Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

    Can you help this mother?

    "I find that my toddler is often upset at our playgroup because of the other children taking toys from him. I have even seen a few of the other children hitting when they become frustrated. The other mothers are busy talking with each other and often don’t notice. How do other mothers cope with this? How do you get your own needs for socialization met while protecting your toddler and teaching kind behavior?"

    Some answers may appear in a future Toddler Tips column in New Beginnings Magazine. Responses can also be sent to toddler.tips@lllusa.org.

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts and wisdom! Your mother-to-mother support is what makes New Beginnings a great read!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,131

    Default Re: Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

    It's normal for there to be some level of negative interactions at a toddler playgroup. To a certain extent, it's a learning experience for your child. You won't always be there to run interference for him, and eventually he is going to have to learn what he is going to do when someone takes something from him or gets physical. If he and another kid are squabbling over a toy, it's okay to watch the interaction from a distance for a while. If it degenerates into tears, or your kid is getting physically hurt (pushed, bitten, slapped), then it's time to step in. Even if the other moms are all chatting and ignoring the kids. You go over, you make sure that the pushy toddler knows "that hands are not for hurting", try to get the kids to take turns with the toy, and distract with other activities/toys if the kids can't share.

    If your playgroup is one where none of the other moms ever get down on the kids' level and mediate behavior, it might be time to find a different playgroup. If you want to stay with your current one, you may need to accept that your social time is going to be curtailed in order to keep your child safe.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

    I tend to avoid mothers' groups and instead seek out parents based on common interests and values. It's unreasonable to think, as a society, that simply because two people procreated at the same time that their interests or parenting philosophies will align. Places where I've been more successful in finding like-minded parents include: LLL meetings, the library, and museums.

    Another strategy that I've adopted is to spend the daytime intensely focused on my son, then take the evening and weekends when my husband is home to reconnect with my pre-baby friends and attend university courses. This approach provides a good level of intellectual and social stimulation for us both and ensures that my son doesn't learn negative behaviors from other children while they're ignored by their parent at play group. My son is enrolled in a swimming and music class, and those provide him sufficient interaction with age peers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

    mommal and alphawoman - I love your common sense responses and excellent perspectives!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts!

    Any thoughts from anyone else?? Anyone??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Playgroup Woes ***for New Beginnings***

    I think it is a learning experience for both mother and child. It is inevitable that your child will be involved in some sort of squabble over toys, etc sooner or later. Also, I found that I needed to closely look at what type of play group to go to, and, if the other mothers did not notice their child hitting mine, I had to learn to interfere in a positive way. This was not easy because I am timid, but eventually I did learn.
    I would say: observe what happens, and if one starts crying or is hurting the other get involved. But also give the children space to sort it of their own, because they can and often will. Maybe not int he way you might do it but they need the experience. A playgroup can be a safe place to learn social behaviour if the setting is right.

    As for getting my own social needs met - this was not possible in play groups to be honest, but easier achieved by play dates at home. The play group we attended was mostly moms much younger than I and so we did not have very much in common. But I found a couple of moms and we would take turns and have play dates at our homes. And in addition, I asked my friends form pre-baby times to go to play grounds with us, or visit me at home, or I visited them at their home - most of them like it and we could chat while I could keep an eye on my son playing. Even friends who have no children of their own may enjoy a visit from a young child. Be sure to bring some toys and maybe a blanket (depending on age of baby).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •