How do I explain to my toddler that not everyone wants to play with her?

How do you explain to a 2 year old that some kids just don’t want to play with them? I take my 2 year old and 9 month old to 2 different toddler parks. they’re in the “nicer & wealthier” towns next to ours. I like them because one is shaded and they both have toddler areas. 9/10 times we go all of the kids there ignore my daughter but will play with each other. The moms as well usually ignore me. My daughter will get really upset when she tries to befriend someone and they either ignore her or say no. I don’t know if it’s our appearance, our skin color or what. It happens so often and it breaks my heart to see her get ignored.


Honestly, find a place closer to home. If the adults are turning up their nose, the kids will follow. Do I agree with it? No. Should it be that way? No. But for right now, your baby doesn’t understand, and now is not the time to teach them about idiots. Now is the time for them to be children and have fun.

Also if you think its your income or skin color etc, my suggestion is go to a park closer to home, even if the parks aren’t as good, make friends with some other moms who aren’t jerks that your kid can play with theirs… then bring your new group of friends to the other park. Then you have friends, your baby has friends and you all get to use the nicer park. Then all the nose in the air parents can decide to leave, or converse like people.


Oh, are the facilities paid for/maintained/considered an amenity by the neighborhood so you’re in essence seen as using them for free?

Unfortunately as much as people like to believe they’re not, people are judgemental. (This can be a survival mechanism etc and not necessarily a bad thing. The only bad part are ones unwilling to budge, that put everyone in one category and refuse to see the good and uniqueness in everybody)

You’ve judged ‘nicer, wealthier’ and the wealthier don’t like playing outside their income bracket. Same as, if your in a small town, people don’t like to socialise outside their town folk.

This unfortunately isn’t something that you can explain to a child (that’s what school actually teaches kids without meaning to) .

Only advice I can think of is:
If there are other parks try them (the park maybe perfect but maybe sacrifice perfect for more suitable people) and just gently remind your child that we are all different and not everyone gets along

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Why would you go somewhere that you and your kids don’t feel comfortable. Look for somewhere else that suits better .


Do you talk to the other moms? Do they feel you are trespassing on “their” playground/park? Are they suspicious because you don’t live in their neighborhood and aren’t sure what you’re doing there? Do they have fears about your motives, like you’re going to ask them for money? Start a conversation. Explain why you like the facility for your kids.

Ask the moms if they know why their kids shun yours. Are they more comfortable with the kids they know from their neighborhood/preschool/religious institutions? Do they consider playing with your children “talking to strangers”? Do they come with expensive toys and are afraid of them being mistreated or stolen? Do your kids behave on par with the others or are yours a little wilder/louder/ruder?

If your kids have some neighborhood friends or similar aged relatives, can you take them along with you for your kids to play with?

Try taking her to different ones. Stuck up people never change. She should be able to make friends and have fun.


It could also be her age. I have a two year old and when we go to the park, she won’t play with a single kid. Ever. I also dont generally talk to other moms at the park, I’m there to play with my kid. She’s also little so I want eyes on her all the time and not to get distracted. Very little info here but is it just you and your kid not being talked to? Have you ever tried talking to someone? If you haven’t made a move to socialize, then try that rather than assuming it is another factor. Some people aren’t outgoing.


I have been to places that made me feel uncomfortable before , I stopped going and I met great people and friends. Definitely go where you and you kiddo feel welcome:)


Maybe invite a friend and their kids to join then your toddler would have someone she is comfortable to play with.


Unfortunately going to a “wealthier” neighborhood you will run into way more stuck ups. It’s not even the kids fault. That behavior is taught. I would try to find a park in your neighborhood. Be creative to make shade for yourself and baby. But no kid deserves to be left out just because you’re from a different neighborhood. Could find a mummy and tot group as well. They do things inside as well as outside and your little one would make much more friends.

I just explained to my kids that not everyone is going to like them, and they won’t like everyone. It’s ok if someone does not want to play with them.

If u came to east end kwanis me and my grandkids would

Time to find another park

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Maybe the moms know that you do not live in the area and see you as an outsider.
Try other parks

My daughter is really really really introverted. We live on a private hill with no neighbors her entire life. And was homeschooling for preschool and kindergarten (because of covid).

Until she turned 6 I played with her. I hopped on the playground Like a kid and embarrassed the he’ll out of myself.
But it made her realize that she didn’t have to have people to have fun she just needed to feel safe.

Now she’s still extremely introverted but she’s confident. She knows how to play with herself and enjoys it. Well, I guess she enjoys ot too much because wherever we go , kids flock to her! She has fun and doesn’t hide it. Other kids seem that and they want a part of it.

I never forced other kids or even asked other kids or parents to play with my daughter. Showing her ways to have fun by herself (or with you) is actually the first step to solving your problem. She needs to feel safe in order to have fun and come out of her may be that she doesn’t feel safe in a crowd :slight_smile: maybe try limiting play dates to 1 or 2 friends so that she isn’t overstimulated.

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