Donna Simmons is Live – Let’s Talk About Young Children, Classes, and Socialization

The big day has finally arrived! Please help me welcome Donna Simmons to my blog. In case you missed my big announcement, head over to Donna Simmons – Waldorf Inspired Parenting and Education Extraordinaire – Live on This Blog January 23rd – 28th to read more about Donna and why this will be such an amazing week on Hybrid Rasta Mama.

A couple of quick reminders. Donna will be here all week responding to your questions. We are opening up the discussion with a specific topic (more in a moment) and please be sure to ask for clarification at any point in the conversation. I will be moderating the conversation as best I can. I do not moderate comments before they post but if your comment does not immediately show up, don’t worry. It was probably mistaken for spam and I will check that folder often. Please remember to be respectful of everyone’s views and opinions. I am pleased to say that my readers have always been very respectful of each other so really, I have no concerns. I am just excited to see what you all come up with!

Let’s open this conversation now, shall we?

I get two main questions from my readers when it comes to Waldorf inspired parenting. Many mamas are curious about the Waldorf view of children and classes, specifically classes for children 7 and under. I get a lot of questions about the value of mommy and me classes, music and art classes, gymnastics and the like for small children.  Along similar lines but more pointed, I field many questions about “stimulation” for children in the form of play dates, visits to zoos/museums, vacations and travel, running errands, etc… I have written extensively about rhythm and many mamas are perplexed about why I limit how many errands and play dates I take my daughter on. I think there is still a lot of confusion about this concept.

Before I turn things over to Donna, let me throw in my two cents. First, the under 7 crowd needs to be home with their family. These years are uber critical in terms of development and children develop best when surrounded by the love, warmth, and attention of their own family. Second, children are thrust into the hurry-up-and-go mentality of adults these days when in fact, childhood needs to be protected. Children should be allowed to explore life at the slow pace that is natural to them.  A child’s job is unstructured, unencumbered play and we are taking that time away from them by forcing this activity and that class on them.

Play dates, mommy-and-me groups, and the like are really for parent socialization in my opinion. The play dates I have taken Tiny on are always less interesting for her and more stimulating for me. In fact, she usually resists going on such excursions. Tiny genuinely enjoys playing at home, exploring the great outdoors, and helping me with work around the house. She knows where she needs to be much better than I do. If we follow our children’s cues, we will see that they really do enjoy just being at home.

I am not at all suggesting that young children never leave the house. It is perfectly natural to visit friends and family, go on vacation, go to birthday parties, etc.  What I am suggesting is that you forgo all those gymnastic classes, the mommy-and-me classes and the like. Your wee one truly does not need these activities in order to thrive. Your child does not need to be “socialized” in this manner.

I also feel very strongly that young children should be kept away from the competitive sports scene. They have their whole lives to get swept away in the win/lose nature of our society. Why push it on them so young? Does a 3 year old really need to be bogged down with feelings of inadequacy because her soccer team didn’t win? Do you think a 4 year old really develops a healthy self-esteem by becoming a star pitcher on his baseball team?

I could prattle on about how we shuffle our children here, there and everywhere in the name of socialization but instead, let me turn this conversation over to Donna who undoubtedly has some really valuable insight into this phenomenon of overscheduling our young children.

I am very much looking forward to hearing what all of you have to add to this conversation as well. Please do not be shy! All comments are welcome and again, feel free to take this conversation in the direction you would like to see it go…staying within the topic of course.

One quick word about HOW to comment…Blogger introduced this new “reply” feature that has made my comment section go a little buggy. I am working to get this fixed but for now, be sure to check the box that has you subscribe to follow up comments. It will show below the comment box you are typing in. This way you will know when Donna or someone else replies to your comment! But just in case that goes buggy, check back occassionally. The comments/reply feature work fine if you use Chrome of Firefox but are a problem in Internet Explorer. Thank you for your patience with this!

Ready, set, here we go….

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  1. says

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you Jennifer for you enthusiastic welcome!

    I will be back shortly to jump in on your questions but first – uhm – I know it’s really friendly how you said, Jennifer, that people could ask what they want….but actually, I need us to stick to this one topic, as we had agreed. I am only here for 6 days so it’s best if the converssation stays focused. That way we can, potentially, go into some depth on this question of socialization and children. Questions of how children learn and grow, what their developmental needs are – and what the needs of parents are – are all possible topics to explore in the context of this questions.

