Local only groups

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2011
Local only groups
6
Tue, 05-17-2011 - 9:33pm

I was wondering if any of you were part of an onlies play group in your town? My town doesn't have one, but I have read that they are starting to pop up across the states. These are clubs that form so parents can bring their only child out to play with other onlies and help form sibling substitutes. I'm trying to get one started in my town through a local moms website. Hopefully it will work out. If one was available in your town would you go?

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 05-17-2011 - 9:40pm
Not any more (ds is 18) but I doubt I would've if they had before - I'm an only and never thought anything of it and probably would've felt a little strange about being in such a group as a kid - jmho. I had no problem making friends and felt my best friend's younger sisters were more or less mine too (we were very close).

Sue
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2011
Tue, 05-17-2011 - 9:50pm

Once we get to school age, I most likely will not be interested in doing it, but right now she is only 2. There isn't much to get out and do with a 2 year old in my town. It's a small backwards town :( but my family is here so we aren't going anywhere for now. I'm more interested in finding kids younger than school age to get together and play, practice sharing, interact etc. Around here most kids don't interact with other kids hardly at all until they go to school. I am enrolling my DD in preschool next year (aug 2012) but she is a social butterfly and I am always going out of my way to get her out and around other people.

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Registered: 06-06-2002
Wed, 05-18-2011 - 6:33am

Good question.

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Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 05-18-2011 - 7:55am
Is there a Y or a community center with any classes? Library or bookstores with any kids story times? Art place where you guys can 'create' with other little ones and moms? Even a McDonald's with a playplace (seem to be going away here)? Park district with classes or a playground (we had ds in a swim class at 10 months, and they always had classes for little ones)? If you're religious, any Sunday school for little ones? Just a thought about randomly meeting others with little ones. Best of luck.

Sue
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2006
Wed, 05-18-2011 - 1:14pm
I don't know of any groups where the families only have one child. But, when my DD was younger, we were part of a "Kids Club" playgroup for preschool age kids. It was held at the church we went to at the time, but it was not a religious group...just a group mostly made up of families who went to that church and then friends, neighbors, relatives who we invited to join us. I had my only, there were others who had 2 kids, others who had 3 or more. There were some who started out with onlies and then went on to have another child or two. But, it didn't matter to me how many sibling sets there were. It was a great opportunity for all the kids involved (whether they had siblings or not) to learn how to share and work together with other kids their age, kids who were older than them, and kids who were younger. My DD learned how to treat some of the babies who were younger than she was at age 3-4. But, it also was a great opportunity for her to learn some social skills with kids who were the same age as she was. Lots of lessons on sharing and taking turns and learning that we can't always get the toy we want at the moment we want it.

If there had been an onlies group in my town, I'm not sure if I would have gone. It depends on what other playgroups there had been. I think it would have mostly depended on whether I felt comfortable with that group of women. If I got along well with the other moms, I would have perhaps given it a try, but if talk centered solely on only children and kind of bad-mouthed those who do have more than one child, I think I would steer clear of a group like that.

I think it's similar to my homeschool group. We have a group of moms who meet and let our kids enjoy time with other homeschooled kids. It's not structured. It's kids-being-kids time and adults having their own adult interaction time. We discuss homeschooling on occasion, but not all the time. We all come from different ideals on how home education works best for our families. We don't try to tell one another how to school one another's children. We offer up ideas, we talk about our everyday lives, we discuss field trip ideas, we talk about things that have nothing to do with educating our children. But, we've found that our group tends to falter and have arguments when we have people come in and try to impose their ways as being "the right" or "the only" way.

So, I think that with your group, if it's a play group that starts out as an "onlies" group, but then morphs into something else (perhaps someone that you all get to know well decides to have another or has an "oops" and then feels like she can't be part of the group any longer, but you opt to allow her to stay because she's a good friend), that's ok too. I think that if you make it too exclusive, people might feel like they don't belong, or that they can't join you if they have an only right now, but are hoping to move on and add to their family. Or, what if a family has one child in Kindergarten (or any other grade), but has a second child of preschool age who needs to learn those same skills, but is an "only" during the school day?

I also have to say that while an "onlies" group might seem like a good idea to those who are only planning to have one child, it's also not reality that people who are onlies interact with only other onlies. If you're looking to have interaction with other "onlies parents" then perhaps creating a support group is just fine, so you can discuss your onlies and raising an only child. But, if you're looking to give your only child a means to learn social skills, then any play group should be fine. Your child won't necessarily know, at preschool age, the difference between themselves and another child who has siblings.

Just my thoughts. :)
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Registered: 09-24-2004
Wed, 05-18-2011 - 10:50pm

Interesting idea!

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