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Toddler Friends & Socializing
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Toddler Friends & Socializing
My two-year-old grandson is coming to visit from out of state
for the month of July. I know we can go to the zoo and to
Children's Fairyland. But can anyone suggest ways for us to
actually meet and make friends with other children his age and
their parents? We'd like to stay close to Oakland. Being a
grandmother, I have been ''out of the loop'' for many years when
it comes to young children.
Maybe the best thing to do would be to take him to your
neighborhood park. Many moms and children go to the same parks
every day. That's how I met a lot of other moms with kids my
son's age. Some good ones in Oakland:
1. Frog Park (near Claremont Ave.)
2. Willard Park (it's in Berkeley, but a favorite of my son's).
3. Linda Park on Linda Avenue in lower Piedmont
4. Jordan Park on Jordan Street off of Redwood Road off highway 13.
I would give you directions, but I don't know street names and
wouldn't want to mess you up. I think you should choose the
most convenient one and go most mornings. He's bound to find a
friend. Good Luck!
How lucky for you to have your grandson for a whole month and how nice
you want to make connections with others! During July there is a
session at Toddler Family for toddlers with their parents or
will have lots of messy art projects, water play, outdoor time, snacks,
time. Your grandson will have other toddlers to play with and you can
other parents/grandparents to help you get ''back in the loop'' with
children. They are located in Oakland near Lake Merritt 510-251-8000
mom with out-of-state grandma
18-month-old snatching toys
I'm not sure how to handle a sensitive situation in which an 18 mo playmate keeps
snatching toys away from my child. This has been going on for months, but the most
comment I've made to the mommy is that her child seems to be quite territorial with toys. I
started to take closer note of the situation when the playmate began snatching not only
his/her own toys from my child, but my child's favorite toys as well, followed by a "no!" when
my child tried to reclaim it.
I'm a stay at home mom so I see my child everyday and know how he/she
interacts with other children, and I can say without reservation that about 95% of the time
my toddler shares happily and freely with other children of the same age, and there don't
seem to be these issues.
The sensitivity I'm feeling is how to communicate all this to the mommy
friend if at all. My feelings right now are that I don't want my 18 month
old to learn that snatching is okay, and from what I perceive, there hasn't been a strong
enough message from the mommy that snatching is wrong and to give the toy back. Now,
my child has started to retaliaite (after months of having toys snatched away) by shoving.
I know this won't be the first time I have to deal with sharing issues, but the way I feel now
is that I should drastically limit the amount of time the two spend together so that my child
doesn't learn that snatching is okay and normal. I want my child to remain a good 'sharer.'
Perhaps this child and mine are not good playmates anymore? Thanks for any suggestions
of ways to handle this.
My understanding (from having an 18 mo. old
and a 4 yr old, and from watching day care
interactions and at-home play) is that this
is what many 18 mo. olds do. Some people
call it the "live toy effect." If another
kid has it, I want it! There is even a funny
piece out there on toddler rules of ownership
(does anyone have a copy?) that refers to
this very issue. Learning how to share and
wait one's turn is very complex. It takes
a lot of patience and thoughtful interaction
on the part of the care givers ("Amy is playing
with that ball right now. Why don't you play
with this ball until it is your turn. Amy,
let Cindy know when she can have a turn").
It takes a lot of understanding and self
control on the part of the child. perhaps
your child is more mature.
Sometimes if a toy is very precious
(e.g., a blanket) we might put it away
so that it isn't tempting to the visitor,
and bring it out when the visitor leaves.
With older visitors, with more self control,
we have said, "That is her favorite blanket
and she isn't required to share that with
others. You can use any of her other toys."
Your child will eventually run into other
aggressive children. Perhaps what your 18 month
old can learn is how to "use her words" and say
"no" to the playmate, and perhaps (in addition
to using the phrases above) you can be a back
up if the playmate's response gets physical.
Perhaps you can tell the other mother that you
would like to work on this with your child,
and have her help when the playmate visits.
In that way the focus will be on your child
and the other mother may be less defensive;
and the end result could be just the same.
