16 answers

Help for 5 Year Old Who Says That She Has No Friends

I am looking for some advice on what to do for my daughter who is a very bright and sensitive kindergartener. She says that no one plays with her but when I pick her up at school all sorts of kids are yelling bye to her so I know that she is liked. She says that she does not play with them or they do not play with her, in the classroom and outside. I asked daycare if she plays with the kids (children she has known all her life)and she said that if they are outside then she will play with the kids but inside she just hangs back or will just sit and color or draw. It makes me very sad to know that she does not play with anybody. She has never really played on her own, occasionally she will have her imagination kick in and she will play but mostly she is all about learning something or drawing something. She will play with her 4 year old brother pretty well but she always asks him if he will play with her. I do not know what to do to boost her self confidence. She is very shy around other children but will speak with adults usually without any problems. I think that it is because any adults she knows she knows that they love her unconditionally and she is not sure if other children will like her. What can I do for her? Any suggestions will be so appreciated. Thank you

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

hi there! I don't really have any kind of answer for you, because I am going through something very similar with my 5 yo daughter and it is devastating. I will definetly be keeping an eye on the responses you get. Anyways, thanks for asking the question, and I guess we aren't alone.
Have a good one,
and good luck

More Answers


Your question really tugged at my heartstrings.

First, I'm sorry to know that you lost your husband .. and that your kids lost their Dad. It can have effects on your daughter that you are not even aware of.. and that she might not be able to express. Little kids are afraid of rejection just like us, There is a possibility that in her young mind, she somehow feels like she "did" something to make her dad "go away" I know I felt like that when my mom died, and I was a teenager!

That aside, I and my younger daughter were both shy with other kids, and had no real friends till 12 or 13. Maybe it's a genetic personality trait? We both have high IQ's and both of us took a while to figure out how to "be" around other people. Relating to grown-ups was no problem, but we were "different" than out peers, and that's a hard thing to be when you're that age.

To make it easier, try some play-dates where you can keep an eye on the interactions. Have her pick a classmate for a one-on-one visit, or at least keep it even numbers of girls. Odd numbers of girls usually turn ugly, it's easier to create the "odd girl out".

I know seeing this is hard for you. Maybe you could find some enrichment programs, or if your school has a gifted and talented program, you should consider having her tested for that. Smarter kids often have trouble getting along with their classmates, but are at ease with other kids like themselves, or with grownups.

I wish I had some more helpful advice...


1 mom found this helpful


May I express my deepest condolences to you and your family. Had you not mentioned this, perhaps a different response would have been warranted. But it seems as though your daughter is dealing with her loss in her own way. Do you attend a church, where you can openly discuss death with her and members of the church where she feels comfortable? I've heard that giving her the permission to openly discuss her feelings may just open her up. It looks like this is a part of her healing process. Follow her lead. If she wants to talk, let her. If not, don't push her to. Just be there for her. Allow her to grieve, and she will come around in her own time. I'm sure her friends don't know how to comfort her, so they let her be. She will have friends. It's a confusing time, especially for children. I hope you have family and friends to be there for you as well. All in all, you have my prayers for peace and comfort during these extremely difficult times.

1 mom found this helpful

hi D.,

you shoudl probably start creating ways to invite class members over , and try and initiate a friend ship

playdates are the best way to teach your child HOW to make friends and the right way to play.


hi there! I don't really have any kind of answer for you, because I am going through something very similar with my 5 yo daughter and it is devastating. I will definetly be keeping an eye on the responses you get. Anyways, thanks for asking the question, and I guess we aren't alone.
Have a good one,
and good luck

D., this is very normal...especially for a girl of that age. My daughter grew up in daycare center and preschool since one. She was always the quiet one in the corner due to both her age and stature (always the youngest and the smallest). If other kids did not "force" her to join the activities, she would just sit and draw. Today she is almost 9 and out of her shell since 2nd grade. She is still resists new activities that do not include her small circle of close friends. Like your daughter she is very bright, extremely musical and loves arts and crafts. I do find the fact that she can entertain herself without needing a playdate is a good thing. Those that need endless external activities, like my son, have trouble sitting still and do quiet things like reading. I would say...count your blessings.

setting up lots of playdates so that she can get to know kids on a one on one environment. Also ask the teacher to facilitate on her behalf. Make that first move for her so to speak, and ask them to think carefully when partnering her with others. Your daycare seems really unresponsive and uncaring fwiw.

That is sad. My daughter is also pretty shy and doesn't make friends too easily...all the kids at her school say goodbye to her and she snubs them..
What I did to help break the ice was to have a candy making party at my house and invited her class over and some friends. It was a big hit..(and a big mess) we also had an inflatable thing in the yard for de-energizing the hyper kids.. lol..
It sounds like she doesn't know how to get involved, and your teacher should help her with that..

Not sure if this will help but I was just speaking to a children's psychologist about my four year old son being very shy and not confident. I was asking if it is genetic b/c my husband and I were pretty shy when we were young. He said it is learned and suggested that next time I take him to the park strike up a conversation with the person next to me. Keep setting examples of being confident and outgoing and they too will pick up on it. I just heard the advice yesterday and will be trying it out. Hope this helps!
Also, noticed that you are recently widowed could she be depressed about that?

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.