View Full Version : Social Issues Question

04-10-2011, 09:45 PM
OK just curious here. My main question is: Would you continue to take your kids to group events to make friends if they keep having a lot of negative experiences? Is the "socialization" worth it if it is negative each time?

04-10-2011, 10:04 PM
I'd maybe skip a week or two and see if DS seems happier for it. If so, I'd give it up. If he talks about missing it a lot after that period, then I'd try again. And meanwhile, chat about it with DS: what does he like about this group, what does he not like, how does it compare with other activities he does, etc. At five or so, a kid doesn't really need a wide variety of friends; loving people of various ages are more important, I think. Also, at that age, he might not be able to conceive of giving up a known activity, so he couldn't mentally compare "do I want to keep doing this" versus "do I want to stop this." Which is why bowing out for a couple weeks might be a good test. Maybe. :)

04-10-2011, 10:08 PM
I definitely would not go to a situation which seems to be mostly a negative. My boys arent great w socail skills, and sometimes they will WANT SO BADLY to fit in, that they are willing to keep going, even tho their egos are more bruised every time. I would talk to your son about the idea of skipping a few weeks, and trying again, and seeing which one feels better to you both. There are plenty of ways to make freinds, and hanging out w kids who are being rude (and personally, i dont think this is 'just being kids' - but of course, some kids are kinder than others).

I understand your point about you enjoying it - but at least try to track his mood in the afternoon after the group and the day after the group, and see if your weeks skipping it dont work out to be easier weeks? See if you can start a moms night out with this group?

Wow, i just noticed he's 5 . . . thats even harder, I think, for a kid to figure out how to handle a situation where he's being scapegoated like that. I really think its best for him to get a break from it, at least for a while. Maybe the dynamics will shift some?

04-10-2011, 10:13 PM
If there is a dysfunctional group dynamic--I would probably avoid that group. I have had some experience in this in other venues and have learned that sometimes you have to step back and let the chips fall where they may. I have been lucky so far. The Homeschoolers I know are pretty diligent about making sure the kids play nice with each other.

I like the other idea posited--that you could start a mother's night out with the members of that group. Sometimes kids just don't like each other. They are little individuals after all.

04-10-2011, 10:49 PM
If there weren't other real possibilities for being social, I'd give it a short break and then try again. If there are other venues available for hanging out with a group of kids on a regular basis, I'd probably give those other things a try.

04-10-2011, 10:57 PM
If you have other social groups where it's not an issue and this one just has a weird vibe where it's not working, then I would drop it, at least for a few weeks and probably just in general.

If there weren't other social opportunities, then I feel like there are probably ways to work it out, but if there are, then I might just let it go. And maybe you can organize a parents' night out or something with moms if you click with them.

04-10-2011, 11:22 PM
I have expectations that parents will be involved in monitoring their child's behavior in order to keep the group a welcoming and comfortable place for everyone. I would not spend time in a group that does not have parents that are motivated to do this. I would let the parents know that my child is not happy in the group because of unkind behavior, and see if the parents care enough about their kids developing into considerate people to get involved with coaching their own children regarding how others are treated. If these parents do not have this motivation, I would leave and never look back because the situation is toxic and will never improve. I have tried out groups that had an idea of hands-off parenting and decisively left when it was clear the parents did not enforce any standards for their kids' behavior. I have found groups and friends with more proactive parents and they are much nicer situations. One of the reasons I homeschool is to avoid the Lord of the Flies type of socialization that often occurs in school. Our kids deal with enough of that with the neighbor kids; I have no tolerance for it in a homeschool group that I go out of my way to participate in. Homeschool groups can offer better social experiences if that is a common goal of the parents in the group.

04-11-2011, 03:17 AM
Sometimes it's hard for kids to enter into a new group - regardless of their ages! Is there a child (or two) in the group that your son has particularly bonded with? Perhaps you can set up a play date where the kids could play one-on-one, instead of in a group.

04-11-2011, 09:28 AM
Thanks everyone. After reading your comments, I am starting to agree. Doesn't seem worth it.

04-11-2011, 02:04 PM
I'd say it's definitely not worth it. I have long stories to back this up, but in my opinion it's not worth the mental anguish for anyone to deal with negative situations week after week after week. Walk away. There are better places. :)

04-11-2011, 09:50 PM
I'd say it's definitely not worth it. I have long stories to back this up, but in my opinion it's not worth the mental anguish for anyone to deal with negative situations week after week after week. Walk away. There are better places. :)

Totally agree with this!!!!!!!!

04-11-2011, 10:55 PM
We were in a similar situation almost two years ago, and stopped going. None of us have really missed it. I miss seeing some of the moms, but some of us keep in touch via Facebook. I certainly don't miss the outpouring of energy it took to a) manage the kids while we were there and b) help everyone decompress the rest of the day and all the next day (sometimes the rest of the week).