How Do I Get My Child to Play With Others
Playing with others is important in early childhood development. The interaction as well as getting along can help children develop their mental and social faculties. This is especially important during their formative years when their core brain architecture is being built.
However, that crucial development is in jeopardy if your child doesn’t want to play with others. He/she might prefer to be alone playing with his/her own toys. There’s no interaction and this can affect how he/she gets along with others at the environments outside the home. Isolation, boredom and loneliness might result from such lack of social interaction.
How do I get my child to play with others
First, we have to figure out why some children prefer to be playing alone. Shyness is one reason and factor which could be traced back to fear of failure. Shy adults and children will avoid initiating an interaction as much as possible. Also, they have their own ways to be left alone such as staying quiet and avoiding looking at other children.
To help your child overcome that shyness and help him/her become more social, one way to accomplish that is by letting your child take part in your activities (e.g. meal preparation, asking him/her to hand you over something). This way, participation and interaction becomes second nature. This will carry on to his/her playtime because his/her mind is already conditioned that people should work and play together. There will be no friction and shyness because they know interaction and participation are the natural order of things.
Shyness and preferring to be isolated might also come from standing out. Your child might be wearing clothes totally different from other kids. Standing out also means separating from the crowd in this case. As a result, your child might avoid getting along with others. It’s also possible that other kids will stay away thereby reinforcing your child’s behaviour.
The key here is to build a sense of belonging and a positive culture of participation. Let your child be a part of your activities and let him/her belong in a group. This way, he/she immediately feels that it’s safe to let others inside his/her playtime area (and it’s all right to share the toys). This feeling of safety and comfort is crucial to getting along with others especially among kids.