We braved a toddler group but will we go back?

My first but maybe last toddler group


For sometime now, well for almost a year since Molly was born, I have been talking about going to a mum and baby/toddler group but for numerous reasons I have not really managed yet, that was until this week.

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Where we stay all the groups seems to take place at 9.30am which has been problematic for us as Molly hadn't been getting up until 10am, so by the time we are ready to leave the house the group has almost finished.

There have been times that Molly had been up but nerves for the better of me and so I ended up finding something else to do, rather than to go to the group. I am shy. I hate meeting people for the first time. I can be socially anxious. I have used these as excuses.

Regardless of how I felt I decided that it was time I got out and took Molly to groups as she is brilliant around adults, and other children (if they are out with her personal space) but she can get upset and anxious when babies or toddlers get too close up to her.

So off I went to the first group and at first it seemed fine. I was uncomfortable being in a room of strangers but Molly seemed to be enjoying herself. She chose to play in the small ball pit and was happily playing with the balls when another girl took a run and dive into the pit landing right on top of and toppling over Molly. Her mum said nothing even when Molly got upset and was crying. This same girl then used Molly's ankle as a tool to push herself to standing. Even when I asked to her to move her hand she wouldn't and I had to remove her hand from Molly's ankle as I was scared it would hurt her.

Molly then went to play with a box of toys that no-one else was playing with but a boy who was playing at a toy beside her decided he didn't want her there so stood up, went over Molly and pushed her over! She fell and banged her head against a wooden dolls house. His mum also said nothing!

This has totally backfired on my plays to make Molly realise she doesn't need to be worried about other children and that they won't hurt her. These were the only two kids who she had any interactions with and each interaction ended in disaster.

Thankfully the two hours eventually ended and we went home. I went home wondering if I would go back and having slept on it I am not sure I will. Maybe this it is the case in all toddler groups that mums don't feel the need to control their children or reprimand them if they hurt a baby but I am not happy going back to a group that I know it can happen in.

I am a mum who hovers around my child. I have read blog posts that would describe me as being a "precious parent" but I know Molly can be a bit heavy handed when excited so I would rather be precious than have Molly hurt another child. I wish more parents would be like that.
Frame it FridayStopping at two

Training Mummy

Training Mummy is a 30 something mum to two beautiful children - a girl born February 2014 and a boy born in October 2015.

16 comments :

  1. Such a shame your first experience was a horrible one! We love mother and toddlers! Feel free to come! X

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  2. Well done on getting over your nerves and going along to a group; I've been in that position too where you feel anxious etc.
    Maybe try a different group - I have been to a fair few groups but there are only two toddler ones i go to now as the others were like this. As Molly gets older you will relax and let her have a bit more distance from you, when you and her are both confident, but I am sure you will be like me and keeping a watchful eye!
    Please don't let it put you off - I find Daniel & Emma get so much from the groups we go to - its about finding the right one for you two xx

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  3. Firstly well done on going as a sufferer of social anxiety I know how hard that would've been. I wouldn't go back if I'm honest if no one takes responsibility for their child then you can't relax and poor molly can't either. Try some more I tried a fair few when I felt able to until I found Salvation Army ran one that was so much better. Try to look on Netmums I found the SA one there xxx

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  4. I may do that! If we get up in time!

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  5. This is the only group in our town so I may jst stick with the library bookbug and I think they have another group for toddlers too.
    I was just so annoyed that I was trying to get Molly to "man up" a bit but ended up having her more upset than ever. Why do people not control their children? Am I being precious?

