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How To Help a Shy Two Year Old To Mix At Creche

It's quite normal for toddlers to be the life and soul of the party at home, but to become shy and withdrawn in social situations.

One reader of our sister magazine Easy Parenting, recently posed this question to childcare expert Louise Barrett, director of childcare at The Park Academy:

My two-year-old son has been attending a crèche for the past three months as I have recently gone back to work full time. I have recently been told that he isn’t interacting with the other children and he keeps to himself – regardless of how much effort is put into encouraging him to play with the other kids. Should I be worried?

Louise's Advice: When Mum goes back to work, it can be challenging on everyone in the house! If your little boy has been with you for two years and has only recently started crèche, this is a big change in his daily routine, and children can react to change in several different ways.

READ NEXT: Should I Worry About My Toddler's Behaviour In Crèche?

At two years of age, not all children interact with their peers. Some children are more social than others, and different temperaments need to be respected. The group size in crèche’s varies and if it is a large group, your little boy may need some additional help to keep him from feeling overwhelmed.

How Can You Help To Improve Things?

  • Perhaps you could consider arranging to meet up with one of his buddies in the playground at the weekend or you could ask would you be allowed to take home a group photo of the class to help him learn the names of all his little pals.
  • Another good idea, could be to send in a packet a healthy treats and allow him to give them out to his friends at circle time. These tips will develop his identity and belonging and sense of security within the group. 
  • I think it would be wise to sit down with the crèche manager and the main carer in his room and discuss how he is getting on. Listen to exactly what they have to say and with their expertise analyse his behaviour.

READ NEXT: Help Your Toddler Learn Through Play

Questions To Ask The Creche Team

Early childhood professionals would be very experienced in recognising anything that warrants concern. Some questions you could ask them the team might include:
  • Did he settle well at the beginning and has now become withdrawn, or do they feel he has liked to keep to himself from the beginning?
  • Will he connect and engage with the carers in his room?
  • Is he happy?

When the childcare team and family communicate clearly with the child at the heart of every conversation, it is the best possible outcome to overcome any worries or concerns you may have. Always remember that while parenting can be incredibly challenging, ultimately it’s the most rewarding job we’ll ever have.

Did you find this article useful? Click here for more childcare tips. 


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