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  1. #1
    Sarah1 Guest

    Default Advice about playgroups

    Let me first say that I LOVE my playgroup. I consider the other moms my friends and talk to them frequently during the week. We all really like and respect each other...once a month we go out for a "girls dinner" just so we can hang out without our kids and have a cocktail!

    My issue is, I feel like now that Audrey is older (at almost 17 mos she is the oldest of the group--the youngest is about 13 mos), the playgroup is becoming more difficult. I was expecting this to happen based on what I've read and heard on these boards and elsewhere. I feel like Audrey, because she's the oldest, has a tendency to behave like a jerk with the younger kids--grabbing toys away from them, tapping their heads a little too roughly, etc etc etc. Fortunately, all of us are really supportive and non-judgmental of each other, but I still feel bad when Audrey grabs a toy away from another baby and he/she starts crying.

    Is this just how it is in playgroups with older kids? What do you do when your kid acts like a jerk? Any advice about making playgroups more calm and peaceful (is that a pipe dream)?

  2. #2
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Advice about playgroups

    Well, yes, that is how it is with older kids. Sorry. :) And don't worry, the smaller ones will all catch up and be aggressive too!

    But a big thing that seem to help is having fewer toys out at playgroup. While this seems counterintuitive :) , when there are a million toys, the kids seem to go a little nuts, but with fewer toys they seem to fight less.

    Also, as much as you can when the weather is nice, have playgroup outside at a park. That makes things much less stresful!

    HTH,
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  3. #3
    christic Guest

    Default RE: Advice about playgroups

    It's hard feeling like your kid's the jerk of the group!!! My daughter's not the oldest, but she does often seem to be the most...what's the nice word for this?...assertive. She's only rarely hit or pushed another child, but she has no problems taking whatever she wants as her own. She also has an eye for the "best" toys and will always end up with the fanciest toy stroller whenever there's more than one there. It's great that the other moms are supportive, that's my situation too, but when my daughter's having a bad day it's hard not to feel like a bad mom even when no one else in the room is thinking it.

    I think it will get much better for you as the other kids get older, and you'll also have the benefit of having the first child to get over this crazy stage I bet! I find it's especially bad at our house, but Beth's advice to have fewer toys out has definitely helped.

    Have you heard of RIE or read Your Self-Confident Baby? There are some excellent parts in that book about how to step back and let kids deal with conflict on their own--stepping in if there's any hitting of course. It's very interesting and I've always wanted to suggest that we all interfere a little less when there's a scuffle over a toy rather than trying to get them to share before they're really capable of it. But it kind of felt like I'd be saying "Let's all let Alice take whatever toys she wants and your kids can play with whatever's left!" so I never did. Maybe you could come up with a more diplomatic way to bring it up :).

    Chris


  4. #4
    C99 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Advice about playgroups

    Nathaniel isn't the oldest kid in our playgroup, but he is, uh, the alpha-male of the group (6 boys, 2 girls). I don't feel too badly when he takes a toy away from any of the other kids, although I try to watch him -- and, as in your group, there isn't judgment or negative vibes floating around. I don't think any one mom thinks that her child is any more special/smart/fragile than any of the children, which I think really helps to foster a supportive atmosphere. There isn't a huge age range in our group (12-15 mos) and the other kids can hold their own pretty well. We always have food at our meetings, so that is a huge distraction for all of the mommies and babies.
    Caroline, mama to DS 01/03, DD 05/05, DS 04/07
    http://littleshoulders.blogspot.com
    "Now that you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -- Dr. Seuss

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