How will my son make friends?(15 Posts)
DS1 isn't even here yet and I'm already worrying about how he's going to make friends when he's older. A bit of background; DH and I are in our late 30s/early 40s and this is our first and- most likely- only child for a number of reasons.
We do have friends who have children, but they are all already school age or above, so won't be interested in 'playing' with a baby. They are also unlikely to have more children.
I have a number of younger siblings with whom I'm very close, but they are unlikely to be having children any time soon so he won't have any cousins, etc. of a similar age.
DH and I aren't very 'social' people. I mean, we socialise with our friends, but we're sort of at that age where we've got all the friends we need (god, that sounds awful! I hope you understand what I mean) and we're not very good at meeting new people- we're both a bit nerdy and awkward. We've never had a huge circle of friends, just a small group of very close friends we've known for years.
I heard that attending NCT classes was a good way to network with other new parents so we joined a group; it became clear very quickly that we were the oldest there by a significant margin and- as lovely as the others are- none of us really have anything in common and no one has really indicated that they'd be interested in meeting up after our children are born, so it's unlikely I'll strike up any friendships that way.
How do you find other parents with children of a similar age to enable your child to learn to socialise with others? Can any other parents of only children give me any tips? I'm planning on taking baby to sensory and music groups, etc. a few times a week once he's a few months old- do you think that'll be enough? Any advice or things you found useful? I really worry about it, probably more than I should, but I came from a big family so always had my siblings to keep me company- maybe I relied on their company a bit too much when growing up rather than making my own friends- sadly that's not an option for us. I just want to give him the best opportunity to grow up confident and assured around other people. Some people just find it so easy to make friends!
Thanks in advance.
We have a 10 month old and have found the local baby groups really great for meeting people with children the same age. I have made a group of friends. Do you have a local children's centre? They tend to have decent baby groups.
Thanks, I'll look it up! There may not be one near us but we're between 2 larger cities so I'd imagine one of them would have similar groups.
If you haven't clicked with anyone on your NCT I would consider doing a class for youngish babies, around here there are things like a class for mums to get together for massage etc.
To find things locally search for local facebook groups, we have one called for eg Our Town mums that has all the listings for groups on if you join.
Are you going to be going back to work? DS is 2 and just got a party invite from nursery.
I honestly wouldn't worry though, he will make friends in school and pre school groups I find are more about getting you out and about
I will be going back to work (4 days) when DS is 10 months and he'll be at nursery 2 full days per week. I'm hoping that's when he'll make friends! I will keep an eye out for classes, etc. You never know, once we've all had our babies the others from the NCT group may be more up for a get-together or two. Don't want to force it or seem desperate though! There's one couple who seem very funny and friendly, but they are in their mid-20s so probably have plenty of friends their own age already.
I'm convinced NCT perpetuate their own myth about "making friends", not seen ours for dust. But don't worry, you'll easily meet people through classes Etc then 3 years down the line your son will want to take to France the child of a woman who was once a stranger....
The younger couples in the NCT group may find that their the first amongst their friends to have children so may appreciate friends in the same boat.
I didn't really bond with my NCT group until after the babies were born. Someone suggested we start a whatsapp group and over the first few months we ended up keep each other company through the long nights! The people I am closest to now aren't necessarily the ones I thought I would be friends with - depended on having a similar approach to parenting.
When your DS gets older (3+) more friendships will be led by him, you just need to create the opportunities by getting out and about.
Ok, your child will make friends at nursery so stop worrying about that.
It will actually be more important for you to make a few friends who have children at the same stage. It's helpful to speak to someone going through the same experiences as you at the same time.
You'll make those friends at baby groups fairly easily (I've never been one for having a group of female friends, but do now after we bonded over breast feeding and sleep deprivation )
Why are you so hung up on age? I made friends during my SAHM years with a wide range of people from teenage Mums to a late forties millionaire with a surprise late baby and everyone in between.
The difference in our financial/social circumstances was swept away in the face of shared experience of parenthood.
Some friendships have drifted but others have not.
By the way my children are 7 yo. They are brilliant At playing with babies and toddlers and have always enjoyed playing with 'big boys and girls' much older than themselves so there's no reason to think that your friend's children won't play with yours.
Mum of a nearly 6 year old, only child here. IMO going to play parks is enough when they are toddlers. They can play with other kids there. Later on, nursery, pre-school and school are good. IME, under the age of about 18 -24 mths any groups meet-ups are almost purely for adult interaction, so can be useful for the infants as they have a happier mother (if you find a group you like).
I worried too. But when I was pregnant I joined a pregnancy yoga class and met a few moms there and our kids were all born around the same time. Lot of my friends made parent friends at NCT and their kids all play together still. Take baby to sure start groups, they are full of moms who want to socialise their kids. Nursery and play group help.
To be honest kids don't really make friends properly, they play along side other kids and only really form friendships at around 3. That's when preschool kicks in and you little one will make friends
I second what mittel is saying. Littlies don't really make friends until they are at least 3. Mine had her first little friends from about 4. So please don't worry, but do these groups for yourself if you feel the need.
I found it much harder when my only was older tbh, mainly because so many dcs are in some form of childcare and not available to play.
Kids make there own friends when they start school. I ran myself ragged trying to form friendships during the toddler years and they don't even play together at that age!
Once ds started school I made a big effort to chat to the other mums on the playground and very quickly they started with playing after school and staying for tea. Then the clubs kick in-football,swimming,beavers. Before you know it you're longing for a quiet weekend just the 3 of you.
Enjoy the baby/toddler days,they'll be over in a blink of an eye. By all means go to play groups,baby yoga,diddidance but if it's not your cup of tea just leave it.
To be honest; parenting & personality accounts for far more than wether or not you have a sibling.
Im an only effectively (Dsis is 18 year older than me and was married by the time I was born) by circumstance and when I was little we didn't really have classes or playdates so much; I just got shoe horned a long to whatever my folks were doing; consequently to this day i prefer slightly older company. That said i've never struggled in being sociable whereas I know many many people with siblings who have real problems with it! 'Nerdy' and not.
DD is an only by choice and when she was tiny we did Baby Sensory which we both loved (and at almost 3 she still signs really well), gymnastics and other drop in sessions. I only stayed for those we enjoyed and i've made one or two very close friends and lots of those whom we go to each others events.
Our NCT group is fairly sociable although a lot of that is down to me prodding people to meet up, throwing the kids parties and messy play dates now!
It depends entirely on the personality of the child and they won't necessarily take after you and your husband.
If you want to get out and about when little NCT baby and toddler groups are the best bet- they are in people's homes and so they can't ignore you the way they can in a hall.
Dh and i are a bit a socially awkward but our DCs are not at all. They are the most popular kids in their classes which was a huge surprise for us when we found out.
They have always been socialised, i made a point of having a playdate virtually everyday, either at a park or playcentre or our home or someone elses. My DM used to comment that my house would be a lot cleaner if i focused on my housework more than galavanting around the neighbourhood and putting all my focus on my DCs social lives. So i have a messy house but very socialble DCs. Growing up was the opposite, our DM focused on cooking and cleaning whilst us DCs hardly did any social activity, perhaps why we freak at every social situation put to us!
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