Kindergarten - Trouble Making Friends

Our 5 year-old has been having a difficult time making friends during their first year in kindergarten. We suspect a big part of the reason is that they speak baby talk to their peers and make obnoxious baby noises frequently in their interactions. We have tried to address this kindly and directly multiple times, but haven't had much success and are concerned this will have longer lasting negative repercussions the longer it goes on. Is this just a phase? Has anybody else gone through this? Any suggestions or similar experiences and solutions would be very much appreciated.

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I too have been dismayed by my 5-year-old's persistent (though less frequent than before) use of baby talk and worried about it affecting social interactions in her new kindergarten, but have discovered that nearly all her peers use it from time to time - in fact, that's probably why the behavior is so persistent! I don't know if it's a comforting regression or a button-pusher or a form of dramatic play or what. That may be the case with your child as well.

Does your child complain or act sad about other kids, or do you just not see evidence of group play and one-on-one friendships? If the former, then I agree that is a tough situation and you may want the teacher's input on what classroom interactions are like. If the latter, it may just be that the kids need to take time to get to know their new environment and one another (parent-initiated playdates can help with this). I have made sure that my child has regular playdates with her preschool friends (who all fanned out to different primary schools) so she feels grounded and "friended" as she navigates the new school. As far as I can tell the transition from preschool to kinder is a major upheaval and kids all deal with it differently and in their own time. Good luck.

My child struggled socially in Kinder. She was sad and really missed her preschool friends. We reached out to her teacher and after school program staff for help and got a list of recommended friends to nurture friendship. We  worked hard to set up play dates and sign up for after school programs and camps with these kids. My kid in first grade is doing well socially now that she has a core group of friends at school. She still misses her preschool friends to whom she feels very connected. They are still her best friends but she is more anchored socially at school. We also try to go to the local library and playground where we often run into schoolmates. 

the baby talk seems very common and normal. My now first grader is very articulate, has a huge vocabulary and reads 400+ page chapter books but still loves to pretend to be a baby and does baby talk. During kinder year, it was worse. This year, it’s better except now she pretends to be a cat and meows ...... During parent teacher conference, even the kinder teacher brought it up as apparently my kid was influencing the whole class to engage in baby talk which became annoying to the teacher!  It will likely pass.