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to give up playgroups...

(22 Posts)
petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 13:28:57

for the time being at least. My ds, who is absolutely gorgeous, funny and endearing most of the time when around adults and older children, turns into a hitting little monster at playgroups culminating in today having to take him home after he really hurt a little girl who was daring to play with something he thought was 'his'. I normally grit my teeth, do time out, apologise to the child/parent etc, and stay at the group but this time the look of upset and horror on the little girl's mum's face was enough to send us both packing. He is only 21 months but twice the size of some kids his age (so much so, my dh calls him 'The Unit')

I've only carried on going because I know he needs to learn how to play better with kids his own age but he doesn't enjoy the experience as I'm forever dragging him off the other children, I sure as hell don't and, as I'm pg with dd2, I'm exhausted and stressed from playing the police helicopter mum.

It's such a shame as I used to really enjoy them with him when he was younger but even though the mums who I am friendly with there seem to be giving us a wide berth. sad

CoffeeMum Wed 01-Jun-11 13:34:49

Um, i'd maybe try and persist if your energy levels can take it? [would understand if that's not the case - being pregnant with a toddler aswell is exhausting!] But, as you say, the only way your DS will learn to 'play nicely' is by being around other kids, and soon enough, he will have to go to nursery and school. If other mums see you disciplining your DS when he plays up, they'd have to be a bit miserable to still judge you. If he's really difficult, do just take him home - and he'll learn alot from that too, I think.

It is hard work though. Can you take a sneaky bar of chocolate to sustain you?! Good luck!

BeerTricksPotter Wed 01-Jun-11 13:36:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeerTricksPotter Wed 01-Jun-11 13:36:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5318008 Wed 01-Jun-11 13:40:05

the thing is, you know, that hitting/pinching/biting are all really effective ways of getting the toy you want which is why so many children go through this stage; the child's sense of empathy/understanding of the concept of sharing is in it's infancy. As language skills develop so will negotiating skills.

21 months is still very very young, and your DS being bigger can mean that folk have higher expectations because they assume he is older

don't feel bad

[flowers]

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 01-Jun-11 13:41:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OldBagWantsNewBag Wed 01-Jun-11 13:44:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

animula Wed 01-Jun-11 13:47:29

I'll second what justabout said.

I think lots of them go through a phase like this, and it pretty much always blow over.

Live the shame down in the park for a bit - feeding ducks, running about, playing in the deserted playground, and then venture back.

I do wonder if it's actually part of their development, sometimes - they get a bit more assertive, more jealous of objects and personal space; then they learn again about empathy and sharing and things; and emerge as (slightly more) developed beings.

animula Wed 01-Jun-11 13:52:17

Could it be because he finds small children frustrating, by the way?

I know it sounds incredible - what with him only being 21 months old himself - but if he's used to being with adults he might find little ones quite annoying, and even slightly incomprehensible.

CURLYMAMMA Wed 01-Jun-11 13:53:23

I found shadowing my daughter and stopping her hitting as she raised her arms the most effective. Makes for a shit time for you until the phase passes.

petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 13:55:45

Thanks all.

People do assume he is much older than he is, and he's seen off kids who are a year or so older when they've wanted toys he's got

His language skills are not very developed yet which I suspect is contributing to him only communicating through physical actions too.

He went through a phase of hitting dh and I a little while ago but the strategy we used seemed to work as he hardly does it at all now - unfortunately the strategy doesn't really work out of the house as it involved not reacting, taking him to the same place in the house and ignoring him for a short while.

Justabout We have a part time nanny who is far more robust and jovial than me about these things so dh thinks I should just leave the playgroup thing to her. wink

5318008 Wed 01-Jun-11 13:58:40

gawd yy leave nanny to do the group thing you loon grin

(said with kindness)

JamieAgain Wed 01-Jun-11 14:03:19

I had to do this with DS2. He just found it all too exciting and tiring and became violent. I don't think that if you leave it he won't learn the skills he needs to learn. If he were 4 then it would be a different matter. These groups don't suit all children.

DS2 is now 8 and a socially-skilled boy

petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 14:08:56

Oldbag and curlymamma yes, I do follow ds around ALL the time like you say/suggest anyway, as he doesn't even seem to like kids in the same play space as him - that's why I'm so blimmin' fed up with the groups as I'm always trogging round after him, trying to pre-empt situations and never get any chance to chat to the other mums except to apologise for ds whacking their dcs.

animula you may have a point. I can see how that would make sense in the context.

petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 14:10:39

5318008 taken with kindness and I would have added "masochistic loon"

JamieAgain Wed 01-Jun-11 14:17:12

BTW 21 month don't play "with" other children as such

petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 14:32:02

Jamieagain Yes, I've read that somewhere before, I suppose, though, it's the socialisation thing I have been most keen for ds to get to grips with. But, if he doesn't enjoy being with other kids in the same play area but loves interacting with them in other ways (like the other day, he was in a cafe and was giggling away at another toddler having his lunch on the opposite table, and saying hi etc) as well as seeking out the attention of older kids and adults (trying to get them to play peekaboo with him, smiling at friendly strangers, and handing them toys etc) I suppose that doesn't mean he's not socialising in other ways, right? [she says, desperately and pathetically grasping at straws] grin

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Wed 01-Jun-11 14:36:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamieAgain Wed 01-Jun-11 14:38:24

petaluma - you are exactly right. Try not to worry. He will be fine, and in the meantime you need to do what you need to do to get through what is, if I'm honest, a tricky parenting time.

JamieAgain Wed 01-Jun-11 14:41:43

My other DS really found it all a bit overwhelming at this age, so he'd just play quite obsessively with the same things, then often get them snatched from him. He still prefers playing with one or a few other people or on his own, and he's 10

petaluma Wed 01-Jun-11 14:45:07

Thanks Justabout and Jamieagain. If it were appropriate, big hugs to you for making me feel better. smile

JamieAgain Wed 01-Jun-11 14:46:27

No problem

< throws a big smacker petaluma's way>

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