Socializing Your Only Child
Are you an only child and now have just one? I have one toddler so far and I’ve noticed
that my daughter is very friendly. She loves playing with other kids regardless if reciprocated or not. We go to the park daily and we’ve come across our fair share of unfriendly, even mean kids. As I wrote in a previous article, I blame parents when kids are mean or become bullies because something is going on at home to perpetuate this behavior. Usually it’s lack of hands-on quality time, supervision, and consistency.
So many nannies raise people’s kids now because our economy requires two incomes and neither parent, mother nor father, can afford to stay home. I’m fortunate to be in a position where I’m able to directly care for my daughter and not have to hand her off to someone else. Not to say that nannies are a bad way to rear your child. In my case, I waited a very long time to have a child, so to just thrust the responsibility on somebody else feels wrong. You are responsible for your child’s behavior when something goes terribly wrong and they exhibit bad or violent behavior.
Who’s Raising Your Kid?
That is what concerns me when handing off kids to others to rear. I know that I will eventually be in the same situation, but for now I am so grateful I am home with my daughter, the joy of my life. I love knowing I’m directly responsible for her growth and development. Seeing that she is already advanced and is extremely happy makes me feel great because I know I’m doing something right. Socializing your child teaches them early on to exercise and strengthen social skills.
An only child, especially, requires exposure to other kids, as regular interaction teaches them to work with others and to learn how to share. Lack of social skills is similar to what happens with dogs when you don’t socialize them; they can often become too fearful of other dogs or too aggressive. Pet trainers say that it’s crucial to socialize dogs when they’re puppies. This rule obviously applies to humans as well, but can go underestimated.
PLAY DATES HELP EXPEL RESTLESS ENERGY
Having an only child requires ensuring that you schedule playtime with other kids your child’s age. Being a stay at home mom has its rewards, especially when you see positive results because you’re hands on with your little one. A nanny isn’t raising your kid, you are. My friend Melissa also feels the same way. We’re both older moms, having waited to have kids and feel a little more prepared as a result.
Melissa’s son Phoenix is just a couple of months older than Ariabella and they love playing with each other. Ariabella and I met Melissa and her son at a mom’s meet up group in our city. Both of us didn’t have fellow moms to hang with plus we were also around the same age and both only had one child. Melissa and I make sure to try and involve our children via play dates, hanging out at the park and keeping them both active.
Health Goes Beyond Physical
Phoenix and Ariabella are both on the go. You put them on the ground and they go running off. They’ve got so much energy it takes me and Melissa a good shot of espresso to chase after our extremely active toddlers. If you want to have a social, well-adjusted child then plan both structured and unstructured play for your only child and that they can do so with friends. Health is more than just physical. It’s psychological, emotional, stability, consistency, social, and family/moral support. Starting early is better than waiting until your toddler is a young adult and begins exhibiting negative behaviors. A preventive parental approach is much safer and better than not taking the importance of socializing your child seriously.