to worry that I've failed already

(21 Posts)
LouSavage Sat 16-Jan-16 11:11:40

I'm probably being overdramatic but I could do with some reassurance I guess. My son is three and I'm feeling like I must be getting it all so wrong because he hates everything.
We take him to this little juniors football club Saturday mornings and while the other little ones are loving it and getting involved my son runs around a bit, cries if the coach says hello and then asks to go home after 20 minutes.
He hates arts and crafts and messy play is a total no go.
At christmas he was that kid crying on stage at his preschool play. He gated Santa and wouldn't entertain the idea of any Christmas activities.
Basically unless it involved being free to run in woods, soft play or a park or play in with cars he doesn't want to do it.
He's never aggressive or nasty to anyone, just strong willed and antisocial! We tend to avoid a lot of things now because I know he'll kick off and it'll be a waste of money or time or whatever. Maybe that makes it worse..
It feels like it's only my kid and when I look around at other children enjoying actives and getting "star of the week" for things I just feel sad. I love him of course, he's hilarious, pretty wild and sassy but I'm worried sad
Do I just need to adjust my expectations?

FanSpamTastic Sat 16-Jan-16 11:30:27

It's not just yours! We took ds to little kickers on a Saturday - thought it would be something nice for dad and him to do together. He would want to go, put the kit on, get there, line up and then 5 mins in come back to dad and lay on the floor with his thumb in watching everyone else!

He is very sensitive to noise - used to cry if you sang happy birthday to him! Hated hand dryers in the toilets, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, fireworks.

He is now 10. Loves rugby, cross country and orchestra and is adorable! Still hates hand dryers and fireworks!

Not all kids like the same things - go do stuff you both enjoy.

19lottie82 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:35:02

OP try to relax! You've already listed a list of activities he DOES like and also a list of GOOD qualities! He'll be just fine. And he's only 3. I bet you're doing a great job!

liz70 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:36:34

I think you just need to give him time and space, tbh. Three is still very young, so don't force him to do things that he doesn't enjoy and which you know wil only cause stress to everyone. He doesn't have to do them, so don't make him - just carry on with the activities that you know he does like.

As for crying on stage - again, he's still very young. I didn't take DD3 to playgroup until she was four and a half and I sometimes do wonder if some children are rather young for such a structured environment iyswim.

Your son will do a lot of maturing before he starts school; right now he really is just a tot. And I know it's easy to say this, but don't compare your son to other children; you don't know what they're like at other times, but either way it doesn't matter.

Just let him develop at his own pace. Three is very different from four is very different from five and so on.

And you definitely have not "failed"! smile

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Sat 16-Jan-16 11:44:39

He sounds like a mix of my oldest DS (disliking anything messy) & youngest DD (just wanting to run around outside & be free). School will help with him not wanting to be around others by gradually introducing group work. Please don't feel like you're failing he sounds like a fairly typical 3yo!! Oh & all of my DC hate Father Christmas I now enjoy not standing in a long queue for £10 (or whatever they charge now) for the pleasure of a slightly dodgy photo of my crying child/ren.

Witchend Sat 16-Jan-16 11:48:45

Ds is 8yo, and still wouldn't go near St Nick (organised by a Dutch friend) even when he was offering sweets and chocolate.

LouSavage Sat 16-Jan-16 11:57:18

Thank you guys smile please don't think I'm this alpha mum screeching at him to get involved with stuff haha. I just want to make sure I'm giving him opportunities and I dread him becoming a bit of a nuisance class clown like I was!

PacificDogwod Sat 16-Jan-16 12:02:59

Don't overestimate what influence parenting has on who your DS actually is!
He is his own person and he is letting you know what he likes and dislikes.
Listen to him.

What age is he?

Peppaspants Sat 16-Jan-16 12:07:50

I feel your pain, we've just abandoned a walk at a lovely national trust property in the beautiful frost as my DS (age 3) just spent the whole time tantruming, screaming and generally acting as if we were asking him to walk on hot coals. All this whilst surrounded by lovely families enjoying their morning walk. Sometimes it's just easier to give up!

AnotherCider Sat 16-Jan-16 14:35:29

He's only 3. Its ok. Lots of children only begin playing with other children (as opposed to playing alongside other children) at around 3.

Take him to activities where he can choose what he does with other children around and gradually he'll join in.

EponasWildDaughter Sat 16-Jan-16 14:40:51

Welcome to parenthood. Feeling like you've failed is one of the major parts of it grin flowers

I feel like i've failed re: DD4 (19 months) and her fussy eating habits. Worse because everyone tells me how easy everything must be for me fourth time around. How experienced i must be.

Yeah, that helps. No pressure then.

jewishprincessofchigwell Sat 16-Jan-16 14:45:27

We keep forgetting they are still little, there is a massive pressure on children and parents to do things, attend all the clubs, softplays, music lessons, football, karate...you just insert whatever applies.
My sons absolutely hated all these activity when they were 3, it got better after their 4th birthday but they still prefer just to play and lounge around the house then have activity packed weekends.
You definitely NOT failed!

I took DS1 to a preschool music class and he hid under the grand piano and watched the other children rather than join in. He is now 12 and in the school orchestra and choir.

potoftea Sat 16-Jan-16 15:04:20

Its not your job to make him like everything, just to give him opportunities to try find things that interest him. So you haven't failed in any way. When he does find interests that he enjoys then you need to support him. But so far you are doing great by letting him try things.
He may change as he gets older, or maybe he won't be a "joiner" and prefer more solitary activities, but as long as he grows up happy and fulfilled you'll have done well. He sounds a very normal 3 year old who's obviously well loved, stop beating yourself up.

chipstick2810 Sat 16-Jan-16 17:20:08

This sounds exactly like my son. He is 5 now, despite still being very similar at home, he gets on great with the other children at school and pre school. He also behaves well at school although he still doesn't really talk to grown ups unless he has to. So he has improved but I think this is just his personality. I used to think the same that it was something I had done and I had failed, but my younger dd is completely the opposite. I do still often avoid taking him places as it can be awful if he is not happy (and you never know in advance) but he has improved massively from age 2/3.

Badgerloco Sat 16-Jan-16 19:46:50

My son was exactly the same, 3 is very young. Started to change in reception, so age 5, and now at age 7 enjoys so many clubs & activities. I'd say let him lead the way, even he enjoys the woods and soft play do that.

Saukko Sat 16-Jan-16 22:04:22

Glad to see this actually, as I have two non-joining-inners as well. DS was terrified of any organised activity. He'd either sit in frozen horror at such things as Baby Ballet or toddler sing-songs, or outright scream himself senseless. He was very sensitive to unpredictable events or change, and we had two investigations via the school for ASD. However, he was deemed not on the spectrum and just a little, um, fearful I guess. Or anxious. He is enjoying some drama classes at the moment, but is frightened of costumes.

Anyway, along comes DD, totally different kid, very social and eager to try new things. Here it is, I thought, time for some of that magical parenting where we go to Baby Yoga sessions, or pop on a ballet tutu, and get out and about! Yeah, no. DD is so stubborn that at the very hint that you WANT her to do something, she will refuse, even if it's something she likes. So an instruction like "let's sit down and sing!" meant a screaming tantrum of utter rage. She roared through ballet, curled into a ball and roared through yoga and, and this is probably my worst parenting memory ever, I ended up taking them BOTH to a kiddie soccer class, where she roared NO I WON'T at everything while my son curled up in a corner sobbing in fear.

Swimming with us, she enjoys. Swimming lesson? Screamed herself into a nosebleed. She spent her last lesson roaring in rage again, and her face went so blotchy they turned grey and I thought she'd bruised herself. She came out looking like an angry fruitcake.

We don't do classes now.

JerryFerry Sun 17-Jan-16 00:48:23

My son was a bit like this. Cried over face painting, hated toddler soccer etc... At 7 he was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder (SPD) which explained a LOT.

Now we know what he can and can't cope with, we can ease things for him. He's very sporty but does swimming, tennis, climbing over contact sports; easily overwhelmed so does short days at schools, that sort of thing.

3 is so little. Just keep letting him try things but maybe have a back up plan for events which can quickly become overwhelming (parties, marketplaces, busy malls)

Cavaradossi Sun 17-Jan-16 01:02:12

Relax, OP. He isn't you, and behaving as though he is/giving him opportunities you never had and expecting him to like them/worrying about the person he is telling you he is isn't going to make either of you happy. (I say this as the eldest daughter of a pathologically shy, friendless woman who tried to throw me into every possible sociable activity, worried desperately about my friendships from the age of five onward, forced me to continue in clubs I hated, and feared me 'failing' socially in some unspecified way. She would have loved a 'bubbly' life and soul of the party type daughter, instead she got someone academically high-achieving, careerist, ball-busting.

I would have hated 'little kickers' at three or thirty three. My three year old has strong likes and dislikes, and I'm certainly not going to try and force him into the local mini-rugby club because that's what the rest of the village thinks little boys should do with their Saturdays.

maddening Sun 17-Jan-16 10:04:17

Go with what he enjoys smile Do you have any woodland trust near you? One near us does forest school, den building etc might be more fun for him than football.

tobysmum77 Sun 17-Jan-16 10:19:39

I feel your pain, we've just abandoned a walk at a lovely national trust property in the beautiful frost as my DS (age 3) just spent the whole time tantruming, screaming and generally acting as if we were asking him to walk on hot coals. All this whilst surrounded by lovely families enjoying their morning walk. Sometimes it's just easier to give up!
I disagree with this. The families enjoying nice walks have all had dc kick off they don't want to walk. People always complement me on how well mine walk but we have had battles you have to be firm on this I think.

But op in terms of the classes they are ready at different ages for structured stuff. He's a free spirit embrace it smile.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now