How do/ should I make my son want to meet ppl - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 12-05-2012, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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( x posted in toddlers )
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 8 Old 12-05-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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My older ds had no interest in being around kids his age until about 4.5 years old.  We moved around a bit too.  He loved being with his older cousins, and that's probably something a lot of kids like is older kids that will play with them.  My younger ds is much more outgoing and has always been interested in other kids.  I don't know that there's any way to "make" someone want to be with other kids until they feel an interest in doing so.  Some things that have gotten my older son interested in being with other kids is playing frequently with the same one or 2 kids  (so same kids a few times per week)...Ds1 has to see the same kids several times and have a chance to interact with them one on one (not in a large group) in different ways to want to play with them...ds2 is not like that...totally different personalities.  Also, it helps if the adults join in and play games to "break the ice", like allowing the kids to chase them or jump on them...

 

Btw, I have always gotten babysitters off Craigslist.  I do backgrounds checks and then I work from home, so I see how they interact with my children many times before I leave them alone with them. I look for "younger" women who have lots of energy, who can play very active games with my sons, and who err on the side of being kind rather than authoritarian.  My kids also speak/hear more than one language, although they both started speaking really late.  Ds2 who's not quite 2.5 isn't even speaking very much yet, he hears 3 languages plus the occasional Chinese lessons, and has words in various languages plus lots of his own words that only I understand.  It's never been an issue for him to show what he wants, nor does that keep him from playing with other kids/people at all.  

 

I'm not sure what you mean that daycare would just be daycare and not "socialization/ quality play"  - what is quality play when you're 2.5?  Do you mean that kids aren't interacting as they recite their ABC's?  I've never had my kids in daycare, so I'm not an expert on daycare, but the ones I visited I didn't like because they had the kids sitting in circle time INSTEAD of playing with each other and having free play.  For me, the ideal is that my kids play really hard with other kids, but I am their teacher as far as reading, etc.  I think a home daycare is probably better for real socialization, but a pre-school may be better for you if you want your kids to do academic stuff with other people.  

 

Honestly, you sound like you're burned out, and need a break.  Are you the sole caretaker of your lo?  I remember being very frustrated with ds1 when he was that age, because he wouldn't want to be with anyone but me ALL the time.  Now he's 5 and is pretty independent and plays really well by himself for hours.  He's still not a social butterfly, although he's not shy about expressing his thoughts with kids/grownups at all.  Have you tried "meetup.com" - they have a lot of mommy/family groups and if you get a nice group of moms and kids, your son will have a chance to get used to them and will start enjoying playing with the kids (as long as they do fun things, not just sit in circle time together LOL).  There are also some indoor playgrounds where kids can play while parents can relax with a coffee.   

 

As far as getting your kid dressed...I think that's just how kids are...my kids are slow to get dressed to go out even if I tell them we're going out for ice cream...frustrating but part of being a normal kid.  

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#3 of 8 Old 12-05-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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Perhaps part of the issue is that you are an extrovert and he is an introvert? My ds would stay home for days and play by himself/with me but I can't do that. It is hard to find a balance between our two personalities and what works for both of us. Perhaps as you adjust to your new area you will find a few places that can be 'regulars' where your ds will be comfortable/want to go and will be a good choice for you too. I'm curious about what you plan to do with the time he is at school - sounds like you want it to be 'you' time - do you plan to be out of the house doing stuff?

 

Overall I don't think you have a problem in that your ds doesn't seek out or necessarily enjoy social activities. But it does sound like a bit of a problem that you have unmet needs and no immediate way to meet them. Wish I had a great solution for you. I'm sure it is frustrating to feel stuck right now. I hope you find some new friends soon!

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#4 of 8 Old 12-06-2012, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mamas.
Yes I am burned out but I will have a break next year when my dad comes to stay with us for a while. I honestly don't see the way mothers in USA raise children helping moms with loneliness and burnout. It's just inevitable I feel.

