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Can't We All Just Get Along?: Mom Talk

What's the right way to teach toddlers how to play with others?

Well we took another stab at the toddler class. After our first class I had a pounding headache and struggled to resist the urge to drink. Uncontrollable 2-year-olds are not my idea of fun.

This week, I admit, was much better. I really enjoyed it. I'm sure our son, Liam, did too.

But here is where I need some advice.

Liam is an only child. His youngest cousins are in high school. We don't have other kids on our block. The reasons my husband and I signed him up for a class were two-fold.

First, we want Liam to learn social skills like sharing and taking turns. Second, we want to help him get ready for Kindergarten. For example, he needs to learn how to play on the rug, sit in a circle, follow direction from a teacher. Now it's time to do this. Later it will be time to do that.

So I get to the second week of this class, and the teacher gives instructions to the parents. She explained that if kids scream or disrupt the class, parents should take them out until they settle down. That's good, I thought.

Then she said that kids were allowed to run around the far end of the room if they wanted. They did not have to participate in the group activities. That's not so good, I thought.

Is it wrong that I don't want my son to run around when we were supposed to be holding hands in a circle?

Moms, tell me, please, what have been your experiences with these circumstances?

Shenon Bone March 16, 2011 at 08:18 PM
Now that may be too much to ask. He's too little to worry about sitting in a circle. ;)
Haley Green March 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Shenon - I agree, at two you'll be lucky if YOU don't want to run to the other end of the room! We all know 2 is difficult, what with them having trouble expressing themselves, exerting new found independence, impulse control - I could go on but what's the point, we've lived it (or are living it). The kind of structure you are looking for comes with time, patience, fortitude, and exposure. I have found play dates within moms' groups to be the best way to socialize my child and gain insight and experience from other moms. Structured classes are nice but I always feel frustrated, especially when I've paid for them, when my child doesn't do as I expect him / her to do or refuse to participate at all - choosing that exact moment to exert their 'free will.' I end up thinking "great kid, there goes another 40 bucks and now everyone is looking at the kid flipping out in the room with the mom smiling through gritted teeth muttering something that sounds like 'you WILL play the drum and you WILL like it'" But that's my experience....

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