When your baby starts walking and talking they are officially considered a toddler and this usually happens between eighteen and twenty four months of age. This is when they start seeking out either adults or other children to play and interact with and have also been called the “terrible twos” because they are so curious and into everything. So how does your toddler socialize and how can you help them get past this milestone in their little lives?
Socializing with Adults
You were probably thinking that social skills means social interaction with other children who are around their own age group but children also need to socialize with adults as well. Many kids this age shy away from other grownups when their parents take them to family or business functions. They may be overwhelmed by all the strangers and stick to their mom and dad’s legs like glue. Other children may be more like little social butterflies and talk to anyone and everyone who will listen. Both these behaviors are perfectly normal and it is important to let them become more social with adults in their own time.
Socializing With Other Children
If your child is an only child or the youngest, they are getting to the point where they want to play with other children their own age or the other older children in the home. This can be a time of household unrest as toddlers do not have a sense of sharing. They are like little puppies only living in the moment and do not think about what will happen in the time to come. When they are playing with a toy, they do not understand the concept of sharing; they just see the toy that they want being taken away from them. It is important to instill in them that they should share and eventually they grow out of this stage. Of course, each child develops differently so the age they should be when they start seeing others as a part of their social group is also different. You may also notice that they have a pretend friend that they talk to at this age and again, this is perfectly normal. They are simply exercising their social skills and are playing at being friends.
The main thing to remember about socializing a toddler is that all children progress and learn at different rates. Patience is key here because you will have to be the bad guy once in awhile while teaching your child social manners. Your child will probably catch on quicker than you realize and will be the better for it.
I am now raising the baby of five children and one more tip I can give you is that every child is different. They all grow and change at their own rate and each is unique. Love your child, interact with him regularly and he will grow at the pace that is right for him.