How do you deal with two toddlers with different personalities?

Rachel - posted on 02/18/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My three year old is an extrovert and will happily play when we go to playgroup etc, however my 18 month old will be happily playing in her own environment or if we are out and it is just us playing but as soon as we get into a playgroup environment or playdate she will cling to my side not leave and only want to have cuddles for the whole time. What can I do to help my 18 month old, I can't take her by herself as I have just moved to city where I do not know anyone well enough to leave my 3 year old with.

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Lyndsay - posted on 02/18/2010

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I think you just need to cater to each child's individual needs. It sounds like your son is a little more independent, so if you are in a playgroup you can just send him off to play with the other kids. Then you have your undivided attention for your daughter, and you can slowly help her to integrate herself into the group. I think it would really help her if you found a group you could go to regularly, so that she is around the same people every time. You may need to sit by her side the first couple of times but eventually she will get the hang of it. Also... if shes only 18 months old she's still at the stage where kids usually parallel play (which is where kids will sit together but play separately) so she really may not be developmentally ready to actually play with the other kids.

Stephanie - posted on 02/18/2010

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yeah, that's normal for an 18mo old. give her time to warm up and get to know everyone. let her play next to you by herself for now. my 2 1/2 yo still does that at first. but now, within 10 minutes, she'll find something else she wants to do. but it took a year. :)

Pam - posted on 02/18/2010

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sounds like my 2, it just takes time, most 18 month olds don't play with others, just side by side. repeated exposure is what has worked for mine. she eventually opened up and now at 2 will take her puzzles to other moms at reading time at the library. it takes a while but she'll follow the older sib's example usually!

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