Before dd was born, DS and I would go to a couple play dates a week and this is how he got in his socialization with other kids. Well, he's almost 4 now and DD is almost 18 months and we just don't get out of the house as often as we used to. When we do finally go to a play date he just doesn't seem interested in playing with other kids. He much prefers to be home playing with me and his sister. I only ask if this seems normal because we are sort of loosely homeschooling through preschool right now, but most my friends with kids the same age around here are in preschool and seem better at playing with other kids. Is this just the nature of homeschooling, age, or personality? No he's not great at playing with other kids, but is that such a bad thing yet? He's learning to play with others by dealing with his sister all day, but is that enough?
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
It's fine. I don't think young kids were really designed to socialize much with same aged peers. I know my ds got frustrated with other kids at that age because they weren't as verbal and not reliable. You never knew if they were going to play with you, slug you, or what.
Plus, it just seems silly to get a group of young kids together who are all at the same exact stage of development unless they think it's fun. They just all want the same exact toy at the same time and there is no rationalizing with them. But when you have a mixed age group, one kid can play with one aspect of a toy while the other is focused on another. They learn to be patient with younger kids and have mature role models of behavior in the adults. And ultimately, what more socialization does a person need than to be able to be patient with younger people and to be able to behave like an adult?
Your son is going just great. Wow. His mom and his sister are his buddies. I can't tell you how many parents dream of that!
At his age, parallel play is very typical. Most experts on child psychology say that a child isn't typically ready for a "real" friendship -- give and take of activities and conversation and accounting for another's emotions -- until age 11.
Until age 7, our primary job homeschooling is to teach the child that he/she is loved unconditionally. That's the lesson that we teach everyday. The rest is gravy.
A homeschooling child is wonderfully blessed with socialization because they learn to communicate and enjoy people of all ages and walks of life. Regular outings to the library, store, and routine places -- maybe a favorite coffee shop, playground -- are really all the young child needs for outside-the-home interactions.
If your child is highly intelligent and/or sensitive, by the way, he will mostly enjoy one-on-one interactions or smaller amounts of people. Having one family over for dinner or a craft and game afternoon might be a better speed than play groups if this is the case.
I worry about it a bit with my 8 year old, as he has no friends his age.
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