Our daughter is a very sociable child; she goes to kindergarten and has a lot of friends outside her kindergarten-friends circle.

When we're at the playground she is always the first to approach other children and make contact, but she is also very independent. That is, she isn't the type of kid who only plays near her parents; she is more of a "run around and infrequently check if Mom/Daddy is ok" child.

She is also physically developed for her age, i.e. not weak; quite the opposite.

What really puzzles us lately is the ease with which she gives up in play situations. For example: the other day she was playing a game with half a dozen other children, and when a teacher signalled "go!", she was the first one to get to the bag of toys, but after she grabbed one and was waiting for what to do next, other kids caught up. A few seconds later one of them seized the toy from her hands, but she didn't seem to really do much to stop them and in fact gave it up easily.

That type of situation has occurred more than once and it really worries us. As I said, she is not a shy girl nor a weak one, and we expect her to be able to stand up for what is hers.

Any ideas on how can we help her to become more confident (not sure if confident is the right word here, because she does look quite confident) in situations such as described and be able to stand up (i.e. don't let the toy be taken away) for herself?

  • 3
    Perhaps I'm misreading your description, but it sounds like she doesn't mind losing the toy in your example. If she doesn't mind, then it makes sense that she doesn't fight it. Does she never "fight" (in a positive sense) for anything? Sep 7, 2011 at 17:53
  • As it turned out, I have incorrectly understood the issue, so I posted another question here: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/2843/…
    – user413
    Sep 9, 2011 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


This situation sounds as if she is not actively playing with the toy, but was just the first to get it. Kid do exchange/swap in this manner without any issues: She seems to have socially mature for her age and have nice manners.

If she has her toys taken away when she is engaged with playing with them, she might react differently! She is also surely aware that the other children, though slower, might have found "better" toys.

To the concern of standing up for herself, in this teacher-moderated setting, you might want to encourage her to say, loudly, "Stop!" That can alert the teacher to chat with the grabby child. It is the greedy grabber who needs a little help, not your polite and outgoing daughter. Kids mature at different rates, and she might be a bit ahead of her classmates.


Does she have the mental tools needed to express that she didn't want to give the toy up? (let's assume for the minute she didn't want to give it up.) It might be as simple as showing her how to stand up for herself with a simple "Hey! I was playing with that." to the kid that took it.

Our son was the same way, until he learned those skills. Now he stands up to the bullies at day care that were taking the toys he was playing with and they've stopped bullying him because they know he'll stand up for himself. (Not that that is what was happening, but it can lead to that as she gets older.)

You must log in to answer this question.