My 3-year-old does not play with other kids and in all the parties just linger around us (mom/dad). Even if the party is with her own class mates from school and she knows them a lot.

I have tried arranging play dates which didn't work as she won't play much with other kids. I have also tried to take her to music/dance classes but she won't leave me and participate properly.

Recently we went to her class mate's birthday party and she didn't play or interact with anyone and when I tried little bit she started crying a lot and the entire party was really embarrassing.

Background: she started daycare since the age of 6 months. According to teachers, she is fine over there and interacts properly with other kids, but she is a little sensitive and does not like to play much with loud kids.

Any suggestions to improve her social interaction?

  • 1
    Don't worry about it to be honest, not every adult is outgoing as not is every kid.
    – WendyG
    Feb 4, 2019 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


Your daughter probably doesn't have a problem in her social development, based on what her teachers said, and how average three year olds interact. The desire to stay near parents when in unfamiliar situations (or go off to play for a little while, but return back to 'check in' at intervals) is developmentally normal for young children, who turn to their primary attachments with caregivers for a sense of security.

It sounds like she's not the most outgoing, and in general that's just a personality trait and not something that needs to be 'fixed'. You can encourage her to break out of her shell by arranging more chances for her to practice playing with others, preferably in a low-stress and low-pressure environment (a familiar park with a few kids and a choice of solo or group play, vs. a highly stimulating party with everyone excited and pre-planned games.)

Pressure to 'perform' socially in a certain way when she is uncomfortable may make it worse, as in the party, while lots of practice interacting with others while being comfortable in a familiar situation, like her school, could allow her her to focus on making connections with others at her own pace.

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