Friendship concerns


Child using workbook

Children's friendships - or lack of them - are a cause for concern for most parents at some time or other.

While on one hand you might be pleased that your child has some friends, on the other you may wonder what these friends are like with your child.

When it comes to young children, it is important to realise that they are all in the process of learning about friendships. They are also learning about how to cooperate and play with others. This means that inevitably some children will be 'bossy', while others will be quieter. 

The key in the early years is to work out whether your child's friendship is making them unhappy. If your child seems perfectly fine to be 'bossed' around, it might be worth stepping back and biding your time. It may be that as your child grows in confidence and social skills, things will sort themselves out. 

If, on the other hand, you can see that your child is unhappy, or being physically hurt, you should raise it with your child's nursery, pre-school or childminder. Ask whether they have noticed anything or have had any concerns. 

You could also ask that your child be placed with other children during some activities, if you are sure that the relationship is problematic. But be careful - this is sensitive stuff. Avoid making accusations or sounding judgemental, as the last thing you want to do is to blow things out of proportion. 

Early teething problems with friendships are quite normal and are usually quickly resolved.


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Last updated: about 3 years ago