Provide regular peer contact for your preschooler

By age 3, most children benefit from some form of regular social contact, such as nursery school or play groups. Playing with other children even one day a week provides opportunities to practice and develop important social, emotional, and language skills. Children learn to share, cooperate, and negotiate as they interact with their peers.

Some children cry or cling when they are dropped off at a new day care or preschool. Assure your child that you will return and that the setting is fun and safe. If necessary, stay for a short while on the first few days, where the child can see you. Avoid talking with, cuddling, or holding your child for too long. If you show signs of nervousness and give the child a lot of attention, it is likely to raise his or her anxiety level. Allow your child to take the initiative in approaching others. Eventually, most children easily adapt and become comfortable in the group. However, realize it may take longer for some children, and don't consider it a failure on your part or your child's if he or she needs more time to adjust.

Social skills are learned from repeated practice. Work with your child to resolve problems with sharing, taking turns, or cooperating with others. For example, if a toy cannot be shared, try putting the toy in time-out rather than a child.

Last Updated: March 26, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.