Child alone at school and don’t know how to help

Evening all. My 5 year old told me tonight that she sits alone at break and lunch time because no one will play with her. I know that some of this is due to her own shyness and hesitation to insert herself into a group. What I’m trying to figure out is whether it’s appropriate to ask her teacher about this situation. I just wonder whether the teacher has noticed this and/or any similar dynamics in the classroom, but I also want to respect the teacher’s time as know they’re rushed off their feet. Maybe this is just normal?! Any insights would be much appreciated!

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I fully get how heartbreaking this is @sunshine84. My 5 year old son (nearly 6) is the same. I have found it really difficult to try and talk to him about it as he will say he has no friends but then completely shut down when I try and expand on the conversation and support him. I did actually talk to the teacher about it who frankly wasn’t much help. He just confirmed that my son does find it difficult to navigate friendships and much prefers to be beside an adult and that they would do what they could to support him but ultimately, he needs to find his own way with it. I kind of get it but on the other hand, I wonder whether there’s more they could be doing to support him finding a bond with some children??


Sorry to hear this @sunshine84. It hurts so much when our children are hurting doesn’t it? At our school they have a lonely bench where if you’re feeling lonely or don’t have anyone to play with you can go and sit on it. I think the teachers keep a discrete eye on it too. Does your school have anything like that? I would definitely speak to the teacher. Maybe we’re lucky, but I’ve always had good experiences with the school supporting us. When our daughter is finding things hard emotionally or with friends, not just with the school work side of things. Let us know how you get on. Good luck xx


Hi sunshine84 I’m sorry to hear this. I do agree that it is ok to speak to the teacher about this. I think it’s something the teacher would want to know, and it’s probably something they’ve had experience of before, so would be able to support your daughter in the right way. At the very least they can keep an eye out and ask the other members of staff, such as the teaching assistants and mid-day meal supervisors to keep a look out too. It would be good to find out what the school have in place to support the children at playtime, such as such as a ‘lonely bench’ as Mumof2 suggests. I know of some schools who train the older children to be ‘Buddy monitors’ or hire sports teachers to organize games or have a supervised ‘cool down area’ where the children can take time out to draw and colour.

Are there any children that your daughter would like to play with? In time, plus only if this is feasible and comfortable for you both, perhaps you could arrange a play date?

Please let us know how you get on.


Thanks so much @Parent_Coach_Mel , you’re right, I’m going to call the school to have a chat about it. It’s tricky to know how much to intervene. I’ve seen “buddy benches” in the playground but she’s told me she won’t sit on them. I’ll find out what kind of other support they offer at lunchtime. Thanks all :heart:


This is v useful, thank you

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