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My daughter struggles making friends

My sweet little grand-daughter is having a real problem making friends at school. She's painfully shy and comes across as rude at times and so for this reason the other children don't want to play with her. She really likes the other kids but said they won't play with me, bless her, it's horrible to think of her alone all day. I wish I could go to school and help her but I know she needs to do it for herself. I asked her if she smiles at the other children but she said no because they are mean to her. 


children school

Ask her how she feels when someone smiles at her? Does it make her feel warm and happy? If it does then tell her that's how another person will feel if she smiles at them. I always encouraged my shy son to ask the other quiet kids if he could play with them, they usually say yes, school is always a nicer place if you have friends. 
  • Miranda83
  • @2014-06-03 10:21:27
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 38
Have a chat with her teacher, find out if any of the other girls are shy or quiet who you could sit your daughter with. The teacher can also keep an eye on her and try and get her to join in and help her make friends that way. 
  • AnnieB73
  • @2014-06-10 20:21:55
  • United States
  • Age: 48
I would ask the parents of the girls she likes to come over for dinner and a play date. If your grand-daughter's on her own turf she'll feel more comfortable and hopefully get along better with the girls. The more play dates she has the more friends she will make an the more she'll get used to interacting.

I'd also suggest taking her to places with lots of other children, so she can see how the other kids interact with kids they don't know. Also socialise yourself with other mums, so she can see how it's done. Children learn by imitation so if she watches you and the other children making friends she'll see how it's done and start to practise it herself.

These early relationships are really important as they'll start to shape the way she makes friends in the future. So it's worth putting some time into getting it right and learning the rules of interaction. 

If, however she's still very nervous don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do. Don't make her play if she feels out of her depth because that might have the opposite effect and make her even more nervous. Often children who don't like to join in at first are busy sussing the other kids out and they'll look to find someone similar to them. They'll possibly also be more cautious adults, who won't take as many risks and prefer to play it safe! Which means less worry for you in the long run!

  • Tony1979
  • @2014-06-10 20:30:18
  • United Kingdom
  • Age: 42
My daughter was also very shy and nervous at 3, tbh she still is. Because she made such a fuss when I took her anywhere I stopped going out, which was the worse thing I could have done, because it made her even worse. Gradually over time I realised that I had to try and get her over this, otherwise school would be a nightmare.

I started going to toddler groups again, at first she didn't like them but then she started to ask me if she could go. I also enrolled her in a pre-school. She'd cry every morning when I'd leave, it broke my heart. This went on for about 2 months. But after that she made some friends with the bossiest girls in the nursery and also a couple of quiet girls too. The nursery manager even told me that she was very loud. I couldn't believe it, She wouldn't even talk when she first started. 

So my message to you is to be persistent, three years olds are fickle and what they hate one month, they'll love the next.

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