My child does not play well with other kids: Advice?

I was just wondering if any other mamas have issues with their toddlers not playing well with other kids. Or any other mamas that have found their children to become shy because of spending so much time in lockdown? My son is two and an only child. We are rarely around other children because of lockdowns etc., this year. He doesn’t have any cousins or close family his age either. Because of covid, all playgroups, etc., have been canceled where I live since March. When lockdowns have been lifted and we’ve been allowed to visit with friends or family, my son cries and gets very upset if other children try to play with him. He spends the whole time upset and is inconsolable until we leave. He is due to start preschool next September, and I am already anxious about how he’ll cope. I know there is little I can do in terms of socializing him more due to covid, but I would love to hear of other mama’s experiences with antisocial toddlers and preschool to help calm my nerves a little bit. Any advice or tips on how best to settle a child in a new environment are very welcome! Thank you all; this page is always very helpful!


Look up sharing videos that u can do with him

When starting school be sure to drop him off and not linger as the tantrum will last longer and be harder on all parties. Preschool teachers are excellent at distracting and helping students adjust to their new environment.

With age it gets better by the time he gets to preschool he’ll be a little bit better and I agree with everything TJ Booker said!

Following! Someone I just became friends with has a son that does not play nice. My youngest LOVES her son but tells me… ‘Steven’ is mean. I tell him that we will leave when he’s mean but he never wants to leave. My oldest has resorted to sitting in my lap the whole time because the kid is mean. I want him to be better but I don’t know what to do.

I found with my 4yo that talking about what we’re about to be doing for a day or two in advance helps. Ex: if we have a playdate coming hype it up " on __ day we’re going to play with our friends! Its going to be so much fun!" I use it for literally everything. And I find it helps if he knows what’s coming and what to expect, vs just going and throwing him into something that’s not part of the normal schedule.

1 Like

Find someone to have play dates with you so your child gets use to it. And be strict about making the child share. My daughter was very shy and still is but she plays pretty good with others.

Some people are just content you to be alone. Independent.

You could work on language skills. At meal times, offer food with a delay try - say 3 times, repeating words and two words together. Try not to worry about childcare, remember those are trained child care workers, they will give you lots of encouragement and advice. Enjoy playing with your child, try no fail activities like sand play and play dough. Take turns with equipment , offer lots of praise for good behaviour. Pray for your child and teach them good manners.

My older child gravitated to other types, my younger one was reserved and a bit reluctant to engage. Part of it the the age, part personality, part lack of exposure. Don’t know if it would help, but…perhaps you could arrange an online “play” group where he could see other children without having to actually interact yet. Maybe the two of you visiting with another mom and toddler pair on a video chat for a story or sing along, short interludes where he can see other people but doesn’t feel too close or overwhelmed.

1 Like

Consider setting up a solo play dates with a mom and one other kid. He could easily be overwhelmed after so many months without others around, that he’s not sure how to process all of it. This should help ease him into being ready for adding another child so there are 2 playing with and around him. Talk to the preschool he’ll be going to and see what other activities they suggest to help ease things.


Maybe exposing him to other kids gradually. Somehow starting with only a few minutes at a time. I know you said he’s not doing much because of Covid but maybe if you belong to a local church they may have some toddler programs. Or certainly speak to his future teacher before hand.


Children who like to play by themselves, or play Next to groups of kids, have issues with transition should be watched by a doctor for possible autism.


It’s the age… they are centered around themselves. There are other signs that will show up as your child gets older that would indicate further evaluation. At this age just slowly introduce other children in short periods of time.

1 Like

WHYYYYY does everyone have to jump to autism or " the spectrum " can he just not be shy because he’s 2 and has been locked down away from others for half his life. How about he is just now at the age where stranger danger comes into play


2 years do not play with other children, they all play in the same room around each other

1 Like

Could just be him feeling uncomfortable or out of sorts with a group of people after so long in isolation lockdown. Maybe introduce him to one on one child at a time then slowly introduce more people. Good luck.

Don’t worry about all that now, I have a grandchild that has autism, I also have a 35 year old son that doesn’t but cried so bad when every time I left him in the church nursery they would have to bring him to me , he grew out of it, just a phase some go through.

Most two year olds don’t play well with others. I’m not saying that they are antisocial, it’s just the age. They are still in the phase of everything circles around them. Getting them together will help them learn social skills.


It helps tremendously if you give them all the details of what is going to be happening before you go somewhere with other kids. You can start the day before and just keep reminding them to make them comfortable before it happens, so they know a little of what to expect. It certainly isn’t a total fix, but it should definitely help some.

1 Like