Socially immature for preschool?

I am concerned about the social maturity of my three-year-old son. He is a very bright and articulate child, however, his preschool teacher has expressed concern repeatedly over the past three months because he has not "buddied up" with other children in the class. I have seen improvement in his ability to interact with children his age outside of school, but it is mostly parallel play. I also see small blossoms of interest in developing friends. Is this level of social immaturity within the range of "normal" for a boy his age?


A child your son's age is usually interested in playing with, and speaking to, other children. If your son is improving in his relations with children outside of school, then you may want to investigate other reasons that he is not playing with the children in his class.

Has your son just gotten used to being a child who does not interact? Is there a child in his class that he fears? Is he substantially older or younger than his classmates? Is his speech an issue? If any of the answers are "yes", then further work is necessary. You should speak to your son's teacher to see if he needs help in these areas.

If none of these apply, you might want to arrange one-on-one playdates with some of the children in the class. Often, if a child plays with another child at one of their houses, a relationship can develop even when there is none at school. That relationship can spill over into the classroom after it has begun to flower elsewhere. If you would like your son to become friendlier with his classmates, and he is willing, then that might be the way to go.

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