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My son prefers to play alone: Why is it? Should I be worried?

For some parents it is very worrying to see that their child plays alone, since doubts arise in this regard and it is normal to ask ourselves if our child is very independent and autonomous or if this goes further and is a matter of isolation or difficulties to interact.

If your little one likes to play alone and this causes you concern, in this article we will clarify some common doubts that parents have when they see that their children prefer to play alone.

“The children’s game consists of « wasting time » , of getting lost in time, of meeting the world through an exciting relationship, full of mystery, risk and adventure. And the engine of this action is the most powerful that we human beings know: pleasure. That is why children, when they really play, can even forget to eat ”.

-Francesco Tonucci-

Is it normal for my child to play alone?

The quick answer is: yes. Of course, several factors must be taken into consideration , starting with the age of the child.

During the first years of life, it is perfectly normal, and even expected, for the child to play alone and to be immersed in his own world, exploring everything around him.

However, when they reach three or four years of age, the socialization process begins to develop, where children seek to play and interact more with others.

And what happens if my son at that age continues to play alone? Is there something wrong with it ?; the answer is: in principle, no! Although, it is important to take into account some aspects.

Personality influences

Keep in mind that your child’s personality also influences the process of playing and socializing with others, he may be a shy child or he may simply be very independent and likes to play what he wants at his own pace without others interfering.

Some children are very outgoing and sociable, while others prefer to play alone or with a few children and all this is fine and normal, you have nothing to worry about.

“The playful world of children is as real and important for them as for adults the world of work. So we must grant him the same dignity ”.

-Bruno Bettelheim-

You may even have other children yourself who have been very friendly and who have always loved playing with others, and some who have not, and that’s fine.

On the other hand, the parenting style can influence how your child socializes, true, but you must also bear in mind that he is a unique individual, with his own personality, and that we must respect him.

“Children need time and space to play. Playing is not a luxury, it is a necessity ”.

-Kay Redfield Jamison-

Should I be concerned if my child plays alone?

In principle, if there is no added difficulty, you shouldn’t have to worry if your child prefers to play alone.

It is possible that it is just a phase , or that at the moment of getting to know other children a little better, he shows an interest in playing with them.

However, if you notice that your child is reluctant to interact with other children and that he always isolates himself in situations such as parties or at recess, you can ask for professional help.

Social skills

You may need to develop your social skills a bit more or it may simply be inherent aspects of your personality and we must understand and respect this.

The preferences

Your child may prefer to play alone, even though he sometimes plays with other children, and it is also largely a matter of personal taste ; perhaps it is not a matter of lack of social skills but simply of preferences.

If your child does not show negative and hostile behaviors at all times at the idea of playing with other children, you should not worry. Let it be, develop and grow at its own pace, with lots of love from you.

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood.”

-Agatha Christie-

Benefits of playing solo

If your child prefers to play alone, do not see it as a bad thing, because individual play has several benefits for your child ; among them:

  • They help you foster the development of imagination and creativity by having to make up the stories of your games, their characters and characteristics.
  • They will have the skills to cope very well in environments or situations in which they are alone without causing them distress.
  • They can get to know themselves better, discovering their inner world.
  • It allows them to develop their own tastes and interests without the influence of third parties.
  • It helps facilitate decision-making while teaching them to take the consequences of what they do individually.

As you can see, if your child likes to play alone, it is not necessarily a negative thing, as it offers him the possibility of developing many skills .

The problem would appear, in part, when his game was always solitary and he never wanted to interact with others, or showed intolerance and / or discomfort in the presence of another person.

“Children have to have a lot of tolerance with adults.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-

When should I be concerned?

Solo play doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, it has several advantages for your child’s cognitive and personality development.

What can be worrisome is that your child refuses to interact with other children at all times, and that negative behaviors appear at the idea of playing with others.

Go to a child psychologist

If this is the case, we recommend that you seek help from a professional psychologist; They can help you better understand the situation as well as offer you new strategies to help your child develop more and better social skills.

Accompany him with love

Remember that there is nothing established in relation to the development of children; While there are certain standards to be expected , if your child falls outside of them, don’t worry!

Offer him love and understanding , accompany him and allow him to move forward at his own pace.

“You don’t raise heroes, you raise children. And if you treat them like children, they will become heroes, even if it is only in their own eyes. “

– Walter M. Schirra-

Photos | Cover (pexels), Image 1 (pexels), Image 2 (pexels), Image 3 (pexels), Image 4 (pexels)

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