Published here with permission from The MOORE REPORT INTERNATIONAL - January/February 2001

The Moore Foundation, Box 1, Camas, WA 98607

Questions and Answers

"Does our Child Need Playmates?"

Q. In your books, you talk about children having little contact with other children; they should be around their parents mostly. That is the way it is in our home; our daughter who is six, almost 7, is with me all the time and we enjoy each other. She goes to Sunday School and sometimes choir. She had some little friends at Mother's Day Out at church but then they all went off to Kindergarten, and we haven't heard from them since. It hurt me that their mothers didn't encourage them to continue to be friends with our daughter, but there was nothing I could do about it. They are, of course, busy in public school.

The homeschoolers I've met in our town seem very clannish and their kids don't seem to need any other friends. When we go skating or whatever, every kid seems to already have somebody and our daughter is ignored. I've quite going, as it is so uncomfortable. Neither she nor I are outgoing, although she seems to have more confidence than I do. She is very well-behaved.

My question is, should I be worried at this point that she doesn't have anybody to play with? Sometimes it really bothers me that she doesn't have a friend, then I think about what you say in your books. I just don't know where I stand on this. Please advise me.

I will say that she keeps herself entertained a lot. She loves to color, she loves school, she loves to play dolls, games, puzzles. But I sometimes feel so bad that she has to play by herself all the time, or with me or her dad. Should I feel bad? Or is this better right now?

A. I don't detect any stress from your daughter, so evidently you are more concerned about her not having friends to play with than she is. Some children her age can hardly stand it if they don't have someone coming around to play with them a significant amount of time every day! The research done by J. Wesley Taylor shows that children can suffer deprivation from their parents, but never from their peers! Isn't that good news? This means that you can be content that she is fine as long as she has you around. How good that is for binding her to your heart -- just what you want.

Is there a little girl her age in the community whom you could occasionally invite to come to your home and the two of them could do something together under your supervision -- like bake cookies to take to someone? Perhaps she could develop a small home business of making and selling something like key chains made from beads. That way she will be "socialized" by people of all ages.

At the moment she is probably content with her solo play which is typical of children this age. Keep your eyes open; some good friends should be on the horizon when appropriate. In the meantime, enjoy her friendship and nurture the good times you can have together right now.