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How do you make sure your only isn't a lonely?

(19 Posts)
Mulanmum Thu 09-Oct-08 22:28:51

This was brought up several times on our thread in the Parenting section. Your child doesn't have a brother or sister to play with so do they languish in isolation or do you frog-march them to the park/soft play area, point at a gang of scary looking kids and snarl "go and socialise!"

feedthegoat Thu 09-Oct-08 22:30:46

I find myself going out alot though sometimes for my own sanity!

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 09-Oct-08 22:37:40

I take dd to toddler groups and spend a lot of time with my best friend who's dd is just slightly older than mine. We've just come back from a 2 week holiday with them and the two girls got on so well. They were very cute together smile

I do worry though - dd seems to just tootle about at toddler group and doesn't really "play" with other children, but then she's only 17 months so is possibly a bit young ??

DSD however is an only child as well (not including her half sister) and she is massively sociable and will approach and talk to any children in social situations. Having said that, she has been at full time nursery from 6 months old, so will have had lots of interaction with other children.

BananaFruitBat Thu 09-Oct-08 22:43:21

DS is very close to some of friends, mainly the ones he's known since post-natal group and a couple from his old Nursery. He's also very close to his cousin.
He's far too shy and sensitive to go up and make friends with children he doesn't know, but he's just started doing "Time to Talk" at school so things might improve.

But surely he only needs me!!!!!

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 09-Oct-08 22:45:11

We did lots and lots of playgroups. Luckily we live in a city so could find a playgroup for every day of the week.

My daughter was always keen to socialise, but at home was content to play with toys or sit and scribble/draw. I think she was about two before she played with (rather than just alongside) other children. I don't think she was any worse at sharing than children with siblings - luckily, she seemed to understand that although toys at home were solely hers, at playgroup they belonged to everyone. Of course, that still meant that she sometimes had to be coaxed/hauled out of the play kitchen to allow someone else a turn!

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 09-Oct-08 22:46:40

Should have added that now daughter is at school, she does do plenty of (possibly too much) after-school stuff.

feedthegoat Thu 09-Oct-08 22:46:44

My DS coming up 3 is really outgoing, quite happy to march up and start a conversation. Don't know where he gets it from as I was such a shy child. Always socialised with him though so maybe helps.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 09-Oct-08 22:48:47

Yes, my dd used to do that. She'd scan the park, decide who looked the most fun and then go and play with them. I hope she never loses that confidence!

callmeovercautious Thu 09-Oct-08 22:57:01

Hello! I love this new topic smile

Tilly - they don't interact much at that age so don't worry. DD is just 2yrs and although she nags me about seeing friends she never "plays" with them. They hit each other and fight over toys but still no real interaction.

My DD goes to Nursery 3 days as I work PT. However we still do playgroups and coffee at friends the other days. She loves it but if she was shy I would do less but still make sure she has contact with other DC. Perhaps the odd trip to the library sing along etc.

muggglewump Thu 09-Oct-08 22:58:03

I live in a small street with no roads and loads of kids a similar age to DD. From a very young age they've all played out in the street, with the Mums of course when they were young, gradually leaving them once they reached about 4.
She did her 5 mornings of pre-school from just before her 3rd birthday.
We still live in the same street still full of kids and now she can go further, to the two playgrounds on the estate so more kids to play with, she's started Beavers (she has the trophy for Beaver of the week currently, after just 5 weeks of going, I'm so proud!) and now I'm back at work she's at the CM three days a week after school which will be great for her once the dark nights hit.
CM's youngest has been in her class since pre-school so they are friends anyway.

I'm lucky with the street I live in, it's a ready made social life for DD without having had to go to tons of clubs, I didn't have the confidence for that when she was small, and I can honestly say she's never complained of being lonely, or asked for a sibling.
She seems really content in our family of two grin

teafortwo Fri 10-Oct-08 11:42:15

My dd is two. When she was only a few months old I managed (where I live they are lesser spotted) to find Gymboree (a sort of tumble tots with baby classes too). We still go once a week. I think it has given her confidence with her peers. They still don't really play together but like being next to each other at this age.

When dd was one I started working one day a week. I specifically wanted her to spend a day with a big French speaking family (We are English and speak English in our home but live in France so on top of one child ishoos we have bilingual ones too).

I wanted me going to work to be an opportunity for her to balance her experiences - she would have to speak and listen to French and learn the social skills needed to be one of many children!

