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Am I a bad mother because I don't socialize my toddler?

I hate that I don't have him around other children. When we go out places, I can see that he wants to have fun with kids we see. He doesn't know how to act around kids because he's rarely been around them. I was watching my friend's daughter, she's a year older than him, for a few months but that was back in May. I have trouble making friends myself, and I don't want to let my issues to hurt his development. This seriously makes me want to cry. How can I fix this before it's too late?

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Asked by ausiel at 9:58 PM on Sep. 16, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • I didn't worry about socializing my son till he was almost ready for preschool. Then it was 2 hours a day twice a week in a daycare nearby. Lots of kids don't get socialization till they get to preschool. Your doing just fine mommy.

    Answer by auroura at 10:00 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Take him to parks and arcades and any other place kids gather in your area. Encourage him and ask if he made friends and when another kid does something for him or gives him something or plays with him say things like that was nice he/she wants to be your friend, you should play with them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:01 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Try to find a playgroup in your area. You can find some on here I'm sure and try a website called

    Answer by MommyLee08 at 10:02 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • take him to the play place at the mall let him run around, at his age its more being around other children not actually talking to them, more playing side by side. if you can afford to, put him in daycare once a week or something like that. make playdates with your friend, both of you invite one or two other women you know with kids. just sit at someones house while the kids run around, or go somewhere and let them run around. but if you have someone you already know there to handle introductions'll be easier on you. and no you aren't a bad mom, just try to figure out ways to help him be around other children.
    and practice talking to strangers (this way its easier when he gets to school etc to talk to other moms) in line at the grocery store when the lady in front of you has a toddler laying on the floor pitching a fit for candy, smile and ask how old the kid is. than go from there, kids make it much easier to open u

    Answer by vabchmommy at 10:02 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • i don't think you need to worry so much about it. it might be best for both of you to get in some kind of play group though. maybe there is a group for where you live here on cafemom...? but like i said, i wouldn't worry about it. are there any cousins?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:11 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • even if you dont want to do a playgroup there is always storytime at the library. My toddler loves that and its free! I worry about the same thing though.. alot! We live in a military town and my daughter has made 3 "friends" , she is only 2 so she doesnt really know what a friend is.. but they have all moved away and she asks about them constantly and I feel guilty as well that she doesnt get that interaction. I am in the same boat though.. i dont always feel comfortable meeting new people or going out with her but I dont want to be selfish and deprive her of what she could have.

    Answer by ashleyuc07 at 10:27 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • i'm in the same boat. I bring my son to the park about every day and he is interested in other kids- but doesn't know exactly what to do. I remind him that it is okay to say hello and that he can chase them if he wants to.
    I have talked to the pediatritian and he says socialization isn't the most importatnt until 3 and 4years old- until then most kids play by themselves.

    Answer by bloomsr at 11:22 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • I would practice with him. Start before you leave the house saying OK we are going to the park there are other kids there. I want you to play with them. Make sure you are there with them and teach them to play together. Making friends is important and any quarms you have about meeting new people will go away because there is just something about meeting other moms that makes it so much easier because we are all alike. struggling with new little people who need our guidance. It is in the long run that socialization becomes important so starting now is good. Fear is never to lead us but we conquer fear and show our little ones how to do the same.

    Answer by linalinda at 2:05 AM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • At this age you're fine. You're not doing irreparable harm by not getting out on playdates or making him friends. That said, if you WANT to give him those opportunities, take him places where other kids are. Check out your local library for toddler story-times and other activities. Look at what your park's department has to offer. Check into local playgroups, MOPS, MOMS Club, etc.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:07 AM on Sep. 17, 2009

  • You're not a bad mom! I'm shy myself so I can appreciate how hard it is. However, I would still make the effort to get your child around other kids. The playground is a great option because he can see and play with kids (if he so chooses) without you stressing over the need to make friends (idle chitchat at a playground tends to be easier...). I've actually connected with a couple of local moms that way. you might also try a class like Gymboree or equivalent (if finances allow).

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:13 AM on Sep. 17, 2009

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