My daughter doesn't play well with other kids: Advice?

So my daughter is 8, she’s an awesome kid. She’s very sweet, smart, funny. I don’t have any issues with her. The thing I’m worried about, though, is she doesn’t seem to play well with other kids. Almost every time we have a play date, she, at some point, gets very upset because they don’t want to do what she wants to do, and she allows this to ruin her mood for a long time. I just worry her attitude towards this will keep her from developing close friendships. She always gets upset with her friends when they want to play two different things; I try to see if they want to play something that interests them both. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I tried talking to her to let her know it’s okay to feel these frustrated feelings, but then try to let it go and enjoy your day. These disagreements seem to be catastrophic to her, and she gets very sad. Or when we are out, and there’s a lot of kids she doesn’t know, she is very apprehensive about asking to play with them. If they are uninterested, it really hurts her. I just want to help her with her social relationships with her peers. I want to help make this easier somehow. Any tips ?? She has a good home life, does well in school, is surrounded by a lot of people that love her, so it’s not environmental stress. I just think maybe her being an only child is having it’s setbacks…


It’s about her being a spoiled brat and not getting her way. Try discipling her for her bad behavior.


My son was an only child and he did well playing team sports. He didn’t always do so well with playdates. He’s 25 yrs old now and does well in management/supervisor positions.

She may be a loner. Its ok. The friends she does make will be a stronger friendship


Could it be that shes used to getting her own way and doesn’t like it when someone else wants to do something , I’d honestly ignore her behavior and carry on the game or activity that they had been playing before she decided she wanted it her way ,


Is it possible that she’s way above level? My youngest struggled to connect with kids her age and when she started school she was tested on a genius level. We have meetings every few months and friendship/social interactions are one of the things mentioned in all the packets I’ve ever received.

Maybe explain to her sometimes we do what others want to do or like and what they think is fun because we care about them and vice versa.
Taking turns…for ex. Her friend wants to play barbies and she doesn’t but she cares about her friend so she plays barbies for awhile then I bet her friend will play what she wants for a lil while even if she doesn’t have a huge desire. Reciprocity and mutual support.


My daughter was an only child. As soon as she was old enough she played soccer even when she didnt want to go, we went. She grew to love it, she grew to respecting the coach and ref and she made friends. We also began volunteering at a homeless event that runs twice a year. It helped me curb the ‘entitled’ phase that I thought I was sensing. Honestly, explain the behaviour will have consequences. People dont have to put up with being treated poorly or unfairly.

Sounds like she’s used to being the only one that gets to pick what to play. Only child syndrome is hard in the real world. She needs to learn to compromise with the other kids and that things aren’t always going to be her way when in a group.


There are lots of kids who aren’t an “only child” that have trouble with taking turns and sharing. So I could see it being even harder with a child who doesn’t have siblings. I don’t really have any advice besides what you’re already doing, by trying to teach her how to share and talking things out with her. There’s some ignorant comments on here that want to make character judgments about an 8 year old…

Mention it to her doctor, she could be on the spectrum, social problems can be an indicator


I’m an only child. My son is an only child too. She needs to learn that she won’t get her way all the time or she will have a hard time later on. You are making it even worse by giving in to her and not letting her learn the hard way. She needs to learn to compromise, share, and take turns or she will be one lonely person. I had to learn this myself.

My son went through this also. Was most definitely not a spoiled brat. Was disciplined for misbehavior. He had A.D.D. which made it hard for him to change his train of thought when it came to things he enjoyed.

Compassion helped immensely when we tried talking to him about how his behavior made the other kids feel. And we explained that they wouldn’t want to come back to play if they didn’t get a turn to do stuff they liked.

He didn’t have a large quantity of friends, but the ones he had, they stuck by each other through thick and thin. One lost his father at 14 and I shaved all 5 of their heads because they wanted to do it in honor of his dad. They became a wall of protection around him everywhere they went.

For what it’s worth, they are 21 and 22 yrs old now. And still very close.

I apologize if this sounds harsh…but sounds to me like she is used to getting her own way and doesnt understand how to handle it when she doesn’t. Its an easy thing to do tbh…especially if she only child. There arent other kids involved in the choices. She needs to learn its not always gonna b her way and that starts at home. U have to start that. U have to make her do things she doesnt want to. U have to make her learn it wont b her way all the time. It wont b easy but has to b done


Therapy. THERAPY. It’s one thing for her to be upset for a little bit, but if this bugs that much for a long time she should have someone help her sort out her feelings before this gets worse.


Examine your parenting skills! Your daughter needs to learn that life does not rotate around her. She needs structure and discipline. You shouldn’t be her friend and shouldn’t beg or pacify her. GoodLuck!


My youngest was like this. She’s still a bit of a perfectionist and very sweet but she couldn’t understand why friends didn’t want to play her way growing up. We had a lot of talks about taking turns so everyone gets to play their favorites & about what being “bossy” seems like to others. ( she never thought she was) She grew out of it, but just make she she keeps talking to you about how she feels about stuff. Kids that have trouble making & keeping friends have a hard time & can even get depressed. Good luck

It’s only child syndrome they are basically believing it’s all about them. Actually my oldest was 8 when i had my second child and he was completely distraught for months. But it was easy for me to let him know the sun doesn’t rise and set on his ass and that he needed to get it in gear

You need to set up games (structured) during play time that allows EACH child to be in control, taking turns. Start at HOME first with you and other adults. She’s been spoiled into having her way or it’s no way. She needs to learn that life isn’t about her way, it’s about compromise and YOU need to teach her that or she will be in JAIL before she’s an adult.

I just love it when people assume because she is an only child that she is used to being spoiled. Do not listen to other people and their “opinions “ maybe she suffers from some anxiety, ADHD?