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3 year old still not much interested in other children... has anyone else had a child like that?

(16 Posts)
Maenad Wed 27-Feb-08 11:12:04

DD is 3, and is very verbal and confident with adults but doesn't seem very interested in doing things with other children on the whole. I think she might actually find them a bit intimidating - she tends to burst into tears if they roar or shout or pretend to be dinosaurs that might eat her or whatever. She would always prefer to play on her own or with an adult. I've always tried to make sure that she sees plenty of other children as she is a first child, but it doesn't seem to have made any difference really.

She was a bit of a late walker and is still a clumsy mover and not able to manage a scooter or bike really, and I have wondered whether this affected her confidence with other children. But I just don't think she really 'gets' other kids tbh. She is very imaginative and very much in her own little world, accompanied by an imaginary friend, and doesn't seem to need other children. But she is very empathetic (is that the right word??) and will burst into tears on behalf of a duck who isn't getting to the bread or whatever.

Sorry this is a bit of a long ramble but I am a little worried about when she will start to make friends. She is at nursery 3 mornings a week, which doesn't seem to have made any difference at all. Is there anyone whose child has been like this and just grown out of it? Is there anything I should be doing differntly or am I worrying over nothing and she will just develop in her own way and in her own time?

Thanks for any thoughts...

OP’s posts: |
sparkybabe Wed 27-Feb-08 12:56:51

My DS1 was the same , but it's a bit different with boys, theyare 'supposed' to be outgoing, team-spirited etc. My ds would rather play on his own, with Lego or whatever, and even now (hes 15) is not a team player. He's rather have One friend than many, go skiing than play football, play computer games than go to the park.

Having worried about this for years (all his school reports mentioned his 'lack of social skills') he seems happy, has plenty of 'acquaintances' for the lack of another word, he gets on ok with his peeers and seems to be one of thsoe people who cares not one bit what others think of him. And he now has 2 younger brothers, so they have taught him a lot.

Don't worry too much, so long as she has you, she'll be secure.

ArmadilloDaMan Wed 27-Feb-08 13:02:23

ds is 3.4 and still isn't too interested in playing with others yet.

herbiemom Wed 27-Feb-08 13:31:10

Both my DSs are like this. DS1 started school last September and to my surprise has made a few friends. He never made any at nursery and preferred to play alongside the other children rather than with them.

DS2 is the same - he's quite happy at nursery and gets invited to parties but has no friends there.

I think both my boys prefer small groups or one or two friends to play with at a time. I've worried myself silly about this over the last couple of years but I think it's quite common for them to be like this at pre-school age.

Is she happy? If she's happy then try not to worry too much. That's what I always got told about the boys and it all seems to be ok.

oops Wed 27-Feb-08 13:37:24

Message withdrawn

Maenad Wed 27-Feb-08 17:26:56

Thanks... I think she is rather sweet, oops smile

She does seem happy but I can't help worrying!

OP’s posts: |
tichey Tue 03-Mar-09 12:19:46

Hello Maenad,

Your daughter sounds just like mine who is nearly 2.5 and an only child. I have been worried about this too as her childminder has said that she would expect her to be more sociable too by now.

She will also play quite happily alongside other children as long as they don't take her toys or start to push her. She had a few bad experiences with children when she was younger who pushed her, and in one instance bit her before I could get involved. She is generally very sensitve, and I think that really affected her. She also, like your DD seems very sensitve to other people's feelings - and will try to comfort children who she sees who are upset e.g. giving them a kiss or a toy and also seems much happier with adults.

So I think what I am trying to say is that this does not seem unusal, and your experience has reassured me, so hopefully my post reassures you too!

Joe1977 Tue 03-Mar-09 21:34:12

This sounds just like my DS1 (who is now 3yrs 5 mnths), he was also a late walker (23months), and I think his habits developed then (sitting back and watching others rather than joining in) have stuck. He talks about other children alot, but isn't that good at playing with them. He's a happy little man, very bright and confident with adults that he knows, but still needs to find his feet with his peers. He's a fantastic big brother to DS2, he displays really good empathy with him and other little people.

