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Aibu to keep and eye on my toddler and interact with him at toddler group?

(39 Posts)
pullonyourjudgypants Sat 11-Nov-17 11:35:29

I go to a couple of toddler groups a week with my 1 year old. There are lots of ages there, but a good 5-6 other regulars his same sort of age. Apart from one parent of a 2 year old, the other parents/ childminders/ Gany’s sit at the side and talk. They just completely ignore their Dcs for the whole time. Even at the end during songs.

Am I doing something wrong to follow my DC around? He can be a bit wavy with his hands and I like to be there in case he looks like he’s hitting (and to tell him no) But I also like to interact with him. Not the whole the time, I let him pick what to play with etc

Am I doing something wrong ? Too PFB ? Too helicopter ? Should he just free play at 1yrs.

I’m so surprised how others lets their DCs climb up the slides or on chairs etc and take notice until they are screaming in pain after falling off?

Is there an unwritten code to toddler groups I don’t know of ?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Sat 11-Nov-17 11:38:20

It totally depends on the group and the children. I think there's a balance between ignoring and intruding on the children's play. Only you know what the right balance is for you and your child.

Trafficjammadness Sat 11-Nov-17 11:43:13

I keep an eye on ds when at a group but I actively sit back as I want him to develop playing with others, learning to play on his own. If he's bored or asks me to play I will.

corythatwas Sat 11-Nov-17 11:45:39

You are absolutely fine doing what you do- as long as you accept that other parents may be fine doing what they do.

Amanduh Sat 11-Nov-17 11:46:15

I had this same problem this week at a new group so will be interested to see what others say! My son is only 11 months and all the others were 2+. He runs off and plays but doesn't understand how to play properly really yet, can't climb the slide etc, goes up to the older kids who don't want to play with a baby, so I follow him around but the others don't at all. He also likes to explore faces and grab noses and hair etc so I have to really but the others ignored theirs - even when one was smacking others - and I felt a bit out of place.

Oysterbabe Sat 11-Nov-17 11:47:32

You're looking for us to confirm that you're a better parent than them. Well done.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 11-Nov-17 11:48:59

It is a bit OTT to follow him round the whole time! If it's all in one room, try sitting down and just keeping an eye on him. Give yourself a little break. smile

That said, 1 year olds need to be supervised of course. Sometimes I found it more enjoyable to interact with my toddler at these things than interact with the other mums. I always found it quite difficult to make friends at these places. In fact, I hated going to toddler groups grin

Maybe this particular group isn't for you? You could try something more structured like a toddler music class or something?

pullonyourjudgypants Sat 11-Nov-17 12:04:01

@Oysterbabe I’m not after an award. Just want to know if I should leave him to it more and not worry so much about his lack of boundaries with his hands. I want to do the right thing. As the majority are leaving them to it, I’m not sure if I’m being OTT or not.

I’m judging in the way that I’m surprised they don’t even watch their DCs from a distance. But then I’m not desperate to chat, maybe they are lonely etc. I do say hello and speak to people briefly.

pullonyourjudgypants Sat 11-Nov-17 12:06:23


Exactly maybe it’s just age and their particular habits at this time.

MomToWedThorFriday Sat 11-Nov-17 12:15:35

There’s a grandparent at the toddler group I used to go to who literally follows her grandchild the entire time. The result, 18 months later, is that the child hasn’t learned anything about regulating her own behaviour or how to properly interact with other children.
The parents and carers who sit and drink tea ‘ignoring’ their children (e.g. letting them play) are the ones whose kids are progressing.
So, perhaps, you should get down from your PFB high horse and get a bloody life.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Sat 11-Nov-17 12:18:32

Following him around,yes that’s ott and intrusive.keep eye on him but let him roam
Soft play I’ve visited has parents like this,they follow the kids,go on the slides,tower over other little ones
Your kid may be hand wavy but he needs to learn how to behave without you trotting after him

Celticlassie Sat 11-Nov-17 12:22:42

But then I’m not desperate to chat, maybe they are lonely etc

So you’re not only a bettter parent - you’re also a less pathetic person. Well done - you’re winning this thread, OP.

Cornettoninja Sat 11-Nov-17 12:24:52

Wow there's some defensiveness on this thread!

I go to a mixed age group 0-preschoolers which is a bit of a wild free for all. Love it myself but we started going when dd was just starting to totter about so I did helicopter a fair bit because at those ages their abilities vary wildly and it's not fair to expect other kids to police themselves round the small ones.

She's now almost 2 and generally goes free range there while I keep an eye and intervene if necessary.

You work with the information you've got. If you and your child have a good time then that's the main thing smile

arethereanyleftatall Sat 11-Nov-17 12:32:14

For me, the point of going to toddler group is for the child to start interacting with other toddlers. You can play 121 with him at home.
He learns to play, you relax with a coffee and an adult chat, win win.
Obviously keeping an eye out as necessary.

OnionShite Sat 11-Nov-17 12:37:28

How old is your 1 year old and what's the place like? If you mean a 13 month old who's just on their feet and there are lots of things to fall over, following round is ok, though dial it down as they get more steady so they can play with other kids instead of you. If they're 22 months and there aren't, you're doing it wrong.

