How to Help Your Child Be More Social

Dear Sara,

My daughter is in third grade this year. She is somewhat shy and overweight for her age. She seems to have no friends, and the other girls, while not mean to her, are not friendly either. I volunteer at school once a week and have noticed that she seems like an outsider. I have tried to tell her what to do to engage with her classmates but it doesn’t seem to sink in. Is there anything I can do to help?
-Mary

Dear Mary,

It sounds like your daughter will have problems making friends on her own. See if you can find some activities where she can be part of a group like dance classes or whatever is available in your area. She also needs an activity that will help her burn off some of those extra calories. Sometimes being overweight can make a child less apt to socialize. If she is only interested in sitting around watching TV then you may need to participate by taking her on bike rides or for walks. With your encouragement and help with diet and exercise, she can probably learn to be more social.
-Sara

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