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Toddler hates toddler groups

(5 Posts)
IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 14-Sep-11 14:48:14

Just wondering if anyone has any advice/experience to share...

DS (18 mos) doesn't enjoy toddler groups at all. He is a fairly clingy child at the best of times, but gets 100 times worse at these groups. He will play a little bit as long as I am with him (all the other DCs - even those a lot younger- seem to be much more independent), but will always try and lead me to the back/side of the room where he is away from the other children.

If I attempt to sit at the side of the room and have a coffee (like all the other mums/carers) he'll come and stand next to me and cuddle my knee.

I encourage him to go off and play - he'll maybe venture a few feet away, grab a toy and bring it back to play with/beside me.

He is fine at more structured groups (Gymboree, Monkey Music) - loves joining in with the singing etc and has a lovely time. He loves going to the park, feeding the ducks, playing football, looking at trains...he's a bright, happy, loving little boy but I just feel so paranoid about his inability/reluctance to join in at toddler sessions. I have also convinced myself that he'll hate school (when the time comes) - be unable to make friends/join in etc...etc... (crazy I know)

Has anyone else experiened this? Any advice? Do I just avoid these groups and focus on the activites that he enjoys, or persevere with them in the hope of improving his social skills?

RhinestoneCowgirl Wed 14-Sep-11 14:53:16

School is a long way off! - he's still so little and a busy toddler group prob seems quite overwhelming for him.

You may find over time that he gets less clingy, or you could try a quieter group that he might find easier.

FWIW I was at toddlers with DD this morning (she is 2.8yrs) and she was clinging like a limpet grin. She's been going to this group since birth and was fine before the holidays but is going through a bit of an insecure patch. Hopefully she'll come through it with a bit of reassurance...

snailoon Wed 14-Sep-11 14:59:46

2 out of 3 of mine were like this. They became extremely independent by school age, and now my 15 year old has travelled to France and the US on his own. Don't worry; some of them are like this and it always feels like it is only your own kids who have a "problem".

An0therName Wed 14-Sep-11 15:58:52

some children are like this -toddler groups can be very busy and overwhelming
- I wouldnt worry- have you tried having a couple of children round -with their mums of course - to your house and see how he cope with that?

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 14-Sep-11 18:29:34


He is better at smaller, quieter groups (or if other children come to the house) but still gets upset if the other children invade his space (as toddler/babies tend to do!) or of they knock/bump him. He'll sometimes try to engage other DC in a game (passing a ball is his current fave) but then gets upset when they run off with it or whatever.

I hope he'll become more independent over time and it's really reassuring to know others have done as they got older.

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