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Toddler who prefers adults and doesn't like rough and tumble.

(13 Posts)
hairtwiddler Mon 11-Aug-08 08:41:04

Come and tell me if your toddler is like mine please? I'm sure there are other children like her around, but have found none amongst her peers!
DD is 2.7 and is gorgeous, and a really easy child. She's not shy of people or new situations, but seems to be able to take or leave other children.
She loves to spend time on adults' knees, is happier to hang around with the grown ups at a party, and is not at all interested in playing with other children.
Take her to the beach, she'll sit on my knee and dig in the sand while her pals are running around.
In a group of children her own age she's usually in her own world playing with dollies, or doing something imaginative. Stays away from fights and just looks on in bemused fashion!
She's never had a bump or a bruise, walked late, and is only just getting up confidence on climbing frames or slides. Anything like a trampoline would only be tackled if there was no one else around.

This is not a worry, it's just me attempting to prove that she's not alone in being so gentle and quiet.

Acinonyx Mon 11-Aug-08 09:18:25

My dd is like that, but she does have some toddler friends she has known a long time that she sometimes plays with (especially one on one rather than a group). They are mainly boys though and she doesn't do rough and tumble at all. She's very gently, rarely strops, never throws, hits or breaks things. Very careful with her toys. Consequently has quite a few fragile toys for her age (3) that I have to hide when her pals come over.

EachPeachPearMum Mon 11-Aug-08 09:30:55

Hairtwiddler- I think we've chatted before- she sounds just like my dd (2.6). Happy to watch and take it all in, but won't join in unless she's absolutely comfortable- ditto with the trampoline thing, except it tends to be bouncy castles for us grin

She has just in the last couple of weeks been starting to come downstairs without being carried, and still cannot do slides realy, let alone climbing frames.

When she was tiny (about 7 mo) one of the other mums in our post-natal circle commented to me that DD is the 'thinker' of the group- she was never a smiley, gurgly baby- always serious, or grumpy- mostly because she was out of her comfort zone.

She does have lots of positive attributes- she can play on her own nicely so I can mumsnet tidy up wink, can have great conversations already, and really have an input into the family with her opinions, great empathy with other people, and with animals, doesn't have tantrums like other 2 year olds- very rarely does she have them, only when she's really tired, etc etc.

alvinandthechipmunks Mon 11-Aug-08 10:09:30

Yes I have a ds like this too and started an almost identical thread a few weeks ago.

Ds is just turned 3, and also looks at boisterous children in a bemused way (in fact one thing that gets my goat is the assumption that all boys are boisterous tykes when ds is lovely and gentle and not so). He is vaguely interested in games with one or two other kids if I facilitate but dislikes big groups. I've asked him why he doesn't talk to other children and he says he doesn't know what to say and likes adults better, so I am working at helping him with that. I just want to show him that other children can be fun and as interesting as adults (well almost).

He is getting a bit more confident I guess. Maybe. He got whacked by a just turned two year old recently and was distraught. I do find it's getting a little easier as his peers are calming down a little and learning to share better etc.

I try and focus on the positives of his personality type (hard when he won't join in at a party or is over-reacting at something another child has done). He is so sensible and never really did the destructive/ daredevil toddler stuff. He is sweet-natured, lovely company and so helpful (he empties the dishwasher with me and can be trusted with the crockery, and remembers what groceries we have run out of and reminds me when we go to the supermarket!) I can leave crayons or pens around and know the walls will not get written on. He is (touch wood) rarely naughty.

We too hide the fragile toys by the way when others come round - in fact lovely ds asks 'is x sensible' and then makes sure we hide them before any other children his age or younger come round!

But I do worry about school and that he won't cope with kids running around in the playground etc.

Have you read the Highly Sensitive Child Hairtwiddler?

BeckyBendyLegs Mon 11-Aug-08 10:32:20

My DS1 is exactly as you describe. He received one to one SEN help at preschool to help him interact more with his peers and be more adventurous with climbing and taking part in activities. He has come along fantastically since this started but he's still not exactly one of the gang. He still prefers to hang around with me and other adults or just play by himself and when I asked him who his best friend was the other day he said his preschool key worker! I can't leave him at parties and he would rather sit next to me than play with the other children. He enjoys watching them charge around with their light savers pretending to be Luke Skywalker but he never joins in. It is hard sometimes but thing is I was exactly the same when I was young so I know how he feels. I did eventually make friends with other children and I am sure he will too (he's starting school in September). My DS2 on the other hand is the opposite: a total social butterfly. I think they are all different and we need to appreciate their personalities but encourage them as best we can being as positive as we can.

