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Old 06-03-2009, 01:11 PM
 
Location: here
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My 3 1/2 year old son is in a play group with others his age about once every other week. While the other kids are playing and having fun, he often starts acting very moody, pouty, or goes off to a corner by himself, or tells me he wants to go home. There are usually about 6-10 kids there, boys and girls. He has an older brother, almost 6, and he seems more comfortable and outgoing when big brother is there, and around big bro's friends. We have been attending this group for about 9 months now. What do you think? Could this be a phase? just his age? maybe he's just a loaner type, and I shouldn't push it?
It is very frustrating!
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: In My Own Little World. . .
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He may simply not be ready for the social aspect of a play group. Maybe there are too many kids for him. He may do better on a 1 to 1 type of play date. My daughter always prefered her own company, and is still that way at 17 years of age. She has plenty of friends, but unlike most teen girls, she's happy spending time alone or with the family. That's just the way she is. I wouldn't make a big deal about it. In fact, maybe you should stop going for a while to see if he actually misses it. Then maybe try again in a few months. They change a lot in just a few months at this age.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Why take him if he's not happy being in it? Sounds like a waste of time. There's nothing wrong with not participating in a group that large for a little kid. Maybe he doesn't feel like he fits in as well as he does with his brother and brother's friends.

Some kids don't like crowds. Some kids prefer older kids. My daughter has always preferred being around older kids and adults as opposed to younger kids or kids her age. Even when she was a toddler.

I wouldn't worry. Maybe find a child a year or two older who lives nearby who can play one on one with him.

By the way, since he does enjoy playing with his brother and brother's friends, your young one is not anti-social, just particular about who he plays with.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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I am a firm believer in exposure. Even if a loner type. He will have to function socially when he goes into preschool, so why not expose him to some social interaction now? My youngest was the same way. It is finially wearing off. Why don't you try a different setting? Take him to a mall play area, or to a library story time, Gymboree classes, Kindermusic etc etc. I would just slowly introduce him to a bunch of different social settings. If he wants to go play by himself, fine. But at least expose him to it... You never know, he might just have a great time and enjoy it.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Danielle* View Post
.. Take him to a mall play area, or to a library story time, Gymboree classes, Kindermusic etc etc. I would just slowly introduce him to a bunch of different social settings. If he wants to go play by himself, fine. But at least expose him to it... You never know, he might just have a great time and enjoy it.
There's a good idea. In a playgroup he is required to randomly play with kids he might not particularly enjoy being around, but in a more structured group setting, he would be around other kids, but not required to perform as an individual player. He would be a participating member of the group, but not on an individual basis, then slowly his star will shine. When he's ready.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Take him to a mall play area, or to a library story time, Gymboree classes, Kindermusic etc etc. I would just slowly introduce him to a bunch of different social settings. If he wants to go play by himself, fine. But at least expose him to it... You never know, he might just have a great time and enjoy it.
These are good ideas. I was going to suggest smaller playgroups maybe one or two children. He could be overwhelmed with a group that size. Socialization is very important for kids so don't give up on that. He is going to have to be with larger groups once he starts school and you want him to be used to being with other people. Adjustment to school or a Mothers Day Out program can be difficult for those kids that would rather be home-bodies. The world is full of different personalities.....just take it slow and build up his confidence. Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: here
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thanks all. I joined several different mom/kid social groups, but settled on this one because it was mostly the same people each time instead of meeting new people almost every get together, then never seeing them again; and because of the age specific play group. My hope was for him to make his own friends, not just cling to his brother's friends, and to get him ready for preschool. We do all kinds of things together with all different numbers of people. He just seems happier when bro is around no matter what the setting.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
My 3 1/2 year old son is in a play group with others his age about once every other week. While the other kids are playing and having fun, he often starts acting very moody, pouty, or goes off to a corner by himself, or tells me he wants to go home. There are usually about 6-10 kids there, boys and girls. He has an older brother, almost 6, and he seems more comfortable and outgoing when big brother is there, and around big bro's friends. We have been attending this group for about 9 months now. What do you think? Could this be a phase? just his age? maybe he's just a loaner type, and I shouldn't push it?
It is very frustrating!
Maybe he can't handle a crowd that size. Try smaller playdates and see if he is more comfortable that way.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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My daughter hated groups as a child and still does as a teen. I pushed everything aside and just thought she was moody. My dd was into sports, gymnasitics and dancing. After she competed, she rather be by herself and did not like any photo ops or attention when she won. She did not try to associate herself with any groups--just did what she was told and took her seat when finished.

We found out at the age of 15 that she suffered from anxiety disorder--my dd hate being around people or the center of any attention. I would just watch his mood and talk to professionals if things doesn't change.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: here
24,469 posts, read 28,730,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn_QueenBee View Post
My daughter hated groups as a child and still does as a teen. I pushed everything aside and just thought she was moody. My dd was into sports, gymnasitics and dancing. After she competed, she rather be by herself and did not like any photo ops or attention when she won. She did not try to associate herself with any groups--just did what she was told and took her seat when finished.

We found out at the age of 15 that she suffered from anxiety disorder--my dd hate being around people or the center of any attention. I would just watch his mood and talk to professionals if things doesn't change.
Thanks for that info. My grandmother and I both have a certain amount of anxiety around people, but nothing that has been officially diagnosed. I do ok once I get to know people. Was your DD put on meds, or anything, or therapy? Do you think it could have been diagnosed earlier?
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