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Only child

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#1 Melmumto1

Posted 14 June 2019 - 10:49 AM

Hey everyone,
I have an 18 month old and he's an only child. Ive joined a mums group on facebook for toddlers of a similar age group. I have a case of the guilts because all the kids around my sons age go to all these play groups,  library readings, etc...and i havnt done anything like that with my toddler yet...he has cousins that he sees occasionally, but not regularly..im a shy person and a stay at home mum with not many friends...so socializing isn't something im really use to other than family, but i feel i have to start for my toddlers sake..or he wont get the proper socialization he needs to prepare him for prep and school.
My mum never took us to any play groups before preschool..but i had siblings...

Just wanting to get a better idea of what other mums have done and if i really should be going out with him more...i want whats best for him and his development.

#2 Kattikat

Posted 14 June 2019 - 11:02 AM

We've done/do playgroups, mainly music, kinder gym (free play at gymnastics place), play centres, gymbaroo briefly, Kindermusik.... I did way more with #1 as now #2 is here they just each each other (also I've got lazier!). I've made some great friends through playgroup especially and we have regular play dates outside of playgroup now too. Having something regular to do is great for the child I think, but it's also great to meet mums with similar-aged kids too. It's a bit of effort to put yourself out there but if you're going to an official organised activity like music or something you have something to do which takes the pressure off small talk etc for the whole time

#3 Daffy2016

Posted 14 June 2019 - 11:08 AM

DD is in daycare four days so that takes the pressure off me to socialise her! We do take her swimming and to the park, and I’m thinking about some toddler music for her.

But honestly this is more to stop me being bored than anything.

Have you thought about a day of daycare a week?

#4 seayork2002

Posted 14 June 2019 - 11:10 AM

I took my son to play/parent groups from when he was a newborn and he was in child care 3 days a week from 12months

There is no right or wrong!

I did it more for me as I was living overseas and hardly knew anyone where I lived.

Sometimes I talked to others sometimes I didn't

#5 AdelTwins

Posted 14 June 2019 - 11:19 AM

DS3 started swimming lessons and Kindergym at that age. Both would be fine for a shy parent. :)

With swimming there’s not a lot of time for chatting as you are holding them in the water and singing/telling them what to do.

With Kindergym you can talk to the other parents for a minute, then your kid runs off to the next activity and you move on with them.

Over the weeks you start to build up a relationship with the other parents and kids, etc. Sometimes this leads to other play dates.

#6 kerilyntaryn

Posted 14 June 2019 - 01:05 PM

Going to the library, kindergym, swimming and playgroup are all great ways

#7 South Coast

Posted 14 June 2019 - 01:17 PM

Only child here too!

I would try 2 days of daycare from 2 years old for a year then start at kindy from 3.  My DS loved kindy and met lots of kids there that eventually went to school with him.

Are there any kids in your street around the same age?  Sometimes thats a good way to tee up a play date without having to do too much.

#8 Prancer is coming

Posted 14 June 2019 - 01:24 PM

I always took my kids to playgroup, swimming and the library.  But a lot of that was about me!  I liked to get out of the house, wanted to make friends and found the day went quicker.  My kids still struggle a bit socially, so certainly it is no guarantee your child will learn all their social skills from outings.

For me, I would depend why you are at home.  If it is because you like it and are content, and your child is happy, then fine.  If it is because you are too shy to go to new things or don’t have many friends, then I would look at ways of getting out more.

Interestingly, I had a lady from my mum’s group move to a station on a remote property.  The child health nurse advised that whilst the child was smaller it should be okay, but as he approached school age, to make the effort to find opportunities to be around others, particularly in terms of speech and general interaction.

#9 liveworkplay

Posted 14 June 2019 - 01:53 PM

You can only do what is right for you but as a mum of three teens/tween you can tell an only child even at my kids ages. I am not saying this in a good or bad way, it just is. Each of my kids have at least one close friend who has not got siblings. These kids are all great kids but they do all have similar traits which we can only assume is due to being an only child. One thing they do have in common is that they have all done lots of social stuff since they were young. They also all are somewhat overwhelmed when in our family situation and don't really understand the sibling dynamic. It is interesting listening to a 15 year old trying to explain her sisters to her only child male bestie!

I would try my hardest to make sure he has interactions with other kids as often as is possible. Only children are generally great at communication, manners, behaviour and conversing with adults (amongst other things). Things that they need other children around for are sharing, interacting on a peer to peer level, learning to deal with child level conflict, relating on an age appropriate level.

It is not something to stress about, but I think 18 months is a great time to try out some group activities. I hated library time yet I found a great play group with a group of people I clicked with and loved that. I am still great friends with a lot of the parents. Also does your local school have a Birth-4 program? Schools here have a "launch in to learning" program for pre school age. It is a great way to get to know kids and parents in your community who may end up at the same school. They are like play groups but generally run by am]n early childhood educator (in our state, by kindergarten teachers)

Edited by liveworkplay, 14 June 2019 - 01:56 PM.

#10 JomoMum

Posted 14 June 2019 - 02:13 PM

I think now is a great time to start some social activities with other children.

Adults play with children in such a different way to their own peers (we tend to follow their instructions, do things their way, make allowances etc), it can be so beneficial for them to learn from other kids their own age :)

Playgroup where they can free play is great. I never went to one because the thought of having to small talk with other unknown mums for two hours left me very anxious. But that was my own issue and I know that most of them are so welcoming and amazing.

Daycare is another great option. But I would consider at least two days a week so they have a real opportunity to get involved and form solid relationships.


Edited by JomoMum, 14 June 2019 - 02:13 PM.

#11 No Drama Please

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:20 AM

I’m not super social either OP. One thing I liked was the mobile play bus at the park once a week. I could take her to play outside with other kids while I just sat there with a coffee, no need for enforced socialising with other parents, just fun for her.

Day care is great. You could do once a week then build up from there. I’m not religious but used to take her to the church for story time, $5, play, sing, cake then go. They was another low stress thing. Even just the normal park same time every day we started seeing same kids, and built some gradual friendships there. All the best!

#12 Mollyksy

Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:28 PM

I am a single mum with one DS and all I could manage was daycare and now school! I did get a gift voucher to kindergym and he detested it. All he wanted to do was play on the equipment not follow the teachers routine.

#13 tenar

Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:57 PM

I found things that followed my own interests.

- storytime at the library (I could borrow books for me to read, also more books to read to DDs)

- preschool music classes

- local toy library (18 months is a great age to start borrowing toys from a toy library if you have access to one: ours was brilliant).

- local free stuff at the market: could sit with a coffee while kids did the activities on offer.  Cheap and didn't require much on my part, but DDs got to do stuff with other kids.

and swimming lessons from age 3 (so I didn't have to go in the water with them)

They both did 3yo kindy and 4yo kindy: 2-3 days a week from age 3.

#14 Harmony04

Posted 15 June 2019 - 07:16 PM

I’m an introverted parent of an only child. I didn’t do a whole lot with my daughter when she was that age, she didn’t enjoy those structured activities like kindergym, library time (although she did like some of the songs). She was more of an independent learner, a bit of an explorer and very curious.

Daycare was what worked for her. She started at 2.5, two mornings a week. She could still be herself but had the opportunity to be around kids her own age, learn to fit in with a group etc.

#15 InOmniaParatus

Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:54 PM

I take DD to play group, to the library  for story time and to the park whenever the weather is decent.

You don't really need to socialise at any of these activities.. you can but Ive noticed a lot of mums do keep to themselves..some will chat but not always.

#16 Caribou

Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:08 PM

With DD I took her to everything, more out of boredom than giving her socialisation.

#2 however, man I cannot be bothered with any actives outside, maybe once in a while we do library but otherwise, park/playground. and he seems pretty well adjusted! he'll be 3 next year and then ill ship.him off to childcare, just so he gets used to school stuff 1-2 days a week.

Don't sweat on it. we're way more harder on ourselves with first children.

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