Fromage Sat 11-Nov-17 12:38:54

Things I have seen at toddler groups:

performance parenting
mostly chatting and keeping an eye, only intervening when necessary
totally ignoring with a head in a book for 2 hours straight
watching blankly as their child hits/hurts/shouts at another
playing with their child a bit/encouraging independence a bit

The only real answer, without knowing you and the group OP, is that of JohnLapsleyParlabane - "It totally depends on the group and the children. I think there's a balance between ignoring and intruding on the children's play. Only you know what the right balance is for you and your child."

I don't see why nastiness towards the OP is in any way necessary.

fwiw do what you feel comfortable with, with your child, if you want to leave him to it for 5 minutes and see how he gets on, give it a go

if you feel anxious about doing that, he's only 1 and has a lifetime to be saying "go away mum" so join in while he still wants you there

LipstickHandbagCoffee Sat 11-Nov-17 13:20:34

Is there unwritten code to baby groups?hell yes, codes and social strata in abundance
An anthropologist could write a PhD on the antics of the adults and their behaviour
- pushy loud braying mum Who barks instructions like an sas instructor
- dressage mum who constantly lift, repositions,swoops to physically adjust her child positioning
- hypervigilant mum winces anytime anyone near her kid,leaps at any potential slip/trip/fall
- too cool for all this shit mum.conspicuously ignore kid,whilst reading obscure literature
-*and you are whom?* mum.wants to know your job,postcode,salary,partner job to decide whether or not she’ll deign to talk
- im working and v important mum phone clamped to ear,loudly having fraught work related conversation.

Louiselouie0890 Sat 11-Nov-17 13:33:40

I wish we were allowed to watch from the sidelines lol the one I go to are very strict. There's no chairs to even sit on. I end up just following him round with the pissing kids Dyson hoover that he always plays with. I think it's better for me to sit back and let him interact with other kids as he only play with me at home. I wouldnt ignore though i would watch. If only lol

paxillin Sat 11-Nov-17 13:38:03

Unless your child's needs are very different from the rest of the group (tends to hit a lot, younger or older than most etc) I'd do what most others do.

katienana Sat 11-Nov-17 13:44:09

Yanbu I always supervise my dc at soft play and play group until they are old enough to not hurt themselves or others. For ds 1 this gradually started from about 2, by 3 he would just run off and I'd sit in peace! If he asked me to play or craft I joined in and always join in the song. Ds2 is 18 months if in left him to it he'd fall off the slide. He'll get more independent in time.
Ds1 is insanely confident btw! I'm really not so I'm glad I've helped him fosterb that self belief and independence.

EdmundCleverClogs Sat 11-Nov-17 13:45:42

I have to keep a close eye on my toddler, because another child of a similar age will not leave him alone/snatches toys off him. His mum does jump in to be fair, 90% of the time, but I don't like getting to that point (especially when mine ends up in confused tears). I try and sit with both of them in an activity they can do together but won't bother each other either.

I see most of the parents mentioned here, though to be honest they all seem nice enough. I often eventually crash in a corner as I'm 8 months pregnant with SPD, I'm sure they often think I'm just being antisocial (guess I am in a way). I hope they don't think I'm 'performance parenting' whilst they're all chatting though, I really wish I could join in at times.

Spikeyball Sat 11-Nov-17 13:48:38

"There’s a grandparent at the toddler group I used to go to who literally follows her grandchild the entire time. The result, 18 months later, is that the child hasn’t learned anything about regulating her own behaviour or how to properly interact with other children."

Perhaps that child needs that level of supervision and interaction. I disliked standard toddler groups because there is always someone ready to judge and blame whatever you do.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 11-Nov-17 13:52:29

Ha love it Lipstick grin

You missed off
Hippymum Doesn't believe in saying No and her toddler has the freedom to explore without constraints (he's a nightmare)
and Competitivemum wants to know all your child's milestones from Apgar score to potty training and then sympathises that you you don't have a child genius like hers.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Sat 11-Nov-17 13:57:21

Majority of toddlers do need followed/continuously supervised.thats the adult issue,not the kid
And yes excessive supervision & intervention will inhibit social play and behaviour
I’ve been at soft play were adults wait at bottom of slide to catch child,they instruct other kids to vacate items so their kid can play. I complained and asked staff to remove the adult who was in the soft play.its overbearing and inhibits the other kids

isittheholidaysyet Sat 11-Nov-17 14:02:55

You are not wrong to supervise closely if you feel he needs it, BUT, try to supervise from a distance when possible.

I always tried to step back and let them play at toddler groups, it was my chance to interact with adults, but I suprvised from a distance. We had loads of 1to1 time the rest of the time.

DS1 was the child who jumps from the top of the slide and climbs on things, but he always knew his safe limits, so I felt able to let him explore.
DD on the other hand has no boundaries so I still, aged 6, supervised her closely.

After DS1 visited his big boy cousins, he went through a phase of seeing any child on the floor as a suitable candidate for a 'pile on'! So I helicoptered till he got over that.

I've never had a hitter or a biter though.
So in general I would say try to sit back and let him interact, but if you feel he needs help with boundaries, then by all means help him.

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