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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have an 18month old grandson, who doesn't know how to play with other children.. He has siblings (ten yrs older than he is) but only gets to see them 2-4 days a month, he has no neighbors or cousins to play with.. All his parents friends work and their children are in structured daycare. Week days it's just Granny or Pa and Granny. At night and weekends it mom and dad... Then, on the occasion, that there are other small children, he seems to turn into a greedy, selfish, mean brat or he stands back and watches them and points.

Since he is pretty much an only child, we are in a rural area.. There isn't much in our little area that offers activities for 18month olds..

We need to socialize him. Thank you for any ideas, suggestions.. QB
 

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18 months is a little young to play with others, even at 24 mos they usually play side by side & check out occassionally what the other is doing. Sharing is a tough thing to teach, when someone has his toy he is thinking they have it for good. When there are going to be other children around, talk to him before hand about what to expect, ask him if there are any really special toys he wants to put away while there are kids over. Explain that other things will be shared, and that those items are still his and will be his when the guests leave. Expect him to still get "selfish" with his things, probably till the age of 4. Remind him after the visit that the things he shared are still his. You can help build empathy for others and strengthen his social skills...board books with baby faces expressing emotions can help him learn to read facial cues when put together with your words and lap time!

As far as getting those playdates, you say you are in a rural area, so libraries may be out (story time), what about churches, YMCA, heck, even the laundromat. What about hanging out at a school during drop off or pick up time (OK, you'll need to ask the school secretary), or maybe the sec. can put you in touch with other families with young children. Maybe the health department? Family resource centers are great places to meet others with young children, too, some host regular playgroups. Look for a grandparents raising grandchildren support group...AARP has a resource list.

He really sounds like a healthy, normal 18 month old! Keep giving him your love, patience, and those good opportunities!
 

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Forgot to mention Headstart/Early Headstart programs. There first criteria is income eligible, but if you are not income eligible, they usually have some leeway in identifiying other concerns: ie need for socialization. Your area school district should have that info.
 

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Yep, they don't really play with others at that age. I have an 18 month old, so I understand. She has a cousin who is a couple months younger who has learned a new trick recently...biting. Kids at that age don't really have the background yet to understand how they are supposed to interact with each other. And while it is good for them to have some experience with others of the same age, those other children aren't going to be modeling the behavior you want to encourage. They just don't know how to yet. So in a lot of ways, it is good to have one on one time with an adult who can model the right way for a child to react to certain situations.

I really wouldn't worry much, in my own experience "socialization" for children at this age revolves more around parents getting to spend time talking to someone who can actually respond in complete sentences.

If the issue is with things like sharing, and grabbing things away from other people, make a point to not allow that behavior when the two of you play. (In my own opinion and experience) young children don't learn how to get along nicely from other children, they learn it from the adults in their lives.

Kayleigh
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Boy, does this make me feel better! Thank you all.. It's been 30yrs since I had one this age..and I have forgotten how mine acted at certain ages.

He is very bright, sweet, loving and will 'share' with us when asked and sometimes on his own, he will offer a toy for us to play with. He has 100% of our attention as well as his aunts and uncles (he is the only g'daby). But I think his mom thinks he should be a little more giving... She has said to me more and a few times 'he really doesn't play well with others'..

Thank you...QB
 

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I agree that he is young to play with other kids. But to get him ready for it, have you tried playing on the floor with him? When he gets older, let him direct the play some, in a give and take fashion, as he would with a friend.
 

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You might consider buying a child-development book for yourself, as a "review" and to read up on some current thinking & research, and offer to share it with the mom & dad. You would both benefit, and they (she) wouldn't have any reasons to feel criticized. Sue
 

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Little ones need to be taught early about sharing, that way when they get older, and have jobs they wont mind when the gummies "share" their paychecks. ;)
 

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From the begining, we made sure to take our boy out to playgrounds and such quite regularly.

He is not being raised alone, he has you and family. He can learn a great deal about how to play, how to share, how to get along from you all.
 

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Eighteen month olds are not normally ready to play with other children. What you do is teach them to play beside the other children and not take what the other has.

I teach Nursery at church, which is 18 months to 3 years. "Sharing" in Nursery means waiting your turn to play with something and not taking something away from another child. The only way to teach this is to also not make the child who has the toy give it up when someone else wants to take it. Even young chidlren understand that this is fair. (Of course, if one child has something for a long time that someone else is waiting for, you can put a time limit on it.)

But the important thing at this age is just to teach them to be kind to one another. If they hit or grab or slap, they have to be quickly stopped, and they must be encouraged to learn to say "sorry." Then they are redirected. (This done at the same time that the offended child is consoled.)

A watchful supervisor can often stop these problems before they happen with careful redirection.

I would add that there is always a tendency at home to give the youngest child whatever they want, since they will quickly be happy and as quickly lose interest. But this teaches the child that he can take whatever he wants, and should be discouraged. Always remember that whatever you consistently do is teaching the child how to behave.
 

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Kids are really only ready to learn how to play with others and share their toys when they are about 3 years old. I learned this from my in-laws who run various church daycare facilities. I agree with Mary - teach kindness at this age.

Your grandson is perfectly normal :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He is kind and if he thinks you (anyone or anything) are sad, he reacts with sympathy.. If another child crys, he wants to know what's wrong and is the first to approch the child with a hug and an "ohhh'--in his soothing voice. But he is very greedy with his toys... DH, I , his aunts and uncles all 'get down on the floor' and play with him..We even get in the sand box and play. We ask to see things, hold them, play with them for a while and then offer it to him.. He is our full focus 90% (the other 10% he is asleep) of the time...LOL

I found a book and it states that (unless there is biting, pinch or other physical reaction to not wanting to share) it is normal behavior for 15-36 month olds to react with sharing negatively!! Giving the reason that most pre-schools do not offer classes before that age..
 

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Well, he sounds like a sweetheart to me. I would suggest that before he has friends over, he be allowed to choose which toys he wants to put up and not share, explaining to him that the price of having company is sharing his things, so he'll need to let friends play with all but a few special things. He's too young, of course, to understand, but he'll get the hang of it in time.
 

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Milk Maid
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He sounds like a cutie :)

I found a book and it states that (unless there is biting, pinch or other physical reaction to not wanting to share) it is normal behavior for 15-36 month olds to react with sharing negatively!! Giving the reason that most pre-schools do not offer classes before that age..
I disagree with that reason though... the childcare facilities my inlaws run go from 6 weeks old up to K. Kids are just not developmentally ready to share before 3 years or so (of course some sooner, some later.) They don't "get" playing with others before that age either.. they play on their own, most will play happily side by side another child, but they're each playing with their own toys and playing their own game.

I see the same thing when we do nursery duty at church (up to age three.) There are plenty of kids in there who go to daycare with other children and it's a very rare child who will share a toy with another child or play a game with another child. Though there are plenty of the older (nearly three) ones who will bring all sorts of toys for the babies to play with.
 
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