I feel like I'm failing Declan in his social upbringing. He is so rarely around other children and lately it has shown a couple of times. We recently went to a birthday party with lots of other kids and he spent the majority of the time playing somewhere by himself.
Then last night we went to play at a local park with fountains that light up at night. Dex was running around with another kid for a long time. The other kid (probably 5?) had a water gun and was shooting D with it. Their playing looked innocent enough and D kept running around with him so I was pretty happy that he was playing with another kid. Until I got closer and saw what happened when D ran up to the other kid. The kid turned around, yelled "Shut up" at him and squirted him in the face. And my boy didn't even know that wasn't ok.
I was appalled. I grabbed D, and knowing that it wasn't my job to reprimand the other kid, proceeded to tell Dex that he wasn't playing very nice and that maybe we should find someone nicer to play with. When we went back over to the water, I pointed out some other kids that looked a bit calmer, D stayed in my lap and wouldn't go over to them, insisting that they were "bad." I then immediately rethought my decision to take him away from the other kid. Now he didn't want to play with anyone. Did he stop trusting other kids because of me?
I feel so badly. I want him to know to stand up for himself. I want him to know what right behavior is. You hear "kids will be kids" and at some point he will have to know to stand up for himself... but how do I teach him that and still have him want to go back to playing with other kids that he doesn't know?
I have such a hard time making friends. I'll put it out there. It's been two years of living here and my friends are pretty minimal, and friends that have kids are pretty non-existent. The couple people that I have met, that have kids, are super busy and generally don't live close so we don't see them very often. We don't have enough money to send the boys to daycare, even a couple mornings a week- so they are home with Logan, me, or one of our friends. They don't really go to playgroups. Pretty much their only social interaction with other kids is at Sunday school, which is one hour a week.
Am I failing him? By not having him in classes and playgroups and having friends myself to surround him with automatic social interaction?
I want him to be able to play with other kids. Trust other kids. But know what behavior is acceptable towards him. I don't want him to be a tattle-tale, but I do want him to know that it is ok to walk away from people that aren't nice.
I guess I just need to figure out something for him to have more time with other kiddos. I'm just feeling pretty torn up about it.