Although toddlers may be curious and friendly, they tend to play better on their own. Small children often don't yet have the social and emotional skills to relate to other people, control their desires, or overcome their fears. Developing these social skills is a priority for early childhood learning, as children will carry these abilities throughout the rest of their lives. Learn more about developing these skills in your toddler below.
What Are Important Social Skills for Toddlers?
It’s imperative for toddlers to learn to manage their emotions, express their needs and desires, and understand the needs and feelings of others. With this foundation, your child will be able to express frustration or disappointment constructively and understand how their actions affect others. You can help your child develop these skills by practicing social behaviors with your child, such as saying “please” and “thank you.” You can also practice taking turns, reduce instances of physical aggression that your child displays, and talk about feelings and suggest alternatives to inappropriate behavior.
How Important is Social Interaction?
It’s important to provide opportunities for your child to interact with other children and practice their social skills. Joining playgroups, enrolling in an early childhood learning program or meeting other children at the playground can help your little one learn how people interact with each other. Staying close during playtime allows you to intervene and provide direction for your toddler when necessary.
When Should You Be Concerned About Social Development?
Although early childhood learning is individual to the child, talk with a doctor if they appear to have significant delays. For example, although it’s normal for young children to be cautious about new people or go through “clingy” phases, further intervention may be necessary if your child continues to show disinterest in playing with other children, struggles with managing emotions, or must be near you at all times.
Enrolling your child in an early childhood learning program will help them develop the emotional and social skills that will support a lifetime of success. A Rising Star Children's Center has been serving families in Croton on Hudson, NY, and the surrounding areas for over 15 years, offering an award-winning curriculum designed to develop leadership and academic skills. For more information about their programs, visit them online or call (914) 862-4283 to schedule a tour.