Skip to content

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.

    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.
    1
    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