Is it okay not to socialize sometimes?

How shy children make friends

Promote contact with peers

Of course, parents are also welcome playmates. But children can only compete with their peers on the same level. In this way they develop a certain distance from the adult world and a "together we are strong" feeling.
Children have different strategies for choosing their friends. Girls and boys who are open, sociable, and creative are quick to crowd around them. In addition, the same applies to three and four-year-olds: like people like to join you. Age, temperament and interests play a role.
"Strong children sometimes need children who are just as strong in order to have an equal partner and to develop further," says Martina Bentenrieder. In three-year-olds, the same shoes or the same bag can spark enthusiasm for one another. Often the similarity is then emphasized: Anna and Lisa both want to wear pink glitter hair clips, Max and Timo absolutely need the same red fire engine.
For other children, it is more likely that opposites attract. "We observe that weaker children sometimes choose stronger friends and vice versa. Such couples also get along very well," says the teacher. It can of course happen that the friends do not correspond to the expectations of the family. "Then parents have to jump over their own shadow," says Bentenrieder. You should only intervene if you see that your child is developing negatively as a result of the friend. But in the vast majority of cases, playmates, whether very similar or different, learn from one another and complement one another.

That helps shy children

  • Love and security in the family are the best basis. With this security, children dare to take a step out of the family and socialize with playmates.
  • Crawling and breastfeeding groups or the playground offer a good field for experimentation. Here children learn very early to deal with their peers.
  • Parents are the role model by which children orient themselves.If you maintain a close network of family, friends or neighbors, then children also learn to make friends more easily.
  • Words of encouragement can help a child reach out to others. But if you prefer to just observe it at the beginning, that's fine too. Please don't rush!
  • Parents can encourage contact with neighboring children or their peers by Invite playmates home in the afternoon or go on a trip together.
  • How to approach others can also be practiced at home, in the family: for example, by having the family act out the situation at home. First the child makes a game suggestion, then the father or mother has an idea - and everyone has to put up with a defeat in the process. That trains for similar situations in kindergarten.
  • Shy children may feel at home in a club, doing children's gymnastics or in a handicraft group: Common interests make it easier to come into contact with others there.
  • Girls and boys need space: If there is enough space for two to play, the friends can retreat to their realm. Parents are best left alone without interfering.
  • A friend doesn't have to be there every afternoon. Some children need time, they are enough of themselves and seek solitude. Too many activities just overwhelm them.