I am the mother of a toy snatcher. My son is much more physically aggressive
than his friends, so I can give you the other perspective. My feeling is that all
children will go through these phases (snatching, pushing, etc.). My child didn't
learn to snatch toys because he watched someone else do it, he just started doing
it one day. I don't think your child will necessarily develop bad habits from
playing with this other child. These are all just normal developmental things
that all children go through - some more than others. I look at it as an
opportunity to teach your child what is right and wrong. If the mother of this
child does nothing about her child's behavior, I think it is perfectly acceptable for
you to step in and do something, if for no other reason, to teach your child that the
behavior is not acceptable.
That said, I know it must be a pain in the neck to deal with your own child's
behavior as well as someone else's. But, the truth of the matter is, everyone has
different parenting ideas. This mother may just think that the behavior will pass
and just ignores it. I think that if it is bad enough that you are thinking about
not letting the children play together, it would be good of you to talk to the other
mother about it. If your relationship (and your children's relationship) is
important enough to her, I'm sure she'll be happy to be more proactive/reactive if
you want her to.
My 2 1/2 year old toddler has had at least one playdate a week
with ''jane', who's three months older, for the last 18 months.
Jane is unusually verbally precocious, often shoves other
children for no apparent reason, will spend almost an entire
playdate picking up and organizing tiny little rocks or shells or
bits of trash in the park, and sometimes will be aggressive to
other children who she suspects (without provocation) will mess
up her collection.
I'm a first time parent, so I thought all this was par for the
course, and just part of her Jane-ness until an incident last
week which still has me deeply disturbed.
My friend, Jane's mom, dropped her off at my house for 2 hours. I
was home with my son, another toddler and my nanny/babysitter.
Jane came in and immediately began acting out - throwing toys,
shoving me son, announcing she was going to bite him, etc. I
took her on my lap and said, ''Jane, we don't throw toys in this
house. We don't shove people in this house.'' She seemed blank
and sort of limp, so I asked her to look at me....and she
couldn't. I've never experienced anything like it. Not Wouldn't -
deliberately looking away, or closing her eyes, but Couldn't
focus on my eyes.
Things escalated as time went on and her behavior became more
disruptive. My part-time nanny, who has raised three children and
worked in the Bay area for 7 years was holding Jane's hands and
singing and dancing with her while I played with the other two
children when Jane began biting her. We asked her to stop and she
bit nanny so hard she broke the skin.
I snapped. I yelled ''No. We don't do that in this house,'' picked
her up and put her in the playroom. ''Biting is not good, Jane,'' I
said. ''We don't do that.'' She laughed at me.
So Jane's mom comes home and the kids are asleep and I tell her
what happened, say it was really frightening how Jane wouldn't
look at me and this woman, my friend, says, ''I'm sorry. You won't
see us again,'' which also seemed totally out of character.
I thought the problem with Jane was that she doesn't seem to get
any discipline. Her father in particular, will beam with pride
and extol Jane's intelligence and strong personality while she's
stealing other kids' food (which she does frequently), empty my
litterbox on the floor, turn tv's on/off, and demand food or milk.
But now I'm thinking she may have some kind of developmental
What should I do? If the issue is one of parenting styles, I
guess I just don't have her in the house. But if she's ill, do I
mention my concerns to my friend? Won't I sound like ''Your kid
trashed my house and bit my babysitter and made my little darling
cry so maybe she has a developmental disorder? Oy.
Thank you for reading.
''Jane'' doesn't seem to be either ill or undisciplined, but a
fairly normal 2-3 year old whose behavior is outside your
reference point and/ or experience.
Our perception can alter the reality of an event and intensify
something that would otherwise be only ordinary. If this is a
real issue for you, and you are truly concerned, there are a
variety of thoughtful and direct ways you can respond. Posting
to a list where ''Jane's'' parent can see your comments is
probably not be one of them.
And, as for her parents, well, they're just like you and your
spouse, evolving and growing as parents as their child does.
You've probably misinterpreted their comments and responses.
In matters such as these, I'm no expert. I can only rely my own
brief experience as a parent, and those of longer experiences
close friends and family members. Let's toss in a former life
growing up in a family of eight with this mix.
There is one POV I might have which differs from other
responders. You see, I'm ''Jane's'' dad...
In my experience, gently advising a parent that their child
needs help, falls on deaf ears. Your ultimate responsibility is
to your family. I would definitely recommend to your friend
that she check in with a behavior specialist to see if there's
something she needs to do for this child. Just because parents
don't want to hear these things doesn't mean we should just
keep our mouths shut. But only mention it once. If not
addressed or problems persist/worsen, let your actions be your
reminder, rather than verbally nagging her mother - don't play
with Jane anymore.
