By Debra Collins, Family therapist
My 4-year-old is enrolled in a summer activity, and the teacher informed me that she has not been participating in some of the games. She stands with her arms crossed and will not play. This is not the first time this has happened. I am a stay-at-home mom, and I always have her participate in activities with other children her age, and she loves it. When we go home, she talks nonstop about the things she does.
I talk to her about being slow to participate, and tell her that by the time she finally is ready to play a game, it's time to go or the game is over. I tell her it is rude to make people wait on her. My husband says she is shy; I say no way. To me, that is rude and unacceptable behavior, and when I have pushed her to go play or talk, she will. What should I do?
One purpose of preschool is to learn how to have appropriate peer relationships. You do want her to be cooperative and follow rules, schedules, and instructions, because those skills are necessary for a positive experience in kindergarten.
I think that both you and your husband have valid points. It appears that you want her to learn social skills, which involves cooperation and good manners, and your husband wants to take into account her temperament. A four–year-old doesn’t necessarily grasp what “being rude” is. She may only understand that she is uncomfortable with a particular situation but does not comprehend what she is feeling or how to tell you or her teacher. It is good that she reports liking school overall, so it may be that there is something difficult for her with certain activities or transitions.
Your daughter probably does better with you because she knows what to expect and your presence is comforting. You can ask the teacher to guide her through a new activity to encourage participation.
Her teacher can also help her by making sure she understands the activity. See that there is enough time to transition. If the children don’t have a choice of games or activities, then having clear rules about nonparticipation is helpful. This way she is not disruptive but is also not forced to join in. The teacher might suggest alternative behaviors.
You can play school at home, which often reveals what the trouble is. Then you and the teacher can come up with solutions.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.