We had a thriving playgroup from where I came and I was there only a year. So I am sure I am missing that and am tired of putting so much evergy to build a social network yet. I also think this new city is not so liberal and we are feeling isolated for lack of a better wOrd.

Thanks for reassuring about Craigslist! You give me hope smile.gif

He will go to preschool because he loves learning and we are not against schooling. I am going to send him to Montessori morning school and I believe it will be a good thing for him. I have toured schools overserved the classes and i think it will fit with my sons quiet yet curious personality.
I plan to go back to work so it's also a prep for him.

Anyways, I am just relieved he is normal. I sometimes worry but actually I am an introvert ( am chatty and social but crave lots of alone time). So he gets it from me?smile.gif

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#5 of 8 Old 12-07-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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I lived for a long time in Cleveland, and to some degree I always felt somewhat lonely there (and that was way before I had kids).  It is a nice city in many ways, the metro parks are great, there is a world class symphony, and the wonderful West Side market.  It is more conservative than other places, probably.  I agree about how hard it is when one doesn't have a support network.  I had a really hard time with anxiety after ds1 was born, and it was much easier (even though I was busier) after ds2 was born, simply because we were living so close to my mom.  Where I was born, there are usually 3 generations living together, and grandparents think it's normal to play a big role in taking care of their grandchildren.  Here everyone is expected to be independent, practically when they're born.  Different culture :)

Good luck with craigslist, if you have someone that you get a good feeling about and you see them interact with your son, you may feel more comfortable.  Plus you may find someone there who speaks your native language...which is nice, too, because kids "switch" to English very quickly once they're in school, and almost don't want to speak any other language.  

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#6 of 8 Old 12-07-2012, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post

I lived for a long time in Cleveland, and to some degree I always felt somewhat lonely there (and that was way before I had kids).  It is a nice city in many ways, the metro parks are great, there is a world class symphony, and the wonderful West Side market.  It is more conservative than other places, probably.  I agree about how hard it is when one doesn't have a support network.  I had a really hard time with anxiety after ds1 was born, and it was much easier (even though I was busier) after ds2 was born, simply because we were living so close to my mom.  Where I was born, there are usually 3 generations living together, and grandparents think it's normal to play a big role in taking care of their grandchildren.  Here everyone is expected to be independent, practically when they're born.  Different culture smile.gif
Good luck with craigslist, if you have someone that you get a good feeling about and you see them interact with your son, you may feel more comfortable.  Plus you may find someone there who speaks your native language...which is nice, too, because kids "switch" to English very quickly once they're in school, and almost don't want to speak any other language.  
You and I seem to have been brought up in same or similar cultures. Yes the degree of independence is frightening here but like evrything else there are pros and cons. Child rearing though seems to definitely benefit from bug families and communities.
I dont speak English at home coz I know he will learn that very quickly once school starts. Its one of my worries of how I will maintain a stronghold on pur native language at home.
Cleveland is exactly as you summed it up. I have never felt as lost before ( and I am a wanderer at heart)

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#7 of 8 Old 12-08-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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I agree with whoever said maybe you are an extrovert and he is more of an introvert. I am an introvert and so was my oldest child when he was little. He still is and so am I to a certain extent. We moved a lot when he was little, but never out of state. I moved to 5 different places when he was a toddler/preschooler and then his dad and I moved 3 times once we married from the time he was 5 til he was 8. I think with age that all of us become more extroverted, but when little it's okay to be shy or want to be left alone. He has time to grow in to being more outgoing and social. Let him be himself. I worried constantly about my son being so shy/introverted as a child up until 6th grade when he started getting a little more comfortable around people. He finally started breaking out of it in the 10th grade and now in 11th he is more social. He enjoys being around older people more than those his own age so that had a lot to do with it I think when he was growing up. AND I only worried about my son because everyone around me kept thinking he must have a problem because he was just "too" introverted. He turned out fine though. :)
 


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#8 of 8 Old 12-08-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MOmmy68 that's very encouraging to hear. I think I let people's expectations get to me. I think he is a fairly social fellow for his age. I just was expecting wrong things from him and this thread has helped.

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