dominate her life.
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#5 of 7 Old 02-18-2003, 03:39 AM
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You know how many times I have heard this from my MIL? She says over and over how my kids NEED to be in daycare or preschool to be around other kids and learn to be sociable.

I think my kids have dont just fine, thank you very much. I think she just says that to make herself feel better for sticking her kids in daycare all the time. I dont know.

I think kids who spend lots of time with adults are smarter.
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#6 of 7 Old 02-18-2003, 12:39 PM
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How old is the child next door? My son is almost 4, very shy, and he doesn't have many friends at all. We go to a playgroup, but he still just kind of plays with ME only. Some kids aren't socially as "developed" at a certain age as others, and if this little boy is an only child, vs. your children who each have a couple siblings, that explains a HUGE difference right there.

Do you know of any playgroups or community-offered things for kids in your area? Maybe you could tell the mom about them and help her out a bit, or introduce her to some of your friends with kids. Maybe she just doesn't get out a lot and doesn't know a lot of people with children.
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#7 of 7 Old 02-18-2003, 03:59 PM
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I personally think it totally depends on your child. SOme children are very extroverted, I was one of them, and enjoy being around other children all the time. My brother and parents are very introverted and enjoyed their alone time or quiet time. For some children being around too many kids can be stressful, for others, being alone or only with siblings can be stressful. I totally recharge my batteries by being with people, my husband recharges his batteries by being alone. You all know your kids well enough to know what works for them. As with everything else in their daily lives, playmates or lack thereof is a decision AP mommas make based on the needs of their individual child. So don't let anyone bully you into a decision you know your little one would not be comfortable with.

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were a minute old, I would have died for you. That is the miracle of life. ~Maureen Hawkins~
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