at what age would you begin to feel sorry for a child who only has adult friends? LOL
(my daughter actually has one family that we visit occasionally. they have four kids. but usually we are around adults)
I've noticed with my children that they don't start to make real friends until around age eight or nine. Before that they would play with other children occasionally(mom set up playdate, cousins etc) But didn't really seek out friends until those ages.
I think it's fine to expose them to other children, but I don't feel the child themselves are "missing" having friends at younger ages.
I think it depends on the child's personality. My older DD is 5 and really into her friends. Rather than going by their age, I think you just have to look at whether the child is happy with their situation. My 3 year old doesn't care one way or the other if other kids are around.
I don't think that kids need other children to learn social skills or anything like that, but I think that some children enjoy other childrens' company a great deal.
Thank goodness you said that Peggy. My son is 3 and doesn't have anyone besides adults that I would consider his friend. We have a homeshooling playgroup once a week, and sometimes he will play with one child exclusively like he or she is his best friend. Then next time we see that child he acts like they've never met! This is the child who can remember things that happened two years ago (honestly)! I gave up doing the playdate thing because all my son was interested in were the toys, not the other children. I never try to push him into playing with anybody, I have confidence he will seek out friends when he is ready.
I might feel sorry if an adult had no friends, but never a child.
When ds was little I tried some playgroups, but never felt connected to the 'mommies'. It was an uncomfortable situation and I think ds felt it too.
What we did was visit the zoo and parks a lot. Eventually, you start meeting people. Your kids will let you know when they need something more.
All the kids in my neighborhood are ds's age (7) and dd is 4. Also, I don't know many people with kids her age. It's hard on her sometimes because she wants friends too and they all view her as the 'little sister'. A few months back she asked to be in pre-school, so we tried it. She LOVES it! But, it was her decision to go and if I ever felt it wasn't to her advantage, we'd re-evailuate the situtation.
It seems my son started making his true friends at age 6. One of our neighbors he's very close with and a few classmates. It's really interesting to see the kids he picks for his 'friends'.
Dd considers everyone at pre-school her friend (even the teachers), but she does have certain ones she's more drawn to.
Interesting thread. My son has always been very friendly with both children and adults, but didn't begin forming his own friendships until about 6 or 7, and in the beginning many of them were fleeting. He is almost 8 now and has about 3 children that he met on his own with whom he regularly plays.