Ask the expert

Just because some kids are happy to play on their own doesn't mean they won't also play with others

Q: "My daughter starts school in September and I'm worried about her making friends. She goes to nursery three days a week and though I'm told she will play with other children, she's happy to play on her own. Is this something I should be worried about? I don't want her to get left out."

A: The Three Day Nanny Kathryn Mewes ( says: "I don't think you need to worry about a thing.

"Children tend to begin play by being alongside one another. They don't interact and start to play together until they are 3-4 years old. Many children are observers and don't join in play until later on. This is not something to be concerned about as long as your child is happy and content.

"We tend to think about how we would feel standing on the outside of a social situation looking in, but children's emotions aren't as complex as ours and, if they are observing, it tends to be because they are choosing to, not because they're being or feeling excluded.

"When children begin school, their social development takes a sudden leap. I'm sure your daughter will find her social group in her own time.

"You can always suggest 'play dates' and ask who she would like to come and play after school. This helps to build friendships without the pressure of other children around."


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