2.5 yr old is scared of kids

My 2.5 year old refuses to play with other kids. She’s an only child and spends most of her time with me. When I take her to the park she runs away from kids and says she’s scared of them. There’s been a time or two when she’s been around one other kid and although it took her sometime to warm up ,she did end up playing well with him. Should I be concerned? Any tips on how to break her from this fear without making it worse ?

Hi and welcome to our community!

From my own personal mom experience, I really think is very typical behavior. While some kids might be more forward and open to just “being friends with anyone” it actually makes a lot of sense for a child to be more cautious about opening up to others or new situations they’re not comfortable with.

I specifically have noted how many kids get nervous to join in at birthday parties (which is Covid is more rare). While we expect them to find other kids so fun, they’re not always emotionally prepared.

I actually read somewhere that it’s a teaching opportunity when these types of new situations come up and our kids are more closed off than we’d like or expect that instead of saying- “go play, you’ll have fun. Don’t be shy” to say, “when you’re ready you can go play with those nice friends”. It shows our kids that they can trust themselves to feel comfortable and safe and leaves the door open for joining in the fun when they feel comfortable rather than being pushed into it.