I think every toddler goes through unpleasant behaviors such as
biting and yeling and throwing things, but
there are a few things in this email that set of warning bells
for me. One was the fact that the mother hasn't proactively
warned you or talked to you about her daughter's behaviors
(wouldn't you if that were your child?), and the other one is
her response to again not talk about it but to leaveand not see
you again (a classic response for avoidance now that you are
aware of the level of problems). The going limp and not
responding thing is the most worrysome for me. That is an
attempt to disconnect, the only way someone with very little
power can exert some control over what is about to happen to
her/ him. Perhaps the phrase you used (look at me) was a trigger
for her. My gut says something is happening either in the home
or to that child. I would strongly recommend you try to have a
serious talk to this mother, and if she won't- and this wil be
extremely unpopular advice- call CPS (child protective
services). Some one needs to evaluate what is going on, and the
mother sounds like she is either in denial or unable to cope
As the mother of the child in question, I must respond on
behalf of my family and other ''challenging children.'' Prompted
(unkindly) by my neighbor, I?ve done extensive investigation
and am comfortable with my conclusions. My daughter
is ''spirited,'' very strong-willed, curious, & sometimes
aggressive and quite obnoxious. She?s also a 2-year old who
happily sits in a grocery cart for an hour, runs to hug adult
friends, did very well in daycare, enjoys helping around the
house, notices when we're sad and pats us, has been at many
people's houses alone without problems, and is generally the
most well-behaved child in her playgroup. I?ve never
experienced the shifty-eyed, going limp (or whatever) behavior,
and believe me, I've disciplined her plenty of times! A child
psychologist said it?s very typical for (many) children to
laugh/avoid eye contact/make every attempt to avoid the
unpleasantness of discipline, and not to ascribe adult
emotions/motivations to young kids. All are even on
the ''typical behavior'' lists for around her age, as is talking
to one?s self (what had this person calling her,
twice, ?demented?). I sure hope we can train away her pushing
younger kids soon, and/or she outgrows it (she doesn't show
aggression at all to us). I didn?t understand why she does it
but it?s always when she?s not getting attention and/or wants
to go home. We're working on it, and we know now to take her
home immediately. I freely confess to using ''playdates'' as an
opportunity for adult conversation, often at the expense of the
attention/limits she needs. After 2, or 9-hours with one kid-
I'm often stir-crazy; not due usually to her behavior, just
isolation. As she?s often outgoing and seems adaptable, I've
been guilty of going out for MY sanity when she asked to stay
home to play. I tried something-for a day; gave her total,
engaged attention-no phone, park, etc. Result: a calm and
trouble-free day. It?s not always realistic-but I will listen
when she asks to go home! She craves attention, but IS learning
social skills. She?s learning to say ''excuse me'' when she wants
attention, and speak calmly instead of whining when asked. She
plays cooperatively at length with older kids-it's a joy to
watch. It?s easy to overestimate her communication ability just
because she talks a lot; the truth is she can't really express
feelings yet. A child development specialist who?s known her
since 4 mos. (not officially) says she's just fine-bonded with
us, learning to manage feelings, social, and struggling with
impulse control like many 2?s!. As for ''spending all her time
picking up rocks,'' please! So what! This is called
an ''interest,'' toddler-style. She likes to pick up stuff, but
another day in another setting she?s sliding, playing with
strollers or digging holes. The post made me realize how very
wrong it is to try to ?diagnose? someone else?s child or
situation, from the outside, with incomplete facts, using
an ?anonymous? forum. Parents with older children or more than
one child seem to understand and accept just how different
children can be one from another. Inexperienced ones like me
take parenting classes and struggle to figure out how our
children ''work'' and how to socialize them as befits their
temperament. Please excuse the long post! (:
Trying to do her best as a mom
I don't think anyone can answer your question (Undisciplined or
ill?) solely from your post. It seems to me that the only way to
begin to shed some light on this is to collaborate with your
friend, who has a lifetime of history with ''Jane.'' If your
friend's reaction to not see you again seems out of character,
perhaps she is also feeling extremely anxious about her daughter.
