Tuesday, January 13, 2009


It's kind of a shame when a social person winds up with an anti-social child. And I assume the same would be true in reverse. I've often told people that the thing I love the most about my neighborhood is that all of the kids and moms and dads come out in the afternoon/early evening and everyone plays and rides bikes and sits on lawn chairs and has a blast. There are even four kids who are exactly Gwen's age in the circle (three boys and one girl), and my neighbor does daycare for three additional girls who are Gwen's age. Anyway, today we pull up and everyone is outside! The weather is perfect. Someone got a basketball hoop for Christmas. Bikes are everywhere. Gwen demands we go inside to trace. It's like this every day. I even offered to set up a table outside so she could trace out there with the other kids.

It's such a frustrating situation for me. I don't want to force her to play with other kids if she doesn't want to, but she won't even go outside if other kids are out there.

Any advice?

P.S. I think it would be good for my psyche to get outside, I've been having a bit of a stressful/depressing time lately and I think some sunshine and fresh air would do me good as well. Am I bad if I leave her in the house to play alone and take Bentley outside with me?


Sarah said...

Tres is like that. Is she in preschool or something? I sometimes make Tres go have a play date. He always ends of having a blast and doesn't want to come home. I know, I'm mean making him go. But its good for him.

Gretchen said...

I propose a Jack Sprat set up. You take my kids outside and I'll stay inside with Gwen.

OH how I wish I COULD go outside when my kids want to. Allergies, as you have already heard me complain... It's sad, it seems like when my allergies can finally tolerate outdoor play, everyone else stays inside because it's too hot out :(

I let Claire stay inside sometimes and go outside with Scott. Maybe I'm horrible, I think she's old enough to get me if she needs me just as much as she can come get me if I'm upstairs, showering, etc. I go in and check on her every little while just to make sure. It's totally not the same beast as the reverse (letting them go outside while you stay in). I guess it depends on your kids' temperament, but I would never fault you for going out with Bentley.

Strong Family - said...

Zach is terrified of bugs. So I usually leave him inside and he watches us through the window. But after a while he always ventures out when he sees what fun we're having. Do you have any fun outdoor things that she likes? Jumpropes, bubble gun , etc.? Good luck!

McCulloch Family said...

I have a friend that turned half of her garage into a "playroom" with those cool foam thingys on the floor from Sams Club and a play kitchen, drawing table, shelves with toys etc. It took the bulky toys out of the house and they could still play in there if the weather was bad but the whole point of it all came about just so that one of her children that just wanted to stay inside alllllllll day could "be home" but also had a fun place that the friends (and siblings) could run up and play at. If I didn't live on a major highway I would totally do the same thing. That is, if I could ever get my garage cleaned out but that's a whole different topic :)

As far as personal advice, if it's something that is good for her, then I wouldn't give her the choice. I would just say, OH LOOK! It's *insert time*! Time for outside!! WOOO HOOOO!!! and then go outside and have fun - set a timer and have her play until it dings then go back inside. Don't get me wrong, I'm ALL about choices and giving children a chance to make a decision but 1, you have final veto power and 2, Introverts (like I was) need opportunities to make friends with neighbors, especially with Mom close by.

Stephanie T said...

My opinion is set up Gwen to trace leave the front door wide open and then go outside to work on your tan. She'll probably venture outside after awhile.

Wendy said...

Your "PS" idea is the best. I'm guessing Gwen would do better to come outside when she wants to. But you certainly deserve to get out.

I wish I could come take her for a day (sounds like you do, too) Miss you!

chelon:) said...

i am with jeannie...you tell her it is time to go outside and have her come outside! chances are she will like it after a bit. i think that kids need a little push every once in a while.

good luck!

julianne orth said...

I guess you could just do like me and have a boring life because I work and they are forced to be home all the time... sydney would play with friends all day every day if she could and she always wants to have parties- I think that is a little bit of orgill coming out in her though too. so it could just be gwen's personality, I wouldn't push it. I wouldn't feel bad about leaving her inside though, she is old enough to figure out that if she needs you she can come outside. or just get a cordless baby monitor if it makes you feel better.