    So let’s stick to that – pretty closely!

    Be back in a bit – and eager to read what otehrs share and ask!

  2. says

    I’ll get us started a bit. Most of my friends firmly believe in socialization for their children. They drag them here and there each and every day yet complain about their children’s dispositions and general behavior. Donna, is there a correlation between a child’s general disposition and the number of activites outside the home? I would venture a guess that there is simply from my own experience with my daughter. If we have had a busy week (for whatever reason) and are away from home more than normal, her behavior deteriorates.

  3. says

    I am very excited about this. Jennifer, I feel the same way that you do. I try to follow my heart and take cues from my kiddos on what they need and how they react to their environment and situations that they are in. I have to admit though, I have trouble when it comes to the judgement of other mommy friends who do things differently. I’m looking forward to hearing what Donna has to say and reading comments from all perspectives.

  4. says

    Hi Donna,

    I’m interested to learn more about young children and exploring nature, the outdoors and science. I’m a public high school science teacher, and I’m a huge fan of experiential, place-based learning. I would love to give my 22-month old son wonderful science experiences as he grows, but my expertise is with teenagers. Any tips for me?

  5. Anonymous says

    I have 2 girls, ages 10 and 1. It seems the 10 yr old often has to forego things she would ordinarily be able to do (theatre, birthday parties, ice skating) because it’s the baby’s naptime or bedtime, or just too much. And yet the baby is still being dragged around a lot to take big sister to the activities she does have (swimming, piano, religious school, art class).

    Any words of wisdom for a mama with children who have very different needs?


  6. says

    The last two years have been intense due to my younger son (7) being nutropenic (very low immune system) so we curtailed contact with large groups and my older son (9) suffered. He did baseball, but was the odd kid out as he hardly knew anyone. Now we are trying to branch out and ket things rolling and my oldest no longer wants to do anything. He would rather have a close friend for a play date or quick after school play on the field.
    As a teacher, I see kids over scheduled like crazy, but I find my own children are stuck in the rut in the opposite direction. Balancing things after such a long haul is tricky.

  7. says

    FYI to anyone posting comments – Donna had one of her responses completely disappear after being prompted for a password. I do not require a password to post comments and this is one of the bug blogger has after the new “reply” button feature launched. I am hoping to have this fixed this morning but please copy your comment before posting just in case. Thanks everyone. And sorry for the glitch! Let’s hope the rest of the week is smooth!

  8. says

    Hi All,

    I can’t believe the timing on this – my computer has crashed. I am writing this to Leigh, who works in the Christopherus office and she is posting it on Jennifer’s blog. Leigh will also post an excerpt form our early years book on the topic of socialization so that you all can continue this conversation without me. It could be that we get this fixed and I am back by the end of the week – but it’s also possible that that won’t happen.

    Here’s basically what I wrote yesterday which got deleted…

    Jennifer asked if the amount children are out of the home (on field trips, play dates, doing errands with parents and so on) has any correlation with bad behavior. YES! A resounding yes! But unfortunately, parents often don’t see this because the child behaves perfectly during the event and only melts down in the car or at home. One can often see this with children who go to pre-school or young children (by which I mean 8 and under) who have all day school or all day kindergarten – they’re fine at kindie or day care – but once home or in the car they turn into monsters. Unfortunately, people think this is normal. It is not. Children do not need to behave this way and those whose lives are unrushed and peaceful do not by and large. But there are so few people who have seen content and peaceful, dreamy children that unfortunately, standards of what is normal and acceptable have gotten really skewed.

    It’s similar to the situation with electronic media – the child is “fine” (ie not bothering anyone) whilst plugged in, but then, once off screen, is impossible. So the parents give the child more screen time (because “he gets bored” or “he needs stimulation” or – worse yet!! – “it’s educational”) and it spirals on from there. The child has less and less time to develop his inner resources and to use his body in a healthy way and thus his behavior gets worse and worse. He really doesn’t know what to do with himself without a screen. This is an incredible tragedy – and a very common one. So many modern children do not know how to play and do not know how to amuse themselves.