My only suggestion would be to try to approach her in person- as
opposed to over the phone- and supportively express your concerns
about your friend, not about Jane. If she trusts you as a friend
perhaps she will be able to discuss some of her concerns about
her daughter. It is truly terrifying as a parent to have a young
child who looks like she might have problems. Approaching the
mom in a supportive manner might go a long way.
- been there
I think children that age are too young to go on ''playdates''
without a parent or caregiver present. I have an almost two
year old and also an almost five year old, and the five year old
did not go on playdates alone until he was really at least
three, and then only next door and for a very limited amount of
time as long as things were good, at which point the other
parent could call me immediately to come and get him. It isn't
really possible to ''reason'' with a child that age in my
experience when they are acting out. All two year olds hate
sharing toys and having their constructions disturbed, and few
have outgrown pushing, pinching or merely howling to get this
across. Biting is a problem because it can be dangerous, but
isn't abnormal for the age. A parent whose child bites should
be on hand to prevent the behavior in my opinion. Children
don't look you in the eye when they don't want to hear what you
are saying; this is common for many years past two. I would not
leave my child unattended at this age for a playdate, but I
would also be insulted if two year old behavior was an occasion
for insinuations that something was terribly wrong with my
child. Two year olds can be angels or devils by the hour on any
given day, depending on their blood sugar, level of rest, or
whims in my experience. That behavior would be highly
unacceptable in a five year old, but making negative
developmental observations based on one playdate is pretty out
of line unless you are a trained special ed teacher
or evaluator in my opinion. If you don't think you would want
the child around again, perhaps the parent is doing you a favor.
Been Through the Terrible Twos Twice
I'd say that this child does have something serious going on, but
there's no way you can tell difinitively or do anything about.
Sounds like the mother covered things pretty well when she said
you would not see them again, so maybe you won't have to worry
about it. Is there a possibility that this child is abused? If
so, you might want to consider CPS, but that's a very serious
thing to do. In your and your child's best interest, I'd keep
their interactions to an absolute minimum, though I'd guess they
won't come around again since you've already put out your
concerns and were rebuffed. Better at least not to have your
children be subject to that behavior, although one can't help but
feel sorry for that other child.
If you're reporting accurately, this child sounds like she may
have a problem. If you like getting together with them, then
call up the mother and tell her that you didn't mean that you
don't want to see them, but that you were concerned and that you
apologize if it sounds judgemental, but you'd like to know if
she'd like some help, or if there's anything you can do. Let her
know that you'd like to see them. If you'd rather not get
together with them, then there's probably little you can do
to ''help,'' since the girl's parents and pediatrician are
responsible, and you will sound judgemental (or
worse, ''superior''). Or if you want to continue to get together
but just don't want her at your house agian, you can say that
maybe she reacted poorly to your nanny, but you would rather get
together for playdates elsewhere. If the behavior has been
bothering you, then mom probably already picked up on it, and
may evenbe relieved not to have to deal with it anymore. On the
other hand, it may be that she's used to other parents saying
they don't want to see her child again. Just try to be kind and
gracious and reassuring.
I would just like to share a technique for dealing with biting
and pushing children that a very experienced friend (Montessori
trained and childcare provider for over 25 years for 18 mo-3.5
yr olds) uses. It might be helpful for parents to know this as
a way to ''cure'' such behavior.
When a child has bitten or pushed hard, my friend the provider
hovers over the offender for two or three days. Every time the
offender lunges, she physically interrupts the aggression
(gently). I don't know if she also picks up the child and
changes his or her location, and I don't know what she says
(''You can't do that at my house'' or ''Don't do that, it hurts
Sarah?'' maybe?). But I do know that it works, and she never has
to excuse a kid from her program for aggression.
