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DD just turned 3.<br><br>
There aren't many no's in our house. Things are as baby-proofed as possible, and occasionally if we leave something out that DD wants to play with (e.g. the shampoo, a knife, something breakable) she is great about giving us the object if we explain why its unsafe. She dances on the table and she climbs on the counters (with mama and papa spotting her); heck, she even climbs on the car roof, as long as she is willing to listen to instruction to not bounce and to stay away from the windshield wipers.<br><br>
We've tried hard to allow her to follow her interests, making things safe when possible, and re-directing to a safer, but similar, activity when it just isn't safe.<br><br>
But now we are getting out to playgroups more. There is one particular activity that we go to (Toddler Time at the Boys and Girls Club) every week. I'm running into problems with our parenting style there. For example, when she wanted to climb on the pool table, the instructor was initially okay with it - she and another girl were helped up and the adults stood around to spot them while they explored the table. But then another little boy wanted to come up, and his mother went ballistic, screaming loudly, "we do NOT climb on tables! We do NOT!" In the interests of supporting other parents, the instructor then made the rule that there was no climbing on the pool table (or the air hockey table or the foosball table). Then more rules got added: you have to wear socks (even though I really think hands carry way more germs than feet so if they have to wear socks shouldn't they have to wear gloves?). You can't withdraw into the food prep area when you are overstimulated, even if your parent is with you (there isn't anything unsafe in the food prep area - its not being used atm - and there isn't any other place to go unless you go into the parking lot). And a bunch of other no's.<br><br>
I wonder if we've made a mistake in trying to make DD's life as child-friendly as possible, since the real world isn't so child-friendly. Its hard on her, and me, because when we're there, or when we go to other people's houses, I feel like I'm constantly redirecting her and eventually she starts saying, "go home now? go home?" so we do. I feel tense because I'm so out of touch with what is mainstream-normal in the rest of the world. Is it okay to stand on other people's couches, for example, if you have your shoes off? I have no idea about this and a thousand other things. We both feel really tense and uptight the more we try to venture into mainstream activities and places.<br><br>
Any thoughts? What do YOU do?
 

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Your decision should be based on how important the socialization is for you and your child and whether you can put up with a few rules and some different parenting styles. It is really hard at first but if you go to these places in small doses and leave when you are to tense or your child is to tense then you and your child will adjust. You might also consider working on your reactions to this situation. I found that it was my tension that was creating my daughter's tension in many cases, she didn't mind if she had to find an alternate activity but I hated hearing a lot of the mainstream parenting that went on and it took me a long time to adjust but when I did her experience was happier.
 

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I've just always explained that the rules outside our home are often different from the rules at home. And sometimes that is hard, but overall it hasn't been a big deal. Though...with my oldest and her difficulties, throughout the years there have just been things we don't do and places we don't go. So maybe it would've felt harder if I'd gone ahead and done those things and gone those places.<br><br>
And, I don't know...there have been places we haven't liked to go and things we've stopped doing because they weren't very fun or weren't really child-friendly. I think if a place has that many "no's" that a child wants to leave, that's not necessarily an indication that as a parent you don't have enough "no's" but more an indication that that place is simply not child-friendly. It happens. Some places are unnecessarily restrictive. And other places just don't "fit" us, and that doesn't mean the place is bad or we've done something wrong. It just isn't our style.
 

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"Sometimes our rules are different from other peoples' rules"<br><br>
"We only jump on our own sofa, not anyone elses sofa" It's not our sofa to jump on.<br><br>
And there are times its awkward and there are places we don't go because I/we just don't care for the limitations. (Which unfortunately will be my mother's house this summer but we don't have an option to not visit)
 

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Yeah, I think kids are really good at learning that different things are okay in different environments. At least, better than we give them credit for.<br><br>
I also think that in group settings, there sort of *needs* to be more rules than in individual relationships/settings with kids. Its not a bad thing for kids to learn that "when we are in class" or "when we are in playgroup" we all follow certain rules that help us ALL to get along.
 

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Like other people have said, it's a great time to let your child know that different places have different expectations. If she is not having fun because of all the nos, then don't go there anymore. If YOU aren't having fun because of all the nos, evaluate why. Your daughter can have fun on the ground with socks on. She can. And she will, if you allow her to do so, and go home when she's ready. <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 can explain, as previous posters' suggested, that others' rules can be different than rules at home. And that when you're at someone else's house, if you'd like everyone to have a good time, you have to follow their rules for the time you're there.<br><br>
There's nothing wrong with your parenting style. But I believe it behooves you to teach your child that she must respect others as she would want to be respected, when outside of her home (obviously, you are the judge of this... if a parenting style you're encountering is so counter to what you're comfortable with, that you don't even want your daughter privvy to it, then you certainly can decide that activity needn't be revisted).<br><br>
Which touches on your point about "leave now?"... there's nothing wrong with your daughter being uncomfortable in a situation, and asking to leave, then leaving. She's got a right to feel uncomfortable & express that to you, and you are wise to honor it.
 
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