Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indoor Playground Disaster !

Well, up until this point I have had a very lovely experience as a mom. I know we all over our children. I also have her or seen horror stories about toddlers. They are becoming their own person and it can sometimes present issues when they decide not to eat, or potty train, or show off their new skill of getting naked. My daughter has slept through the night with very few exceptions since 4 months old. She even slept 14 hours a night for 2 weeks straight. I have watched her push macaroni and cheese aside to eat her broccoli. She even wore pants with very few accidents and even fewer melt downs for an entire week (molars are coming through so she decided no panties this week).
I have basically been holding my breath. It is possible I still need to hold it and that I am just simply over-reacting to today's situation. This could be an isolated incident. Perhaps her molars have turned her into a bit of a drama queen. I can hope and prey all I want but let's be honest. More then likely I have a problem and I am a bit over my head. Any advice is welcome, presenting in a nice way is preferable.
So my regular readers know all about my back issues. I try as hard as I can to not let them stunt my daughters development. We try to go to library time every Wednesday for the story time called "fun for ones". We usually miss a week each month, but never two in a row. My daughter is 14 months old. I met a lady online who also has twins that are 14 months old and she introduced me to these indoor play gyms they have all over in our area. So we went together last week and it was okay. She just never played with any of the other kids really. She would not share but that is normal. She tried to take, but I didn't let her.
Well, this week she was sick and we went to a different gym by ourselves. Most of the children their were more like 2 or older. Anytime a child got close to her she completely freaked out. She would scream in their face, stomp her feet and fake cry. The other mothers would run up and say no no she was playing with that or don't push. I explained to the other mothers, their hadn't done anything expect look at her. I mean a few kids did try to shove her, but she is big and doesn't do down easy. One kid tried to take a toy, but she didn't let him.
I honestly didn't know what to do. Telling her to stop screaming at other kids didn't really do anything. Removing her from the situation gave her what she wanted and seemed to encourage the behavior. We stayed for less then an hour. I didn't know how to deal with it and she wasn't having much fun.
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  1. Hmm...14 months is an interesting age.
    So many things are happening with her body, so many things in the social area.
    She's noticing things she hasn't noticed before, because she's changing from a child who has been growing physically, into a little person who is changing psychologically and socially.

    Maybe she's in for a cold or something. Might be.

    But she might also give some signals she's getting into a new developmental stage.
    Children sense it, but can't understand it. And many have periods of growth, periods of relative rest and times they are not very happy in between.

    Another matter is that children her age don't have "social play."
    They're the centre of their own play and it's like their have a circle around them.
    When another child of a bordering developmental stage enters it she feels uncomfortable.
    She feels the other child is entering her personal space and she signals it as phycical pain.

    She feels the other child wants her to do things she is not up to.
    Sometimes intense eyecontact is enough to trigger behaviour like she's been hit.

    Removing her from the playground with older children would have been a good step.
    How would you feel standing in the middle of a rugby play?

    You are first the person to give her the feeling to be safe.
    Exploring the world is an inner urge a child experiences when the time is ready.
    Like walking starts at it's own time.

    You made the right observation at the first playground you went to: she's playing, but not with the other kids.

    She will start, when she's past about 16 to 18 months.

    Try and find a few mothers with children her age and drink coffee while the children play.
    They'll getr used to each other and start playing together....when the time is ripe.

  2. I bet her teeth are really bothering her. I had issues with my little one too. Especially at that age. Try a little Tylenol before you go out. That might help. My little one was always so emotional. She still is at 4. When we would go out and do things it was like she was over stimulated by the entire situation. Then the crying and tantrums started. She was so much better in her own environment. Keep you chin up mommy. It's gets easier. I promise.

  3. I'm not an expert but I think you did the right thing when you removed her from the playroom. Maybe it would help if you get her used to interacting with other children. So bring her back again, the moment she acts the same way, remove her again. That way she'll learn that if she behaves badly, she'll be removed from the playroom but if she behaves well, she'll stay.

    I also have to agree with Laane, maybe it's because of the cold that's why she's cranky.

  4. you did the right thing. that is such a hard age!!

  5. That's why I never went to an indoor gym! Most of the kids are so over stimulated it doesn't matter what your daughter did. The other kids are probably not sharing either. 14 months is young and I wouldn't worry about it too much, she'll learn.

  6. @ Lane
    Thanks for you support! You have older kids so your insight is very much apperciated
    @ Michelle
    The Tylenol is a great idea. I wish I had thought of it myself.

    @ liza
    Your right I should just remove her every time until she starts learning what behavior is okay

    @ Kel
    Hi, it is. I find myself so baffled sometimes.

    @ Sue
    Thanks, I think I am having issues with her being so large. I see other kids her size behaving more socially and then I find out they are 2 years or older then 2 years.


Thanks for your comments!!!