2 girls playing in playground

“Have options if you can. Don’t stick to playing with just one friend.” I am sure most parents tell their children to keep their options open so that their child always has a choice of other children to play with.  On the other hand, your child may not want to because they feel safe and secure just by being with one person.  Someone they can rely on who they know will be loyal and never leave them. They may be shy or quiet and are fearful of being hurt by other people so don’t want to mingle with other children. So no matter how much a parent advises against it,  the child ends up regularly playing with just one person. Then what if the worst happens and they end up falling out with their best friend? Surely they need other children to play with just in case this happens?

Why Have Other Children To Play With?

Most childhood friendships don’t last forever so it’s important that your child engages with other children and plays with them at break and lunchtimes. Even if they have a strong, lasting friendship, it’s no reason to ignore others. Their friend may be off sick, on holiday, be busy with other activities or might just want be sociable and mingle with other children themselves.

Having a good friend but also playing with others brings them into contact with lots of personality types. An important life skill as they learn to deal with different types of people. Play can also be more fun in a group and can widen play options. If someone is not around, you have a whole group of friends to choose from. At home, we have a small playground area where our kids usually invite some friends. We love doing this as we can keep an eye on them the whole time and see how they are interacting.

If your child restricts themselves to just one person,  help them identify children who like the same games as them or they classify as being children they’d be interested in getting to know better. Encourage them to strike up a conversation and ask them to join in a game they are playing.