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Bill
Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3706
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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My 5 year old daughter does not want to play with other children.

Resolved Question:

My 5 year old daughter does not want to play with other children. What can we do? She has a 3 year old brother and does not want to play with him either. She just wants to play with adults. Her day care facility has 18 girls in her class. The boys and girls are segregated. She throws a fit every morning because she does not want to go to day care. Please advise. Thank You.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

I am sorry to hear about these concerns.
I have worked with children for over 30 years and although some children at this age prefer more primary play than play with others, if she is engaging in peer related interactions, this is some cause for concern.

You cannot reason with a 5 year old as they have not developed the cognitive skills to reason. They behave based on feelings and not thought or intellectual reasoning.....that is for a little later down the road.

That said, If your daughter is "in her own little world" and is not engaging eye contact is acting out toward her younger sibling and pet, I would first speak to her Pediatrician to rule out the possibility of any learning, attention or neurodevelopmental issues. These behaviors are atypical for a child of this age and again, when children are acting out, they are acting out feelings so there is some underlying anger that is being projected.

I am attaching a list of what would be considered to be age appropriate developmental Milestones for a 5 year old. Review this and see how your daughter is doing in the various areas:

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Developmental-Milestones-4-to-5-Year-Olds.aspx

As you will see, from what you have written, there are areas where your child is not at the level that would be expected for a 5 year old and again, this is reason to have her issues first evaluated by her Pediatrician who will be able to evaluate this and provide appropriate recommendations for further treatment or evaluations.

Should you have further questions for me, please feel free to respond. I am happy to help.

Otherwise, I wish you the very best.

Bill

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