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Terrible playdate - no need to reply, just venting.(11 Posts)
No need to reply to this, I just need to vent, and debrief.
So my friend came over this afternoon with her 2, one a little older than DD, one a baby.
The idea was her older one would play with my DD and she would entertain the baby while we had a chat. I had warned her in advance DD is not a very social child, and is at the start of an autism dx.
Well, it was as bad as I thought it might have been. DD was initially excited to have visitors and asked the older girl to play with her, but it was pretty clear she did not know what this actually meant in practice. I had to mediate some turn taking board games (which were not too horrible, but I was certainly needed) but then DD became bored with this and decided it would be funnier to throw things at the baby (soft toys thank god) which I explained was not acceptable. She pushed the boundaries - she finds it funny to do things which cause a reaction in others, even a negative one, so I distracted her with some of her favourite toys which the older child wanted to join in with. This did not go well, as DD wants to play with them a certain way, and the other child was suggesting deviating from this, so I stepped in and got the other child doing some jigsaws. DD then decided to try to crush the baby's hand with a hard toy, which meant she had to be removed from the situation and I explained this hurt, so she should not do it, but it was like she genuinely did not care about causing the baby pain, and was very "Why can't I hurt her?". I am 38 weeks pregnant at the moment and this does not give me hope.
Obviously there was no time to chat. The older child was frustrated at not being able to play with DD. DD was hyper and difficult. They have gone now, and things are calm and relaxed again, but I am depressed that another social interaction has once again highlighted DDs issues. They just don't show until she is with other children, but when she is, it is like being slapped in the face with them. Ugh, I am exhausted.
I have more experience of play dates with nt children but they can go wrong too. It is getting a bit better as they get older but they still don't always work. To be honest, the worst ones were when a friend (parent) stayed too. My expectations of a nice chat were high, I wasn't available to intercede or encourage play and I felt embarrassed if my dd behaved badly. There have been occasions when I've been the one to play with the play date because one or other child just hasn't wanted to play with the other. I think in future you will need to be available to facilitate the play date and meet a friend for a chat another time. Don't give up.
The baby thing is a bit more serious as you are expecting. I hope someone here with experience can give you advice on that one - sorry.
Thank you everyone.
I shall not give up (I am told socialising is important for DD <weeps>).
It was almost funny when my friend left and she said to her DD "It was nice to play with LittleJoinTheDots and her toys this afternoon wasn't it?" and she said "No, not really". I asked my DD if she had had a nice afternoon with the other child and she also said "No". They are so honest at this age!
I've been in this situation and also found it hard
Recently I have tried setting out an activity for example biscuit decorating and it went better
And then basing it around a meal
All kept them sitting down
Does DD go to nursery ?
I was spending all DS time out of nuresey/school trying to set up opportunities for him to socialise but then someone said it was ok not too as he was getting the chances at school
This took the pressure off a bit
Sympathies as I know it's really hard
When I go to another friends house, she always has an activity for DD and her DD, and you are right, it works much better. I need to remember that... DD is at preschool 5 mornings a week, so she gets to spend time with other children loads, but the HCPs have indicated that getting some one to one time with other children might also help DD learn some social rules, and of course I am there to mediate!
Could pre-school get involved and give her that social rules teaching? Might give you a bit of a break if they would.
I would try and separate social activities and time for you to see your friend with trying to work on your dd social skills and playdates. I really sympathise but I am now at the point where I just don't do stuff that is going to cause me extra grief and sadness. I know this is hard and causes issues with childcare and isolation etc but I havent found a way round this yet! FWIW this will probably get easier as your dd gets older.
I think preschool are trying to encourage socialising, not sure how well she is getting on though.
I think I will stop trying to chat to friends at the same time as DD playing... I just don't need the stress and sadness, as you said.
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