I really appreciated the posts from ''Jane's'' parents, not least because they were
good reminders that there are multiple perspectives on any given situation, which is
not always apparent from the posts, and also that we are not as anonymous as we
might think. Certainly I would be very careful when making judgements or quasi-
medical diagnoses (i.e. the writer's description that the child ''couldn't... Not
Wouldn't - deliberately looking away, or closing her eyes, but Couldn't focus on my
''Jane's'' mom wrote that a child psychologist said, ''it's very typical for (many)
children to laugh/avoid eye contact/make every attempt to avoid the
unpleasantness of discipline, and not to ascribe adult emotions/motivations to
young kids.'' I know I've caused myself a lot of grief by that last one (ascribing
adult motivations to children). What I wanted to point out is that this goes doubly or
tripley true for discipline by anyone other than the child's parent. I have seen and
participated in (more than I would like to admit--I'm counting on some anonymity
here, myself!) attempts by a parent to reprimand or discipline another child, and
without exception the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 8, responded by
freezing like a deer in the headlights, avoiding eye contact, and when possible
running away. It is difficult to respond absolutely appropriately when one is
responsible for another parent's child and that child misbehaves. The level of
reprimand or discipline that one would use with one's own child in a similar
situation could be absolutely terrifying without the feeling of unconditional love
that hopefully one's own child takes for granted. This is definitely a touchy issue that
we parents don't really discuss--where is the line when it comes to appropriate
responses to another child's misbehavior? I've seen more judgementalness on this
issue (level of discipline of other children) than on anything else. I'd love to see
some open discussion of this topic.
--another mom doing my best with this and other issues!
As a parent of a 'spirited' child, I read these postings with interest. I guess the
header- ''undisciplined or ill'' tells the whole story. What about ''different than
my kid''? ''Having a bad day''? ''Going through a rough phase- but still a great kid''?
My kid has gone through phases of biting, laughing at adults, not making eye
contact, hitting, going limp, and a host of other behaviors which were unpleasant to
deal with. She is also fun, verbal, and energetic. She tends to do everything with a
great deal of persistence and energy. She's 'normal'- whatever that means.
If my child had a playdate at another kid's home, and the mother later described my
child's behavior as disturbing or scary, I'd be happy if I responded as calmly as
Jane's mother. And I'd definitely not do another playdate. I would not be open to a
later discussion of some perceived developmental disorder in my child.
As a reader, I'd be very cautious about suggesting that this child had a
developmental disorder, or that her behavior was the result of abuse. Those are
very strong words. Professionals in the field would not begin to give you a
diagnosis or assessment of possible abuse on the basis of the brief vignette
described. But apparently some parents feel they have the practical knowledge and
experience to offer these assessments, based solely on an account of one incident.
I think that if someone has a question about their own child's behavior, this is a
good forum to at least get a sense if other parents have experienced the same
thing. But to try and get information about another child, who you see on a fairly
limited basis... This is probably not going to be a helpful place. BPN has policies
about reviews based on second-hand information. This probably ought to apply to
other people's kids as well.
disturbed by other responders
I am sorry that the parents of the child in this question had
to see the post. A similar experience happened in my group of
friends last year due to a post on this list. It was very
hurtful and embarassing to the person who had to read about her
life on a list broadcast to thousands of people. I don't know
what the solution is. Obviously the moderators are busy and do
a terrific job keeping this list positive and helpful. Maybe
we as subscribers can do a better job in choosing what we post
and how we do it.
Be careful what you post
I think you already received enough advice, but I felt that I
have something to add after reading the post from the child's
parent. You may be correct that the child has problems, and
the mother of the child may be right that she is ''spirited''.
The behaviors you describe sound more like a disability, like
asbergers syndrome, than abuse or poor parenting, but I would
leave the judgement to a pediatric nuerologist, developmental
pediatrician, or pediatric physciatrist. Those behaviors would
have to be consistent, not passing, to have meaning. And her
mom is correct that picking up rocks isn't important if she has
a variety of other interests. Her mom will seek help when the
problems affect her in preschool or nearly all social
I agree with the posters who said the children are too young to
be on playdates alone. Had her mom been there you could have
suggested she was having a bad day and ended the play date. In
the same situation, I would call her mom to pick her up early.
Calling CPS as some readers suggested seems extreme, and I am
in a mandated reporter in my profession. CPS assumes guilt,not
innocence. Unless you have proof the child is abused, (like
bruises or hearing verbal abuse) or strong circumstancial
evidence (like overly sexual behavior) you would make a parent
already in denial, but not guilty of abuse, more defensive.
Approach her in the most helpful way you can, avoiding
The thing that struck me most was that the parent of the child
could easily identify her child in the posting. I can't blame
the parent for being defensive in her response, since so many
people will read the postings, and some undoubtably will
recognize both children. To her it probably felt like gossip,
rather than the request for help you intended. Her response
that you won't be seeing the family again indicate that she
already felt judged. She may feel that your circle of friends
will close her out. If the child does have a problem, then give
all the support to her mom you can, and leave behind any
To Jane's parents,
The purpose of your posts seemed to be to make the original poster feel bad, as
well as present your point of view. Certainly she did not write hers in this vein --
how could she have foreseen that you would read it? My concern is that by tag-
teaming and attacking the original poster, you may create an atmosphere where
people fear to post sensitive concerns. This would be detrimental to the list. We
all benefit from reading about difficult situations. I don't want people to NOT ask for
advice because they think they will be ''caught.''
