6 Mistakes Parents Make When Socializing Your Child [FREE Download]

6 Mistakes Parents Make When Socializing Your Child [FREE Download]

We all want our kids to socialize with their peers, especially since this is a skill they’ll need to thrive in society. However, parents can place unrealistic expectations on children. See if you’re guilty of these following mistakes when socializing your child with other kids:

#1: Hanging out only in big groups

Big groups aren’t always ideal for socializing. Too many kids seem overwhelming or overstimulating.

Instead, opt for one-on-one play dates. If you’re in a mommy group, invite one mom for a get together, perhaps a mom whose child has a similar temperament as your own child’s.

#2: Forgetting that kids might be too young

While two- or three-year-olds can enjoy watching and being with other kids, most don’t actually interact with one another until they’re four years old.

Expecting kids to hand toys back and forth, laugh at one another and share may be an unfair request during the younger ages.

#3: Expecting kids to be extroverted

We tend to express a bias towards our more extroverted peers, from childhood into adulthood. However, up to one-third to one-half of people are introverted and would much rather work alone or in smaller groups. They prefer to listen and observe and could take a longer time to warm up to strangers.

#4: Exposing kids with too much

We forget that most of the world is a new experience for kids. For those who don’t enjoy over-stimulation, exposing them to too much too quickly can easily upset them.

Instead, introduce new experiences and places gradually. There’s no need to completely shield kids from every fear; rather, introduce them in a slow and patient way.

#5: Pushing kids when they’re not interested

The key to getting kids interested in pretty much anything is to encourage, not push. When they sense our anxiety and pressure to socialize, they’re not likely to feel comfortable than if we simply provided the opportunities.

#6: Expressing disappointment

It’s normal to feel disappointed if your expectations aren’t met and your child balks in a social setting. Remember though that this isn’t your child’s fault and is almost always normal.

Rather than expressing disappointment, praise your child’s efforts, however miniscule they may seem to you. She’ll realize that you’re on her side, that what she did was wonderful, and that progress was made.

Remember that all kids develop differently, and what may worry you now will more than likely turn out all right in the end. By avoiding these mistakes, you can help your little ones better thrive in social settings at a comfortable pace that’s just right for them.

What challenges have you faced when socializing your kids? Which tactics worked best? Have you found yourself guilty of these six mistakes?


Nina is a working mom to three boys—a five-year-old and toddler twins. She blogs about parenting at Sleeping Should Be Easy, where she writes everything she's learning about being mom and all its joys and challenges. She also covers topics like how kids learn and play, family life, being a working mom and life with twins. Download her free ebook, "Time Management Strategies for the Overwhelmed Mom" for more tips.


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  1. Kerry says

    Love the new everything!!
    Back to your post… We want our kids to learn morals/values from us first, foundationally – not their main socialization to be peer oriented. Open communication is a big one for me. I want my kids to WANT to come to mom and dad about issues.
    Kerry recently posted..Indoor Play SandMy Profile