    Back to going to events and such – often, as Jennifer said, what we have here is a situation where the parent’s need is being met, not the child’s. And I say that with sympathy and compassion – I too know how unbelievably difficult it can be to be with young children all day long. But….too many parents do not know how to slow down, de-mechanize and create their lives to be child-inclusive. Not child-centered – that is a huge mistake which can make self centered narcissists out of our children (LOL!). Child inclusive. Yes – it takes you 20 minutes to make supper without the children and 2 hours with them. But what have you gained in the former? Nothing – except time if one’s life is structured so that Time becomes the boss.

    Which is, if one thinks about it, is quite ironic. Because Time is exactly what children require to grow and learn. Not adult imposed standards of time – but a pace of learning and growth determined by the laws of human development. And here anthroposophy (the spiritual scientific method of research founded by Rudolf Steiner) and Waldorf education which is based upon it, can give us so many insights.

  9. says

    Hello all – It’s Leigh here from the Christopherus office. Donna and I are troubleshooting her computer issues this evening. In the meantime, as promised, here is an excerpt from The Journey Begins at Home – A Waldorf Early Years Guide, where Donna speaks to the issue of socialization:

    I think there is an extraordinarily unbalanced perception in our society of how
    much socializing children need. And I think that this lurks in Waldorf circles too
    – it seems to me that the general (ie non Waldorf) homeschooling circles have
    this one about right! They often point out that children – especially little ones –
    need far less socializing than is normally expected in this day and in this
    country (and probably most other Western countries as well).

    Human beings are not pack animals! Yes, we are social beings, but our primary
    and most important arena for socializing is the home. Little ones need mama –
    and dad and any other siblings – and occasional visits to this or that person and
    into the larger world – but until they can really play properly, ie have started
    to develop a sense of “I”, they really don’t need much. Even then, home is the
    most important place – and should, in my experience be the main arena of life
    until the 9 year change. And if there are no siblings? I still think little ones do
    not need much other than their family.

    Pretty bold, eh? This is my observation of children both who have this kind of
    life and those who don’t. And it’s my observation of my family, too.
    This does not mean no play dates, being isolated and avoiding park days! It’s a
    question of age and a question of balance. I think that until about 3, there is no
    need for more than occasional visits to play or regular play dates – yes, more
    can often work, but I would keep a close watch on the child’s behavior. Many
    “issues” and “challenges” which arise at this time are nothing more than
    symptoms of a child with an overly busy, overly stimulating life.

    And I know that many of us go out a lot with our young children because being
    home all the time can at times be so lonely, boring and stressful (it can be –
    let’s be brave and admit it!!) So sometimes we also have to do things to help
    ourselves as mothers so that in balance, the children will benefit (happy mom
    equals happy home). There’s no one recipe for this. But I do know from many
    consultations parents have had with me over the years, that the more they cut
    back on commitments which took them out of the home, the more perceived
    problems with the children seemed to disappear – even if they didn’t change
    anything else. That has been quite amazing and right across the board,
    something said by people with very peaceful calm home lives and those with
    hectic lives and no sense of rhythm.

  10. Anonymous says

    I want to take this chance to appreciate Donna and her strong message to chill out and stay home with the wee ones. I first started reading her words on this a couple of years ago, and it was a lone voice of reason in a sea of madness. Again and again I’ve returned to her writings on this subject to reaffirm my commitment to going slower and more simply with my kids. Have I always heeded it? Sadly, I persisted in a weekly playgroup for years while my daughter was one and two and into three and it was an incredible stress not only for her, evidenced by seriously antisocial toddler behaviour (biting, grabbing, screaming), but for our relationship. It would take me a while to get over my anger and shame and frustration–I might be a little on the cold side for the rest of the day, perhaps. Now looking back I see that as the biggest price of my inability to Just Say No to playgroup. Now I know to stay on her side, and to listen to her clean signals, as well as my gut.

  11. It Is Our Normal says

    My kids are the same way. The youngest at 8 and 5 would rather be home than anywhere. If we go on a day trip it doesn’t take long before one of them is begging to go home. They rarely will ask to have a friend over and even more rarely will they ask to go over someone’s house. Although they do love going to the library (with me). I do think that this early socialization is very over rated. I was glad to read this because I am very much a home body myself and thought maybe they were because of me.

  12. says

    Hello Everyone,

    Sorry to be so slow in responding to your great questions! As I said earlier, I am having computer troubles….Leigh (who works in the Christopherus Office) and I are working on trying different ways to post…but the upshot is that my responses will probably be a bit slow. Apologies for that.