I understand that the specifics of this situation made it easy for the parties
involved to recognize it. But in the future, if we think we recognize ourselves portrayed
unflatteringly, maybe we should give our friends and neighbors the benefit of the
doubt and protect those relationships, instead of rushing to defend ourselves and
attack others. And see what advice is given.
I would encourage you to consider the possibility that what you
are looking at is a very active and challenging child, not
undisciplined and not ill. I have two children, two and four,
and between 1 and 3 they were (one still is) monsterously
difficult. I was the one pulling my kids off other kids, mine
shoved kids for no reason, often really hard, went through a
thankfully short biting phase, and are generally loud and
unruly. I am well aware of what some other parents in the park
must have thought about my aggressive, wild chlidren as I carry
them away kicking and screeming .
They 'chatter'' constantly and hardly ever stop moving. They will
tip over, pick up, climb up anything around. I have to assume
anything in their reach (or not -- one particulary is a climber)
will be eaten, broken, thrown or in some way played with. This
was not a matter of not being ''disciplined''. I call them my
raccoons -- to convey that they cannot be domesticated.
Some kids are more active and more challenging than others.
Mine were off the scale. None of the other kids in my mom's
group of 10 were anywhere like that.
Guess what? My four year old is now a quiet, thoughtful
sweetheart, very ''self-controlled'' -- if you saw him you'd say
he had very good ''discipline''. He plays very well by himself
and while still active is not in any way ''out of control'' any
longer. It's basically just he outgrew it.
So, it may just be that you have a quieter, easier kid
and ''Jane'' is more spirited, difficult, challenging,
whatever ... They're just different. I'm sure it's a shock to
see. Have sympathy for your friend who lives with the challenge
And to ''Jane's'' parents -- take comfort in recent research
demonstrating that highly active children are learning a lot
during all that activity -- it's been associated with
You're seen me in the park
I just returned from my playgroup (of one and half years) with my 28
month old son and I feel very frustrated with the experience. When we
got to the park he didn't want to get out of the car (he loves sitting
in the driver's seat pressing buttons which I let him do for 10
minutes.) Then I coaxed him on to some of the playground equipment
which he did for a few minutes. Then he starting whining about wanting
to go home. All the other kids in the group seem to like the
playground. Not all play with each other, but they find
something to do. I'm able to coax him to swing a little, run and climb
but it takes a lot of effort. I do consider him a little shy, but even
when I'm at the playground or a park with him by myself, he is always
trying to drag me back to the car. He can open most gates at toddler
playgrounds so I'm constantly trying to stop him from running back to
the car. His favorite part of going most places seems to getting in the
car to go home. Of course, when we're at home he's not always happy to
be there either. Any ideas on how we
can make outings more enjoyable for both of us?
This might not be what you were thinking of, but your scenario reminded
me a lot of an article I read recently in Mothering magazine about the
"Zen of Mothering." It basically was about enjoying time together much
more by following the child's lead about how s/he wants to play, and
giving up parental images of what a "good time" should look like. You
may have other (perfectly valid) reasons for wanting to have your son go
to the park, but if just enjoying an afternoon with him might were the
main point, perhaps just getting into the car and pushing buttons for a
bit, then going back to the house would be an enjoyable way to spend the
time. (I have similar issues with my 19-month-old daughter--it's a
gorgeous day outside, and *I* really want to get out there, but she
doesn't want to put on her shoes, or walk, or ride in the stroller, so I
have sometimes ended up demanding the
shoes, cramming her into the stroller and going out, and then we have a
sulky time instead of a fun one. If I can get My needs met in ways
other than with her--e.g. leaving her home shoeless with the babysitter
other than with her--e.g. leaving her home shoeless with the babysitter
for half an hour while I go for a walk--we both have a better time. Of
course then I still worry anyway that she's not learning to enjoy the
outdoors--nor how to submit gracefully to Mommy ("discipline")....)
Best wishes to you.
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