Am I holding her back by staying home?

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )




I am a sahm of a 14 month old daughter. I love spending everyday with her. Sometimes I wonder if I am holding her back. She doesn't get any social interaction with other children (cousins occasionally). It is finally nice out and we can go explore outside but all she has to play with is me. Am I reading into nothing or is there something out there that I am missing.


Susan - posted on 04/21/2009




I think the same thoughts as you because I am in the same position. Plus people comment to me that my 2½ year old son needs to be with other kids more, which I so appreciate hearing...not. My mom stayed home with me and I didn't have regular socialization until I was in kindergarten, and I turned out very social and "normal." So I say let's think positive about our situations and believe we are doing the best we can for now. Of course, I am trying to set up playdates whenever possible for him.

Melissa - posted on 04/21/2009




No, you aren't holding her back. I did storytime at the library with my daughter, ECFE (early childhood family education) and joined a stay at home mom's group through They don't play together at this age anyway. Not until 3 or 4 do they play together.


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Leslie - posted on 04/21/2009




I'm at home with my three kids. 4, 3 and 1. I get a lot of comments from other mothers that childcare is better, because of the socialization. However, I have my kids out to playgroups, sunday school, church groups and we often just play at the park with other kids. Nothing is better than spending those important first years together with your child, but they still need to have time to play with other kids. (much like we mothers need time with other grown ups.) Try to find a group of other moms and get together once a week or month. Join a mom and tots exercise group or start a stroller walk group with friends with children.

[deleted account]

No, you are absolutely not holding your daughter back!! What a blessing it is to be able to stay home with her!! I do not believe, at this point, that social interaction with other kids is a necessity. However, you may want to consider finding mom's groups, mommy & me classes, etc for you (and her too). I did a mommy & me class with my youngest when he was about 16 months old. He loved it! Not that he really interacted too much with the other kids, but he did get used to being with other kids and having fun with them. It was great for me too. I met moms who are some of my best friends today, 4 years later. Also, don't be afraid to meet new moms and children at the park or the library. You never know. Your kids could end up in the same class at school one day.

Bethany - posted on 04/18/2009




You are absolutely not holding her back! Learning to explore and interact with an adult is important. Playing with other children may be fun once in a while, of course, but it doesn't necessarily help her development.

Also, so many people claim that children need to learn social skills from their peers?! I personally don't think that children need to be "socialized" with only children their age. Why would you want them to learn social skills from other immature children? Learning social skills with ALL age groups is much better for children.

Julie - posted on 04/17/2009




Hi Sarah,

I don't think there is anything wrong with not having tons of social interaction at 14 months old. All my children had at that age was nursery on Sundays at church! Children that age don't actually interact with each other as play side by side. I would not worry one bit about it! People told me all the time that it wasn't healthy for my kids to be at home all the time, but now two of them are in school and have had no problems what so ever adjusting to it!

[deleted account]

Hi Sarah, I totally get where you are right now. Being a SAHM is never bad for your children, rest assured. Social interaction is important for kids, and the sooner you start, the easier it will be. But Mom bonding is crucial to their development as well. Being around other kids teaches alot of things that Moms just can't do, though, because hey, we don't behave like 2 year olds ;) Things like taking turns, sharing and even

co-playing (like teeter-tottering, for example)

Other moms ^^^ have mentioned some terrific ideas, like friends with kids, and community centre playgroups, but don't underestimate just going to the park, and meeting someone. Most kids will play with anyone who is around, and maybe it's just me, but I don't like alot of *structure* in my baby's day. You know, like the playgroups only meet certain times/days, it's too much like an obligation or appointment.

My 3year-old plays with his cousins every now and then, and I babysit some older kids after school for a friend, but he has just as much fun at the park with a random kid. That's the best thing about little kids, they have no bias, and you never know, you might meet a new friend too.

Steph - posted on 04/16/2009




I'm reading this book called the science of parenting and it introduced me to some research about cortisol levels in children who attend daycare. cortisol is a hormone released during stress, it starts naturally high in the morning and decreases through the day but in children attending daycare the levels rise rather than falling throughout the day, and more is as soon as the children were with their parents stress levels dropped dramatically! so no worrying, your doing the right thing for your children and as long as they' re getting your attention that's enough socialization for now!
( for anyone interested the book is The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland)

Bridgette - posted on 04/15/2009




NO kids in daycare turn out worse than who are at home with mom...

Check out Dr. Laura @

[deleted account]

Hi, I have two boys, a 17 month old and a 8 yr old, and I joined a momsclub, it is important for her to get social interacton with kids her own age. If you want more info let me know.