    OK – so let me take the first two questions and see where we get. OK – the posting thing says what I wrote is too long so I will make tis into two posts…

    Re science and nature lessons for a 22 month old…the best best thing for a tiny tiny person of this age is to be allowed to observe and explore. Wear your little one when you can and as you go about your daily work, let him soak up your experiences. This is the most important way for a tiny child to learn – to learn via an adult. He is thus not pushed prematurely into a sense of self. The ‘I’ develops slowly in a human being – not until a person is 21 years old is it fully incarnated, ie developed. And in those first 7 precious years, the most important thing to do is not to speed its development. Because what then happens is that those faculties which should be allowed to unfold are short circuited and left undeveloped. The faculties of observation, listening, imitating and slow experimentation through the body and NOT through the intellect are what are of the utmost importance for a little one. Premature intellectualism, which results from a tiny one being asked too many questions, given choices and being over stimulated by passes as it were the physical side of the child and goes right to the brain. Thus the ‘I’ and the brain are left ungrounded. We can see this everywhere around us – children who are restless, unable to focus, unpleasant to be around – children who are not in their bodies. Sure, some of this is due to organic, pathological reasons (as well as contamination from things such as vaccinations,, certain food and pollution), but much is due to the way parents are told to bring up their children in the early years. Please refer to both our Christopherus early years book and also our free audio download on Therapeutic Waldorf for more on this.

    So that 22 month old should – and I say “should” gently – have a well ordered, calm and peaceful life where he mainly learns via you….and also has times to play in the mud and in water, with sand and so on. Experiencing rain, snow, cold and heat; being taken (ie carried and also walking part time) for long quiet walks in nature; and helping you cook – these are the very important science lessons for a little one. Through repetition (ie doing the same, same, same thing over and over again – same walk, same tasks in the kitchen and so on) (boring for adults, just right for small children – a great lesson in detachment and peacefulness for us adults!) builds up a strongly grounded and predictable relationship to the world for the child. And that is the foundation for future science learning.

    If you’d like to know more about science for little ones, do consider purchasing our science book, From Nature Stories to Natural Science. We also have many articles on science on the Christopherus website which might interest you – go to the Articles section.

  13. says

    How to meet the different needs of a baby and a 10 year old? With great patience and a big dose of humor! I am sure you already know that!

    If one comes mainly from a perspective of “what is best for the family” instead of seeing the family as a collection of individuals all with different and sometimes competing needs, then that might help. I am certainly not saying that children – and adults! – not be treated as individuals, but it can be helpful to come from that perspective. It is subtly different and can help one then meditate on the family as a whole. Then it can be that such questions more easily find their answers.

    And it sounds like you are doing what might need doing – sometimes the older child has to sacrifice for the benefit of the younger child and sometimes the younger one just needs to put up with some difficulties. Only you, in the knowledge of your family’s needs as a whole, can judge where the balance lies. All I would say is that, by and large, the little one’s needs do tend to be more important. A 10 year old can be taken to dance class by a friend or can occasionally spend the night at someone’s house – this is not so for a baby (or shouldn’t be).

    And of course, it is also good for a 10 year old to know that her little sister and the sake of the family’s peace are important. If the family has little peace as a whole – if Mom is mainly a chauffeur and social secretary – then the family as a whole is not functioning well. The main thrust should be what we do together as a family – which includes the all-important Nothing Time – the time to Just Be. This is vital. If a family cannot Just Be together, then something is wrong. Activities which take us outside of the home and the family should be of very secondary importance. The most important life lessons – patience, sacrifice, love, compassion, developing one’s inner resources – all stem from the relationships within a family (which can also mean a one-parent one child family – this is not just for bigger families). And these lessons take time. They are not quantifiable.

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you, Donna. I truly appreciate your kind and insightful response. And than you, Rasta Mama fOr hosting this discussion.


  14. says

    Thank you Donna for tackling these questions as best you can! I was holding out hope that somehow we would hear from you. I figured that everyone is much more interested in what you have to say than my thoughts. 😉 So thank you for doing what you can. We’re all waiting with baited breath to see what else comes out of this conversation.

    I am really happy to see questions about balancing the needs of an older child with those of a much younger child. This is certainly a common occurance in many families. I see how my friends struggle with this. I feel that often times they defer to the needs of the older child and the little one(s) get stuck going here and there without much time at home. This is especially true of mothers who work outside the home.