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  6. I don't think I will be going back Hannah. I thought £10 to join plus a twice weekly fee was maybe a bit much if we are not necessarily able to go every week? Maybe I am being tight but I don't want to pay for the privileged of my child being scared. Also it is as cheap to go to the soft play centre. There used to be a SA group here but I think it might have ended, will have to ask next time we go to HV. I think this is the only group in my town :(

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  7. Sounds like you had a horrible first experience and personally I wouldn't go back to that one. I took M to two toddler groups per week where she got to play and make friends whilst I was able to chat to a really friendly group of child minders. There are nice toddler groups out there, I hope you find one x

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  8. It can be such a controversial topic, to "helicopter" or to not. Often, especially as they get that little bit older, it is good to leave them to to work it out themselves. Which they tend too. But I'm talking when they can reason! At Molly's age, I often intervened. And I also see nothing wrong with reprimanding others who hurt my child (again massively controversial) though I don't often go find the parents.

    There are nice groups out there, sometimes the paid classes are even better, the likes of swimming class, baby sensory, baby gym etc., you are there with a focus especially if its a parent participation.

    I find groups a bit cliquey so prefer to have a focus. Now the toddler is getting a bit bigger and bump is on its way I need to start throwing myself back into the game so I feel your pain!

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  9. oh god that doesn't sound good for your first visit! there have been times I've been and one of the kids have been hurt but its been rare, it does annoy me when parents aren't watching their children i don't watch my older 2 like a hawk but i always have an eye on them and know what there up to if they hurt another child or snatched a toy i would be straight over to sort it out.

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  10. Ah, I'm sorry to hear your first experience with a mother and baby group - honestly, if mine had been like that then that would have pretty much put me off any group in future. Saying that though, when we attended a mother and baby group it was kind of a free for all... What I don't think is good is that these groups tend to be for any age range and I think they should be a little more defined by age groups. We no longer go to our mother and toddler group as it became more baby and less toddlers, not good for a child that wants to be all over the show. - I'm very much like you though, hovering with everything he does. We do attend a Rhyme Time session at our local library, so we are still getting some interaction in that way. I saw that you replied to another comment about this being the only group in your area... Perhaps a local library holds a children's session of some sort?
    :-)

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  11. Yeah I think we will seek out another group if we can.

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  12. I certainly prefer focus type groups too as with the toddler group many of the toys were ones Molly already had so I could have played with them at home.
    Good luck for you going back to groups.

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  13. I think what annoyed me the most was that the adults were either in a completely different room and not watching the kids, or when they were watching and M did get upset they said nothing, yet when the same kid sat on a baby seat she shouldn't her mum reprimanded her, or if she stood on a chair. Anything that might have harmed her child was parented but hurting my child was not.

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  14. I am not going back and it has put me off going to any groups! I think M was maybe just too young as most kids were 2 or more.
    We do go to rhyme time and LOVE it. It is only half an hour which is great time, instead of 2 hours which I felt was too long.

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  15. It's a shame your first experience was a bad one after it had taken you so long to pluck up the courage to go. We have two groups in our area, one sounds just like this one and is VERY cliquey. The other is a lovely group. I'm sure you can guess which one we go to!!!
    I'm glad to read that you go to a structured class, these were going to be my first suggestion. My second is maybe try taking her to a softplay centre during the week. Some even have toddler sessions too. We have one in our area that has a great under 3's section and it is very quiet during school hours so is great to break you both in to mixing with other kids. I really do hope you try somewhere else.
    Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

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  16. It really winds me up when parents don't keep an eye on their children at groups. Elsa is very active and is often bumping into things and occasionally she will knock a child over but I am straight there picking them up and checking they are ok, and apologising. I also ask Elsa to say sorry. I don't think it's hard and I don't know why all parents don't do that.

    I have been to a few different groups and some have worked out and some haven't. I personally go to Rattle and Rhyme at our library and Toddler Sense, which is our favourite. There are different groups for different ages so everyone in ou class is a similar age to Elsa, which is nicer than having to worry about much older or much younger children.

    It took me a while to break out of my comfort zone and try different groups. I have anxiety just like you and I really hate meeting new people. Luckily I have met a couple of mums at these groups that are friendly and it makes it a lot easier.

    I really hope you try something else. I wouldn't go back to this one myself. Someone else recommended groups with a focus like sensory or swimming and I agree with that. Parents are more hands on in those kind of groups.

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