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My son is just three and we have been pretty Waldorf-y at home. He will do three day nursery in the fall. So on the weekend we went to my niece's three year old Princess b-day party. A lot of it was outside and they had a sprinkler, which my son used to fill up buckets and watering plants, and flowers and the garden, very focused. He was engaging in lots of solitary play, mainly as he has no reference for Princess Aurora or Pin the tail on the Princess.<br><br>
But our relatives were acting like he was an outcast. "He's in his own little world"<br>
Do you just let him go off in fantasy like that whenever? Preschool will be good for him, he'll learn how to play with other kids. And other veiled critiques."<br><br>
So long story short, how do you Waldorf parents hold space for your child that is positive in mainstream encounters. I am feeling afraid of him getting these outcast-y vibes from our close family, and want to have strategies ready.
 

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Our dd can totally be like that on occasion too. We recently brought her to a big popular playground because we wanted her to get some social interaction. She was in her own little world, playing with a wheel and pretending she was going on a trip to Mexico. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
But I honestly think that while imagination is good, it's not good for her to be so totally in her own little world all the time that she can't play with other children. I grew up in a non-mainstream school and had such a hard time relating to my peers. It wasn't until college that I finally started to relate to others my age and even then it was hard. I had to work to find common ground and to loosen up a bit.<br><br>
So we have been trying to have more play opportunities. Even if it's just library story hour, going to a park more, or having kids over to our house where they can play with Waldorfy toys together - that's what we are working on. I've seen immediately that she is becoming more sociable even with just a little bit more encouragement.<br><br>
If I were at a mainstream party, I'd encourage her to play with the other children, play a bit myself to get her into it, then slowly back off. A kid doesn't have to know who Aurora is to enjoy a "pretty princess" or at least a "bright princess" lol - something to make it fun even if it's a gaudy disney thing. And any kid can enjoy pinning a tail on something.<br><br>
If she were easily overstimulated tho, I'd just do my best to help her along at family events and to avoid other mainstream things or to just stop in a bit so she can get used to how other people live, but not overstimulated.<br><br>
I think that it's important for children to play in their own fantasy worlds for hours on end. But I also have personally found it's important to be able to get along in a world that holds very different values than my own. I don't want my dd to struggle so much as I did. And honestly, I don't think (unless a kid has sensory issues) that playing with obnoxious mainstream stuff is going to do any harm at a party - beyond that the stuff drives mommy crazy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> So I encourage it for the sake of learning to relate to others. It's never made any issues. She doesn't even know that most of it is character related because we are rarely in any stores that carry those characters and we dont' have tv.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"He's in his own little world"</td>
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And how fantastic is that? Count your blessings! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br>
You might try treating what they say as positive, pretending they meant it that way. "Do you just let him go off in fantasy like that whenever" - <i>We're so grateful he's so content all the time. He can entertain himself for hours.</i> "Preschool will be good for him, he'll learn how to play with other kids." <i>We're really looking forward to it for him too. He's just going to love it.</i> Hopefully these comments are just signs of some temporary confusion on their part, not being used to a child who doesn't need stimulus 24/7.
 

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Three is still awfully young. My ds got much more interested in playing with other kids when he was 4-4 1/2 and now that he's 5 1/2 it's starting to be all he talks about! He was exactly like your child at 3. I'm so, so glad that he had those first simple, beautiful, imaginative years as a foundation to build upon.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LindaCl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11591089"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And how fantastic is that? Count your blessings! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br>
You might try treating what they say as positive, pretending they meant it that way. "Do you just let him go off in fantasy like that whenever" - <i>We're so grateful he's so content all the time. He can entertain himself for hours.</i> "Preschool will be good for him, he'll learn how to play with other kids." <i>We're really looking forward to it for him too. He's just going to love it.</i> Hopefully these comments are just signs of some temporary confusion on their part, not being used to a child who doesn't need stimulus 24/7.</div>
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Ditto.<br><br>
I was just at a mainstream birthday party and saw my daughter running around with a plastic power rangers or transformers (or something) gun and not really knowing what to do with it. The other kids were telling her how to play. She was happy and that was fine with me. They are good friends and good people and I am fine letting her interact with people who's values are different from ours because we care about them. I know that's not what you are saying but it was just on my mind!<br><br>
Most of the time my daughter is a loner, even at Waldorf friends get togethers. She's happier standing on the sidelines or doing her own thing. She's often dresses in a funny way (silks, tutus, crowns, capes, other assorted layer up things) and is totally happy and confident doing it.<br>
Other people comment and mostly in a positive way.<br><br>
If I do get less than positive comments I try to put a humorous spin on it. Like at the party we were just at someone asked about a particular TV show. I explained she doesn't watch TV and it took some explaining when they thought that she watched DVDs and so on.<br>
She then got on the child's bike and I said "Oh she's doing well, she's never ridden a bike before!"<br>
I got a 'look' to which I replied "I know she doesn't get to do anything! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">"<br><br>
BTW, the bike thing has nothing to do with our Waldorf lifestyle. It a co-ordination and living in a city issue!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>calynde</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11593618"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Three is still awfully young. My ds got much more interested in playing with other kids when he was 4-4 1/2 and now that he's 5 1/2 it's starting to be all he talks about! He was exactly like your child at 3. I'm so, so glad that he had those first simple, beautiful, imaginative years as a foundation to build upon.</div>
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I agree that a young 3 year old isn't always into group play and it's perfectly fine for them to do their own thing. Watering plants is fun! I'd just say, you know he's not into princesses, I'm glad he found something he likes to do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You descrption of your son reminds me of my youngest brother when he was a kid. That is totally how he was and wow what an amazing adult he has turned into. He is such an interesting intelligent person!
 
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