    Which actually leads to another question for everyone to ponder…

    How do you feel that all of this applies when looking at families where both parents work and children are in a daycare setting away from home? How do you balance the need for errands and perhaps activities for much older children with the need to stay home for younger children? Often times Monday through Friday is shot making weeking a chaotic mess of dragging little ones here, there, and everywhere.

  15. ... says

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! I have an almost-5yr old who wants to do everything his big brother does (8). How do I protect the younger one’s need to be home and delay activities when he sees my oldest playing sports, going to practices, etc.

    Also, how do I backtrack? We’ve definitely been guilty of too ,any outside activities. As homeschoolers, it’s hard to pass up some of the great options that come our way. Now my boys want to do that homeschool pottery class again this spring, and nature class, and little league (for my oldest), and gymnastics again…and park day with other homeschoolers, which always falls during my youngest’s rest do I say no, pick and choose? Help!

  16. says

    @earthymama I hear you on the judgment. It seems as though other moms think I am some really awful mother for not “allowing” my daughter “out” of the house. But seriously, she has a lot more fun just being at home, playing with her “stuff”, helping me with household work, and playing outside as much as possible. It is sad just how brainwashed we have become about how much “stimulation” our children need. As I said in our post, it really is about mommy stimulation, not our children’s stimulation.

  17. says

    So here is another great question posted in response to a guest post on my blog today? Donna, what are your thoughts on taking young children to “classes” centered on learning a second or third language? Many families these days are bi and multi-lingual and want to expose their children to other people who are speaking their non-native language.

  18. says

    Hi Courteny,

    Oh your sons sound like real rascals! With boys it’s always something like that (my sons are 22 months apart). Sisters also have their little things too of course – but it’s usually more hidden, less in your face than “who has the biggest piece of celery”!! LOL!

    I strongly suggest that you and your husband try to ignore this behavior as much as possible and “work sideways” – my tried and true method of working with challening behavior from children for over 30 years (I used to be a youth worker and also a teacher). By confronting an issue directly, one loads it with so much emotion and umph instead of diffusing it, which of course is what one wants to do!

    Being utterly non-plussed (“Oh my”) and simply going about what one is doing can help. Redirecting that isn’t obvious (“Honey, when you and your brother race upstairs can you grab my purse?”). And, as always humor (“Oh well – if you think that piece of celery is big, you should have seen the piece I had once when I was a child. It was so big that my friends had to come over to help me lift it! We would carry it out of the house and take it for a walk down the stree – me and James and Sally on one end and ….” Act it out. Ham it up – chances are your children will get so caught up in this preposterous story that they will forget all about their competition!

    Re classes…well, yes I do think that such classes for a tiny one (remember tiny is about 8 and under) are not a good idea. I will write a seperate post on classes to follow. And no judgement on you about this – parents make their choices based on what they know – and the modern idea is to make sure children have “opportunites”. Now though, it may be that you are reevaluating what goes on around you and you might like to consider other ways of looking at this issue.

  19. says

    @Courtney That is a really good question Courtney! Hmmm…I wonder what would happen if you just followed your children’s natural tendencies. Do they like physical activities? Art? Music? Is there something that you all truly enjoy as a family? What about doing something service related like volunteering together at an animal shelter or a food closet? Just some thoughts while we wait to hear more from Donna!

  20. says

    Re picking and choosing classes and figuring out how to backtrack…well, it’s not easy but if in your heart of hearts you believe that that is what is best for your little ones, then your calm confidence in the face of their protests will prevail. They might cry and scream – that’s ok. We must not be afraid of our children’s strong emotions. That is part of growing up.

    Likewise, an adult changing her mind and deciding that something isn’t the best thing after all is also part of life – and learning to accept such desions part of growing up. We can’t always have what we want – and when we are little what we want is not always what is best (and sometimes not when we’re adults either!). The long hard struggle for adults is to try, with wisdom, patience and discernment, to make such decisions – both for themselves as individuals and for their children.

    And of course we all make mistakes at times. That’s ok too. If your children press you you can say “I know, I know. You really liked that class. But you know what – we’re doing something differnt now”. Acknowledge the feelings and what they say – but move on.

