Worst-Case Scenarios: Classroom Edition

Your child complains that she has no one to play with at recess.

Respond with concern, but use neutral language, so it doesn't become an even bigger deal to your child, advises Christine Brennan, a kindergarten teacher in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Try, "Wow -- it sounds like you played on your own. What did you do?" Remember that in the early grades, leaving someone out is usually unintentional. The kids playing tag may not have noticed that your child wanted to join in, so practice having her say, "Hey, can I play with you?" It could also be that your child's friends use the scooters every day, but she prefers to jump rope -- and she wants someone to join her. In that case, mention that if she goes over to the jump-rope station on her own, she may meet kids who are also into the activity.

Still struggling? Ask your child's teacher to have the recess aides observe her on the playground, Leef advises. "They may say that your daughter seems frustrated, walking around with her arms crossed, making other kids hesitant to approach her." Then you can ask the aides to help your child find a group.

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