After a lot of searching I found a wonderful lady who every Wednesday takes dd in as one of hers. Once a week dd has two big brothers and a little sister. She has even slept there so dh and I can go out in the evenings!

This summer dd stayed with my parents without me for the first time. She was with them for three days and had a blast!!!

This month I will start working two more afternoons a week and I have found a nice nursery near my work. As well as going to her babysitter once a week dd will, two times a week, experiences nursery school environment.

callmeovercautious Fri 10-Oct-08 23:09:09

teafortwo - she will really flourish at Nursery. It is harder now to leave DD than when she was a baby but tbh she does not want to come home! She has a blast and chunters away about all the people she knows. She goes 3 full days a week.

squilly Sat 11-Oct-08 13:03:29

My dd is 7 and is incredibly sociable. We made a point of having lots of playdates once she started school, which was easy as I chose to be a SAHM from school starting.

I would have loved more children, tbh, but had lots of miscarriages and decided life is too short. Better to enjoy the one I have...which I most definitely do!

I think socialisation is down to effort on the part of parents and inclination on the part of children. I do think nursery helped with squilljunior. She loved it and was one of the earliest to share nicely and play with others, though it was later than I'd have around 2ish.

I'm one of 6, so I know that having siblings seriously impacts on how you develop. I loathe some of my sisters, love some of them, so I know siblings aren't always easy. My dd gains in some things but I worry she'll lose out when older, as her family is aging and she'll have no-one to turn to when we die!!! I just hope we can hold out til she has a family of her own

choufleur Sat 11-Oct-08 19:21:15

I don't think when they are little they really get that lonely - in terms of wanting to play with other kids. DS (2.7) would much rather play with me or DH than other kids his own age. (He does love playing with a friend's daughter who is 5 however).

I'm an only one and can never remember really feeling lonely. My parents used to take me to friends houses/activities or friends were invited to my house to play.

I'd certainly agreed that LOs need to socialise with DCs their own age but that's not an only child issue. DCs from larger families still need to socialise with kids theirr own ages.

i think it's probably more of an issue as they get older, but they make friends and play with them.

LindzDelirium Thu 16-Oct-08 13:23:36

DD plays with lots of kids from school/down the road. In fact I often have 3 or more kids in my house but she is a bit of a social animal!

On holidays she goes off and makes friends really quickly in fact on the last day of our hols this year I didn't see her for 5 hours! We do choose very "child-heavy" hols though, eg Haven caravan parks or very child orientated hotels abroad (First Choice kids club a neccessity).

DD is excellent with adults as well though and does lots of "grown up" things with me that she loves, going to gigs etc (she's 6.2)

Acinonyx Thu 16-Oct-08 23:23:13

My dd is very shy. She likes to play with friends - but only children she knows and not too many at a time - ideally only one or two. We have a group of mums and toddlers that we see every week. She was in nursery but we have switched to a CM now. Nursery was very up and down and things are much better with her CM. She's 3, but I'm not sending her to preschool - maybe next year, we'll see. She doesn't like groups, and for the time being, I don't want her to be without either a parent or her CM.

So it's a balancing act between making sure she sees her friends regularly, but not pushing her too far.

halia Fri 17-Oct-08 13:14:16

DS is very social, he is an only through choice and we planned for toddler groups and nursery for socialisation. I don't know why peopel assume siblings will be company, I'm 4 1/2 yrs older than my next sibling and I can assure them that a 6 yr old has very little they want to do with an 18 month old!

DS went to playgroups from around a year old and then to nursery p/t at 15 months starting f/t aged 31/4. He has friends his own age but also spends time with older or younger kids that are neighbours or who he meets out and about.

Tilly and others, up to 3 most kids just do paralell play (playing with same thing alongside each other but not together) its only when they get to 3 or 4 that they start to really play game together.

teafortwo Sat 18-Oct-08 21:48:09

Oooooh - this thread has been slowly growing!

callmeovercautious - thanks for the boost! Actually, dd cried for the first time when I left her with her babysitter this week shock and I had a little panic about my choice to send her to nursery - reading your post was very reassuring. We start the nursery induction course this week! - look out for the related panic thread in this topic wink!!!!

Podrick Thu 30-Oct-08 21:00:51

Contrary to the old fashioned stereotype, only children generally have the best friendship skills. this is because if they desire social contact they need to make and keep friendships. If you have a sibling you do not need to develop these skills as a sibling is always there.

Only children make friends in place of siblings and therefore frinedship is often very important to them.

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