Gigi - posted on 11/09/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )
I have a question on how to deal and what to do with issues I have been having at our playdate.
I have an almost 3 year old girl and she is very social. From the time she could walk, other children (all ages) interested her. She would look at them from afar, and if she had opportunity would immediately go to them and observe and copy their play. She now spends 1 full day a week at the kind of small private nursery (with other toddlers) and 3 half days at playgroup (again with 2-4 age group) and enjoys it very much.
Now, what I have issue with is one of our playdates - it happens once a week with 1 other mother and her daughter who is about 20months old. we have been meeting up for about half a year now. At the beginning I just thought she has to get used to us and that maybe she is very shy, but now I don't really know how to understand it and how to act.
This is how our playdate goes - the first half an hour little girl will just stand in one place and if my daughter comes near her she will run away (which makes my daughter think she wants to play catch). After she will mostly cling to her mother. She will occasionaly take toys from my daughter (never directly, but as soon as she gets distracted) and then run to her mother (when my daughter wants to retrieve them) so she can hold them. Her mother in return tells my daughter that she can not have the toy (she doesn't always notice what happens). All this results in my daughter to become more "agressive" towards the end (not hitting) and snatch toys from little girl and overall to be agitated and not like her normal self.
Little girl also shows no interest into my daughter (as far as looking at what she does or coming close to her), the only interest she shows is to know where my daughter is so she can withdraw to other side of the room. During the playdates she will have about 5-10 tantrums and occasionally go into full panic attack where she can barely breathe for minor reasons -such as her mother not pickiing her up immediately or my daughter standing close to her.
I know that usually this story is from other perspective, but I just don't know anymore what to do. Every time we have playdate, my daughter is told not to touch her (she pets her hair), to let her alone, she is told not to take toys from her (while she is rarely told that), and in the end of the playdate she is confused and agitated and the rest of the day she is more difficult and unhappy.
I feel like this is influencing her in a negative way and somewhat gives her the idea of double standard. I don't want to tell her not to touch her or not to interact with her, while if I don't little girl will start one of her tantrums.
I know that they are different age groups, and I understand that some kids are more "shy" than others and I understand that they need different assurances. But my daughter is not even 3 years old, she is small child as well and I don't think she should/can "understand" or be different around her.
What should I do?