I guess that each little person is unique and we need to celebrate what makes them so rather than worrying about what we perceive makes them 'different'.

cory Wed 04-Mar-09 07:43:34

Not unusual. I was very timid of other children at this age. I've grown out of it, I needed time. Have known other children like it since. I think partly we have to accept that not everybody is going to be the life and soul of the party: some people are naturally more loners, others need to go through a loner phase. As long as she eventually learns to cope in social situation (and I mean eventually), it shouldn't be a problem.

throckenholt Wed 04-Mar-09 08:06:28

at that age I think most kids are happy to play along side other children but they don't actually play with them much.

motherlovebone Wed 04-Mar-09 11:34:40

my DD, 6 in june, was just like that.
she still doesnt like shouting, parties, cycling.
does like music, dancing, rollerskating.
used to be the end of the world but when pushed around now, walks away/handles it.
carefully selects friends, doesnt like them if they are horrible to others.
i think its just their nature (or should that be their just nature?)
what a little treasure she sounds.
she will meet likeminded others, try not to worry smile

Lavinia38 Thu 04-Jul-19 23:07:34

My three year old boy who is a only child has the same issue, he doesn't mind playing next to kids but not sharing toys. He has been going nursery for two days for other two years too but I been advised that he must work on playing with other kids his age, as he is fine with older kids and adults. He was also a late walker and use to bum shuffle. I believe it is come when he is ready. He is a loud happy man and has started to say hello randomly to strangers which is cute and I love it when people reply back so I believe he is heading in the right direction and your kid will too when they are ready. All you can do is keep trying. I think people, professional or not who forget to mention every child is different and certain benchmarks take longer than others but where they may seem they are lacking they may be excelling in other things. All you can do is read, learn and use places like mums net where we all can breathe a little as there is a few people out there in the same boat.

letsgooutstiiiiiiide Fri 05-Jul-19 00:24:11

@Maenad @Aladdinmum will probably come along with words of wisdom at some point, take notice of what she says.

In the meantime: if you're finding this worrying, are you worried about ASD? Some of what you say here could suggest ASD but it could also suggest introvert. ASD doesn't mean lack of empathy. It is to do with lack of seeking social contact/social referencing (glance at others to check/gauge their reactions to things), lack of joint attention skills (showing toys to parents, seeking praise, pointing things out); liking sameness/ routine/ predictability, either generally or in terms of having specific topics of interest that take over from everything else; sensory issues (too much or too little input from things that most people find normal), lack of ability to understand and articulate and act upon feelings ("alexithymia") .

Look at pp. 35 & 36 (numbered pages, it's pages 45 & 46 of the PDF) in here and also look up how autism presents in girls - socialization differences mean that ASD characteristics often end up somewhat masked in girls unless you know what you're looking for.

All that said - it is possible to be shy or bored by age peers, without being an introvert; it is possible to an introvert without having autistic traits. It is possible to have autistic traits without having enough for a diagnosis of autism. It is possible to live a perfectly fulfilled and happy life with a diagnosis of autism, particularly if you actually know that your brain is a bit different from most people's. So, even if your worst fears are realised, from your description of your daughter, she sounds like things will be ok anyway.

(i know whereof I speak. Son, 2y 8mo is on the pathway to ASD diagnosis; I am diagnosed, DH thinks he should be; many members of my family are undiagnosed)

AladdinMum Fri 05-Jul-19 00:45:56

It appears this post is nearly ten years old... not sure if the original poster is still around but if you read some of her other posts it tends to suggest that her DD was eventually diagnosed with autism. There were concerns in her original description.

And I agree that autism does not mean lack of empathy, this is a total misconception. In many cases children with autism are very empathetic however they struggle to read other people's faces and hence when to be empathetic - if you make them aware that another child is sad they will become very empathetic towards them.

letsgooutstiiiiiiide Fri 05-Jul-19 00:56:43

@Aladdinmum sorry about that, hadn't noticed zombie thread status.

ekollia Tue 26-Nov-19 12:31:36

Im trying to find some of her latest posts but I cannot... any idea how to do it???

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