Emmasdaddy asks:

My daughter is having a tough time making new friends in her kindergarten class. She says that "no one will play with me." Any suggestions?

My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes in April of this year and has to be pulled out of class before her snack time and before her lunch time and I am sure that does not help. It breaks my heart when she tells my wife and I that "No one wants to play with me" and it does not help when our neighbors son is in class with her who is her best friend at home but tells her that he does not want to play with her at school. I guess i never prepared myself for this because she is one of the cutest little girls you'll ever see but she is very quiet and shy around new people. Is anyone else out there feeling the same pain that I am?

I know that kindergarten just started 1 week ago but I would really like for her have a positive experience. I have let her know that she can invite anyone over for a play date. I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions.

In Topics: Back to school, Friendships and peer relationships, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago



Sep 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

Kindergarten transition is a tough time-for the whole family.  To ease your daughter in to making new friends in her environment consider approaching some of the parents and establishing after school "play dates", such as at a park.  Together your family can help her make friends and also feel comfortable around new people by setting an example. She will see that you are making "new friends" (other parents) and will take your lead.  If after school is not a good time, consider a weekend. Be sure to supervise her at first, to give her extra assurances.

Also, you may wish to engage her in after school activities that involve some of her classmates.  This will expand her repertoire of friends beyond her one special neighborhood friend. There are many excellent programs for kindergarten students that are "user friendly" such as dance or sports.

Lastly, ask the teacher if she feels your daughter is being isolated or is indeed playing with others, just not her neighborhood friend.  

I hope that she will settle in and find great new friends very soon!

Best wishes,

Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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Sep 14, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hi Emmasdaddy,

Your problem hits home for me because like your daughter, I was once the kid who sat alone at recess--for me, making friends was the most difficult part of school. For nearly the entire first two weeks of kindergarten, I sat alone on the bench during recess and watched the rest of my classmates play. I was a painfully shy kid, and playing with other kids I didn't know was intimidating.

After those difficult first two weeks, my kindergarten teacher sat beside me on my bench and asked why I didn't want to play with the other kids. I answered that no one wanted to play with me, but she assured me that simply wasn't true. Later that day, she introduced me to a girl in my class named Elizabeth, who asked if I would like to play with her. I gladly said yes, and poof! just like that we were friends. After that, with Elizabeth by my side, I made friends with other kids in my class and, little by little, began to open up.

I would suggest you reach out to your daughter's kindergarten teacher and ask for her help. Explain the situation, and ask if she could introduce your daughter to another child in the class who would get along well with her. Once the ice is broken, chances are she'll have an easier time making friends.

I would also recommend encouraging your daughter to simply play alone if she can't find a playmate. If she's anything like I was, she simply sits alone during recess and playtime while the other kids go play. But if she starts her own game, or goes to play on the jungle gym on her own, I think other kids will naturally come join her, particularly if it looks like she's having a blast! I know it's hard to play on your own when you're a shy kid in kindergarten, but continue to encourage your daughter to try her best.

Finally, as for your neighbor's son, kids can be mean, but in this case I don't think it's intentional. I knew plenty of boys who thought we girls were icky, and refused to play with us or let us play with them. Kids behave very differently in school and out, and it may be that your daughter's friend is simply following the other boys' lead.

Best of luck to you,

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