hairtwiddler Mon 11-Aug-08 12:46:30

Thanks for really helpful replies.
EachPeach - she's also been frequently called, 'the thinker', or described as 'taking it all in'. I feel recently I'll have to watch what I say as she's bound to repeat it!
alvinandthechipmunks - I've read some threads here on highly sensitive children and followed a link from here. She doesn't seem to fit that description though - she's not bothered by loud noises or sensitive to touch.
I suppose I'm posting because I'm wishing she'd be a bit more independent. She spends most of the day asking to sit on my knee!
She doesn't have many tantrums either - tired whining, and not being able to make up her mind, but no public kicking and screaming.
She goes to nursery two days a week, and they report she's fine, mostly loves looking at books. She talks about one boy there as her 'best friend' but I think the relationship is more that she gives him a cuddle and he runs away!
She is so lovely, but I worry about how she'll interact socially when she's older, and that she'll be too afraid to try new things. (She's very like her father who often shys away from anything unknown).

AbbeyA Mon 11-Aug-08 13:00:58

At that age the ones that look as if they are joining in are actually doing their own thing. I don't think it means that she won't interact socially later. She is just taking her own time-she sounds lovely.

KatieScarlett2833 Mon 11-Aug-08 13:07:24

My DD was welded to my side at that age. I remeber going to other childrens parties and being embarrassed that she just would not join in. Nowadays (she's 13)I'm lucky if I see her at all, she's out with her friends so often.

Don't worry, she'll be fine.

BlueberryPancake Tue 12-Aug-08 01:28:43

My DS was like that, and all my friends were jealous. He has now changed, at almost 3, he loves pre-school and playing 'with' other kids, and loves playing rough. my MIL is horrified, especially when he screams like a lion at other kids in the park. I love it. I donèt know why he changed, but he was doing two morning a week at pre school and I think it helped him socialise better with other children his age, and a bit older.

nellieloula Tue 12-Aug-08 07:44:46

My DS was exactly as you described - utterly bewildered if anyone pushed him, prefered to sit and do jigsaws or draw than run around and if we were in the park just wanted to be on the swing - now he is 3.4 and really starting to get into more adventurous play. Everything is suddenly batman and superheroes (thank you pre school!!) and whilst he's hardly playing football and dancing in the street, he is certainly more interested in that kind of play than ever before. To be honest, I love that he is 'imaginative' - means that he is so easy to occupy, doesn't seem to have the need to expend endless physical energy (which is extremely helpful as I have a DD who is 9 months) and we do the best role play and have the most incredible conversations. So really, I would say just enjoy it! There will be plenty of time ahead when your LO changes how she plays, esp as her play is influenced at school. And as someone who has taught, LO's like this are a JOY in a classroom! smile

alvinandthechipmunks Tue 12-Aug-08 08:45:19

But do they tend to get bullied Nellie? That's my worry.

Yes I love the fact there's not that need to let them let off steam so much - especially useful when the weather is dreadful grin

CapricaSix Tue 12-Aug-08 09:03:23

My dd has always been like that too. I used to be concerned about it, wish she was a bit more physically confident, but concluded in the end that it's been easier that she is this way than getting into mischief all over the place! When she became mobile I bought a load of baby-proofing stuff and never needed it, somebody got me some reins once and I never needed them either. She does love climbing etc, but she is really careful with it, never like a bull in a china shop. She has a bike but has never been very confident on it, same with her scooter although she loves it.

And, particularly when she was a bit younger, she has always seemed wary of little children. As a toddler she was much happier playing with older children, but was rather scared of little toddlers, I think because they were more unpredictable! When she first started preschool she seemed glaringly "different" and I used to wonder about it, but she gradually became more confident with other children and seems more "normal" in that respect - she's happy to run around in the park with little friends, etc and has really come out of herself, esp since I went back to work when she was 3 1/2 years, and since starting primary school.

I think in general she'll always be of the quieter variety of people! I was too. And, both me & her tick a lot of the boxes on that highly sensitive website! She's always hated loud noises (nightmare trying to keep her asleep as a baby!), and recently when a friend brought her baby round, and the baby was bawling, dd started crying too because he was "too noisy!" Thank heavens I never had a second child! grin

CapricaSix Tue 12-Aug-08 09:09:29

alvin, bullying has always been at the back of my mind as a concern as well, but tbh dd is one HELL of a stubborn so and so, and although she's always been a bit of a wimp with other children, the more she grows in confidence, the more I hope that that stubborn trait will protect her. I don't know much about the whys & wherefores of bullying though, but so far there seems no problems. One boy was reportedly a pusher, but it seems he was pushing everybody rather than targeting dd particularly.

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