My 2 year old doesn't like to play with other kids. What should I do?

Brandi - posted on 05/26/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I have an almost 2 year old girl. I also watch a 1 year old little girl. My daughter does NOT want to play, interact, or really even be near the 1 year old. She is constantly telling her "No!" or "Don't touch!" They have very different personalities. My daughter has never been a snuggler. She's always on the go and wants to do everything herself. The 1 year old is the complete opposite. She wants to be hugged and held and played with constantly and LOVES other kids. My daughter is constantly screaming because the other won't leave her alone. I don't know what to do. I try to keep them at peace, but it is wearing on my nerves to hear constant conflict. I try to get my daughter to play more, but also for the other girl to learn to keep a distance sometimes. Am I doing this right? My daughter is not only like this with THIS particular child. She doesn't seem to want to play with other kids at all. She doesn't willingly. Is this something I should be concerned about?

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Louise - posted on 05/27/2011

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Mary is right children parallel play until the age of about 2.5 and would sooner play with adults or just watch other children at 2. Try and go to mums and tots groups so your 1 year old can interact with other children should she want to and your older child can learn social skills that will enpower her to get the confidence to play with other children.

User - posted on 07/11/2011

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I have the same situation with my almost 2 year old. We hear a lot of "No touch that's mine" she picks a lot of things up from the 6 year old I nanny for. She also was never a cuddler as a child and always on the go and prefers kids not be too close. Especially younger ones! It is so hard not to compare and thank god I was blessed with an abundent amount of patience.

Mary - posted on 05/26/2011

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Usually at this age kids play next to one another, but not with. Your daughter is almost 2. Since she at the age where she will begin to develop more social skills, you will be helping her with that. Since she has been strongly independent, it may take her awhile to learn. Having play dates with other children with the 2 girls may take some of the stress off of you. The younger one is used to lots of contact and wants that. Your situation is what is best for you and your daughter?

Trying to keep the peace when you have 2 little ones at opposite ends of the relationship spectrum is a losing battle if you expect them to "play" together. Sounds as if you will need to stake out separate play areas and then set structured time to play alone and separate time to do "together" things. If the little one who comes to your home could have some of her own toys at your home, that may also help. Try to think of ways that separate play could happen like centers in a preschool. Have "center time" where each child plays at a puzzle center, or building block center or kitchen center. These toys could be kept in bins and brought out at "center time" only. That way the girls can have their play time and you can set some structure that will meet their abilities. Good luck!

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Erin - posted on 09/12/2011

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I have a very similar situation...I have a two year old little girl and I also watch a 18 month old little girl 3 days a week. My daughter does not enjoy the younger one - she pushes her down and hits her if the little one even comes near or gets in her space. I have chalked it up to insecurities about her Mama having to give a lot of love and attention to another child, younger than her. She isn't this way with all other kids but she doesn't particularly like any other kids that are her age or younger. She LOVES older kids and thinks she is one of them. I think its age and circumstance.

Brandi - posted on 05/27/2011

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:) Hehe. Thanks everyone. It is much more reassuring knowing this. I just have very few friends who have kids my daughter's age and those who have kids relatively close seem to have no problem playing. Thank you for the support!

Katherine - posted on 05/27/2011

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Nope 2yo's do NOT play nice lol. Everything is mine, no, don't touch. I have one. And she plays better with her older sister than with the younger ones. It's totally normal.

Brandi - posted on 05/27/2011

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Thank you! I appreciate the input!
I will definitely try that and see how things go. :)

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