    If you waver or “feel bad” – disaster. They will pick up pn this and things could go from bad to worse!

    It would also be a good idea if you create some other plans. Invite a couple of buddies over for “cooking class” – you can call it that. And just make a few simple things with them (thinkig through all the tasks is the main thing one must do – that and crowd management – if you break down the tasks then the rest will come easy). Then those young children are 1) in a home environment 2) not being over stimulated and 3) working with an adult at a task (cooking) which is totally appropriate to their age. And it must be “Waldorf kindergarten cooking” – not learning lessons and information. It should be hands-on, repetitive, real, and useful – with no verbal teaching. You show them – they do. Sing a few songs while you work. And voila! Wonderful!

  21. says

    Oh dear – my computer problems have been acting up again…sigh…

    Well, let’s hope this gets through!

    Basically, I want to thank Jennifer for allowing me the opportunity to guest here on her blog. Thank you!

    And I’d like to encourage those of you who resonate with what I’ve written or who are curious as to the basis from which I write, to visit the Christopherus website. We have many, many articles and blog posts as whole sections of the webiste devoted to child development and various aspects of the Waldorf curriculum.

    And this is the basis form which I write. When I look at children, I ask myself “what is developmentally helpful to this growing being?” With the issue of classes and socialization, for the under 7 crowd, the answer lies in words like “repetition”, “non intellectual”, “imitation” and “simplicity”. One can ask oneself in the light of those terms then “does this activity foster or inhibit such qualities?”

    Why repetition? Why imitation? Because in the first 7 years of life the child is in the phase of development which is focused on developing the physical body, including the senses. Repetition and non intellectual activities help the child stay focused in his body, help him develop its capacities. Intellectual activity (anything which focuses on choices, on concepts, on a sense of ‘I’) is premature at this stage and short changes this vital stage of development. We are surrounded by children to whom this has occured. Please listen to my free talk on Therapeutic Waldorf for more on this.

    Well, best wishes to you all on your parenting journey!

  22. says

    I’m really interested in this topic of home-time vs. outing time. I definitely agree that most parents over-schedule their young children, with rather negative results. I’ve noticed that my son sometimes has meltdowns once we get back home from an enjoyable outing, even if they are low-stimulation. However, he has equally intense meltdowns if we spend too much time at home.

    The problem I have is this: We live in a TINY 1 bedroom apartment with no outdoor area. We simply don’t have room for this 2 year-old to get his wiggles out. He seems to get “cabin fever” so we have to get out of the house at least once a day. Just walking around/exploring outside is usually insufficient to satisfy his explorative nature.
    I’ve also noticed that he gets restless, clingy, and anxious if he has not interacted with other children for awhile. We have regular playdates (2x/wk) with a boy his age (they are good friends), but it doesn’t seem like enough for my son. My heart tells me he is not only ready to make more friends, but he NEEDS more friends who are kids. Relationships and connections seem to matter a lot to him. I’m just not enough!

    Also, there are many times when he simply isn’t interested in cooking, cleaning, etc. with me. I try to make it fun for him, but all too often he’d rather do something else. But WITH me! Frankly, it’s become a real problem for us because I can either play with him OR take care of our home, but not both.

    He is incredibly bright, communicative, perceptive, curious, empathetic, and yearns to learn. He is “ahead of the curve” in many developmental respects but he does not really play by himself. Do you have any suggestions of how to manage this situation? Is there anything I can do in the home or away from it to make it more appropriate for his age, development and temperament? Thank you in advance!

  23. says

    This is a very interesting conversation, especially since I was recently approached by my husband’s aunt about putting my son into daycare (he’s 18 months and I am SAHM)because she was worried about socialization. I could not explain to her effectively enough that children need to be with their parents and that daycare is not the solution to developing healthy social development. I think she took it personally that I had no interest in doing so because that is what she chose for her children. Oi.

  24. says

    Wow, I posted this post to Facebook and haven’t gotten very positive feedback! I felt so inspired by the post that I felt I wanted to share and now kinda wish I hadn’t. My daughter is 3 and highly sensitive. It took me a while to realize to the full extent and to really respect where she is at in certain situations. Sometimes it is hard when there are things “I” want to do that she just has a hard time with. I stopped doing the “mom’s groups” because they were very stressful on her and she basically hated them. So now I’m working on other ways to become more social myself :) Thanks for this discussion!

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