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My child’s preschool teacher let me know my daugh­ter is be­ing left out by other chil­dren dur­ing cer­tain ac­tiv­i­ties. I’m wor­ried she’ll have trou­ble mak­ing friends go­ing for­ward. How should I han­dle this sit­u­a­tion? Or should I let the teacher take care of it?


The fact that your teacher no­ti­fied you of the is­sue shows that your daugh­ter is in good hands and the sit­u­a­tion is be­ing mon­i­tored, but there are some things you can do out­side school to help her along, ac­cord­ing to Katie No­vak Ed.D., au­thor of

Let Them Thrive: A Play­book for Help­ing Your Child Suc­ceed in School and in Life.

Dr. No­vak sug­gests talk­ing to your daugh­ter about preschool so you can find out if she’s be­ing pur­pose­fully ex­cluded or is just shy. “Ask her about her day and who she likes to play with, and find out what ac­tiv­i­ties she likes to do at preschool and whether she likes to play by her­self or with other kids,” she says.

If it is a ques­tion of be­ing ex­cluded, you can make a plan to ad­dress it with her teacher. Oth­er­wise, it’s pos­si­ble your daugh­ter is more with­drawn and re­luc­tant to ask to be in­volved with other chil­dren at times. That’s per­fectly nor­mal for kids her age, and it’s pos­si­ble that she’ll be­come more ex­tro­verted over time.

Un­til then, you can try en­rolling her in ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties such as art classes or sports teams to get her used to par­tic­i­pat­ing and to de­velop so­cial skills, says Philpott-San­ders. Or, con­sider plan­ning some one-onone play dates with some of the other class par­ents and their kids. That way she can get to know her class­mates bet­ter in a more fa­mil­iar and com­fort­able set­ting, and she can seek you out if she needs com­fort­ing.

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