[deleted account]

HI Sarah - You absolutely ARE NOT holding your daughter back!  There's nothing more she needs right now than YOU.  She's still too little to really need to play with other children.  You are her world right now and that's how it should be.   You aren't missing a thing and neither is she.   Please continue to stay home with her.  She needs YOU not someone else. 


All the best,

Susan H.


Lorraine - posted on 04/15/2009




You are certainly not holding her back. She is only 14 months old and isn't really going to be into playing with other children anyway, more just sitting there watching them. Remember that 100 yrs ago lots of children didn't interact much with other children and their mothers didn't exactly have much time to play with them but they were more inventive in their games and so on than nowadays.

Kylie - posted on 04/14/2009




I felt the same way with my first child, she was the only grandchild on both sides and none of my friends had kids.  I had my mum in my ear from the time she was 8 months telling me my child needed to learn to interact with other children so I felt very guilty most the time. Her first 2 birthdays there were only 2 little ones and there rest of the guests were adults. At about 15 months I took her once a week to gymbaroo so she could see other children and when she was 2+ I’d take her to the library or jungle gym and she would toddle over to other kids and watch them. But really it wasn’t until she was 3 that she started to want to be interactive with other children I started her at 3 year old kindy for a few hours twice a week and she loved the interaction and fitted in perfectly. She’s now four and goes to big kindy and is a very social, popular child and a lot of mothers comment to me how well she plays with their fighting, good at listening  etc.  The truth is children don’t NEED a lot of social interaction with others until they are around three..this will happen naturally don’t feel bad, being your child’s play mate is enough for her at this age and you are not holding her back by being there for her all day everyday.

Heather - posted on 04/14/2009




I personally think it is important for people to interact with other people of their same age group. You should check out your local C.C. for activities that you and your child can do together. It would give you the opportunity to meet and socialize with other parents in your area, and allow your child to make friends and develope important skills that she will use when she starts school. 

Amanda - posted on 04/14/2009




It sounds like your question would be better phrased "Am I holding her back by not having her socialize more?"  No one would say (or should say, lol) that you are making a bad decision by staying at home with her, but you are right to recognize that one drawback can be a lack of social interaction if you don't stay on top of making sure she is being socialized.  Speaking as a mom and as a person with a degree in Family Studies and Human Development, there is no question that the earlier social interaction starts the better!  How much and for how long and what type will depend on your family AND your child's temperment.  The only way kids learn to get outside themselves is if they are forced to interact by being in social situations.  The better they are at social skills such as sharing, group entry skills, etc the better off they will be the rest of their life.  This is actually a fairly important skill for them to master and affects school performance more than intelligence does.  The earlier you start, the better, but it's never to late to start.  I'd suggest a mom's group like the other ladies, or possibly finding a local church and having her in the nursery once a week - this is great stuff for kids.  

Elizabeth - posted on 04/14/2009




Of course you're not holding her back! You're doing a wonderful thing for her by staying home with her yourself. It is good for them to get interraction with other babies/kids their own age too - not to mention seriously important for you to get some adult conversation! As Tanya mentioned, I'd look into seeing if there's a moms group in your area. They can be hard to find sometimes, I kind of stumbled upon one when my daughter was about your daughter's age. I'd say just start by getting out more now that the weather's getting nicer, go to the park, or see if your local library has a children's storytime activity (most do, that's where I found my group). There's certainly nothing wrong with you guys just hanging out at home, but you've got to admit it's a lot more fun to have others to hang out with. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 04/14/2009




I don't think you are holding your daughter back by staying at home with her.  Maybe you could look at joining a playgroup so that your daughter could interact with other children while you are still there. Do you have friends with kids? It is really important that she interacts with children her age so she can develop age appropriate social skills.

There are pros and cons for being either a SAHM or a working mummy. I'm a young stay at home mum and one of my friends has a boy who is only 6months older than her so they see eachother about once a week but she doesnt really see many other children and I have the same worries but i truely don't think you are holding her back.

Tanya - posted on 04/14/2009





Is there any mom groups that you could join so that your daughter has some socializing and so that YOU get some time to socialize as well.  It isn't a bad thing that you are at home with your daughter as I am a stay at home mom.  I think as long as your daughter is growing and hitting her milestones then you are doing your job, but it is nice to get out and be around other moms and babies.  Anyway I hope that all goes well and don't beat yourself up because you are staying home...I think it is the best thing for your child as long as you can do it.  It's better that you raise your daughter and not a stranger.

Jocelyn - posted on 04/14/2009




i feel like that sometimes too. (my son's two, and not in day care at all; due to the cost...we're waiting for preschool)  but i'm pretty sure it's ok if they don't get lots of interaction with other toddlers this young.  we go swimming once a week and there are tons of other kids his age, and he would much rather play with me (or the other parents lol) when we are there lol.

:) it's in our nature as moms to worry about everything lol

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