Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Preschoolers: Building Social Skills - Topic Overview

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 1 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. Let your child take the initiative in approaching others. Eventually, most children easily adapt and become comfortable in the group. But realize it may take longer for some children. And don't consider it a failure on your part or your child's part if he or she needs more time to adjust. For more information about day care, see the topic Choosing Child Care.

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 child refuses to share a toy, try putting the toy in time-out rather than a child.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Preschoolers: Building Social Skills Topics

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow