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Social Development In Children – When A Toddler Feels Left Out

It is truly sad to see your toddler hurt and upset because he was ignored by his friends or excluded from playing a game. But, rejection is a normal part of the social development in children. Here are some ideas to help you ease your toddler’s pain.

Listen

As a parent, it is your obligation to be there for your toddler. Be patient and compassionate. When your toddler comes home crying because he did not get invited to his classmate’s birthday party, stop whatever you are doing, sit down together, let him talk and listen calmly and quietly. Being there for your toddler is the best way to reassure him that you will always be his friend, no matter what happens.

Know The Reason

Try to find out the reason behind the rejection and then explain it to your toddler. Was it because the celebrant was only permitted to invite a small number of guests or your toddler is not very close to the birthday celebrant unlike his other classmates? It is important to empathize with your child but it is also very crucial that you help your little one keep everything in perspective so you will not encourage your toddler’s depression or make him feel victimized. Help him think sensibly so he feels motivated to make his own decisions on how to handle rejection.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

It hurts to be left out and this can leave you with a wounded ego. Thus, it is important that you remind your toddler of all the unique traits he has. Spend more time with your toddler than usual. Make it a point to tell him that you love him and you are proud of him.

Model Social Practices

Not everyone is a social butterfly. But, you can help your toddler be more sociable by being friendly yourself. Make an effort to connect with your friends. Help out at your neighbourhood’s fundraising event. Invite your relatives to your home for dinner every week. If you are connected with the people around you, your toddler will also make an effort to be like you.

Offer An Outlet

Help your toddler deal with rejection positively. Have him join a playgroup. Enroll him in a class he is interested in so he can interact with other children who have the same interests as his. Encourage your child to be a volunteer at the animal shelter. Anything that will bring your toddler positive feedback will help boost his confidence and stop your toddler from thinking that there is something wrong with him.

Allow Venting

Most importantly, let your toddler throw a tantrum. Allow your toddler to feel sad, hurt or mad for being left out. Let him cry or stomp for a few minutes. Once he has calmed down, give him a big hug and help him think of ways to ease his grief.

Being left out is a part of life. It can be difficult to handle, especially for a young child. But by giving your toddler tools to cope with rejection, you will teach your toddler to be himself, whether he is accepted or left out.

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How To Overcome Shyness In Toddlers

Some toddlers are extroverts while others are introverts. If your toddler belongs to the latter, warming up to people can be difficult for him. But, with your support, he can grow into a confident individual. Here are some tips on how to overcome shyness in toddlers.

Do Not Attach A Label

It is best not to describe your toddler as “shy” or “timid” when you are talking to him or to other people. He may hear you say it and take it as a criticism. The label will likely stick to his mind and he will come to accept it as a fact which will only increase his timidity or make it his excuse to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Just try to think that he takes his time to get comfortable with people he does not know.

Do Not Belittle

Nothing crushes a toddler’s self-esteem faster than hurtful words and comparison. Never compare him to a more sociable child, tease or express your frustration with his lack of social skills. You will make him feel bad and damage his confidence which will only make his shyness worse.

Increase Exposure

Encourage your little one to associate with others, but do it gently so as not to overwhelm him. Set up play dates or a backyard party and invite a small group of kids his age or children younger than him (so he will not feel frightened). Go to the park or to your local zoo and invite your neighbour’s child to join you. Make more trips to the playground. This will allow your shy toddler to interact with other kids by playing in the sandbox, sitting next to someone on the swing or waiting in line for the slide. These interactions will encourage your toddler to talk to other kids. It may take some time for him to warm up, but the more exposed he is to people, the more comfortable he will become.

Hone His Talents

Know your toddler’s interests. Does he love playing the piano? Being in the water? Doing arts and crafts? Then enroll him in a piano, swimming or art class. If your toddler is around children who share the same interests, he will feel more at ease, making it easier for him to mingle with other people.

Practice

Practice at home. Maybe his teddy is in the park and teddy sees children playing tag, he wants to join but is scared to approach them. Ask your little one what he should do and make suggestions as well. Role playing is a great way for toddlers to learn things, especially people skills.

Be Compassionate

Ask your toddler why he is anxious. Is it because he is afraid the other children will tease him or will not like him? Share your own childhood stories. Tell him about the time when you went to a birthday party with your mom and how scared you were because you do not know everyone in the party. Tell him what you did and how you made friends with the other kids in the party. Assure him that his feeling is normal and that even the outgoing child in the park gets shy. This will make him understand that everything is okay, he is fine and he can overcome his shyness.

Compliment

Give praise each time your toddler makes an attempt to reach out. He has to know you appreciate his efforts. If you catch him waving at a child when he is about to leave the playground, say “That is a good wave. You made the child smile.”

Try not to worry too much. Most often, a toddler’s shyness is just a phase or his way of adjusting to the things and the people around him. Just relax, be patient and focus on helping him feel comfortable with himself, and in no time, your toddler can face the world confidently.

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Ways to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

Social interaction is an essential part in a toddler’s development. It is a vital approach for building successful and long lasting relationships in the future. At a tender age, your toddler needs to be exposed to different people and surroundings. In this way, he learns how to act in any situation helping him ease his anxiety allowing him to act confidently.

Child social skills need to be instilled now more than ever. However, not all toddlers are able to form an early ability to assert themselves or feel comfortable in their own skin. As a parent, it is your responsibility to mold your toddler into a bright and confident individual. Here are various steps you can do to help enhance your child’s social skills.

Talk to Your Toddler

Studies have proven that toddlers who have regular conversations with their parents about peer interaction are better liked by other children. Hence, they become more socially competent. Take some time to discuss manners with your toddler. Stress its importance as well as the positive and negative feedback he can get. Make it a part of your usual, daily conversation. A simple exchange of how each others day went including the highlights of you and your toddler’s day is already good training for him. Your toddler is able to learn 2 things – basic information exchange and care for the other person’s interest and well-being.

Practice

Set a good example. Practice good manners with your little one on a daily basis. Demonstrate table etiquette, morning greetings, how to introduce one’s self, show gratitude and deliver an apology. Train him to say please and thank you each time he asks something from adults and his peers. Practice positive body language – eye contact, facing the person you’re talking to, avoid getting distracted and squirming. Teaching your toddler the basics is an effective and positive way to reinforce good interaction skills. Finally, evaluate your toddler during social situations and give him pointers.

Play Together

Make time to play with your toddler. Participate in his daily activities in a peer-like way. Squeal with delight, laugh a lot, sing and dance together. When you play with your toddler without being too bossy and critical, you encourage him to act the same with his peers.

Maximize Playtime With Peers

There is no better training ground for developing your toddler’s social skills than letting him interact with children his age. Encourage him to take as much extracurricular activities as he can. Every afternoon, let him play with your neighbor’s kids in the playground. Sign him up for a piano or tennis class. Utilize his hobbies. During summer, enroll him in a summer camp. When your toddler loves what he is doing, it will be easy for him to open up to others. It gives him the opportunity to initiate and make friends with a new child. This technique is very effective in helping your little one adapt with ease to a formal group setting such as a play school or preschool.

Do Stimulating Exercises

Role playing is a good source of honing your toddler’s people skills. Encourage pretend play especially if your toddler is an introvert. For instance, he can play the role of Shrek who learns how to accept himself and gain courage throughout the series. A simple puppet show is fun yet enriching as well. This is a very good excuse for your toddler to step out of his shell and play a strong character. This gives your toddler an idea that it is okay to make mistakes, be courteous and silly all at the same time. It helps him affirm himself and be more engaging in meeting new people.

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Social Development In Children – Tips For An Only Child

It is normal for your toddler to feel lonely and secluded especially if your little one is an only child. However, this should not cause any hindrance for your toddler to be socially equipped and well-rounded. Adjusting and adapting is easy as long as you expose him to various people and surroundings at an early age.

Social development in children is mainly about interacting with other kids. A child with no brother or sister is no less capable of developing good social skills than children with siblings. You can easily improve your toddler’s social development by applying these tips.

Let Him Bond With Every Family Member

Family members are the first friends your little one makes. As an only child, it is essential that you encourage close association with relatives and the people at home. It is good that he has a tight relationship with you and your husband but, it is also important to let your toddler meet, sit, play and talk to his cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. This helps boost his self-confidence. Also, it enables your toddler to develop the habit of not only commanding others but as well as accepting the dictates of the people around him.

Maximize Time In The Playground

The best way to introduce social interaction to your toddler is by simply letting him play in your neighborhood’s playground. In this setting, he is able to meet kids his age, make friends, care for others aside oneself and learn how to listen, share and take turns. Plus, it is also an excellent way to prepare your toddler for school so he will no longer get scared meeting other children.

Enroll Him In A Class, Camp or Workshop

Another key that can boost your toddler’s social development is by introducing him to a wider scope of children. If he wants to learn how to the piano play, enroll him in a piano class. If he likes to swim, sign him up in a swimming class. During summer time, a summer camp is a great way to hone his skills and meet other toddlers. Doing something he loves helps him easily converse and make friends with others. Being a member of some activity will help to a large extent for your child to learn to live in society.

Coach Your Toddler

Talk to your toddler why friendship skills are important. Make sure he shows you how he interacts with others to ensure he does it correctly. Or, go to a public place together where a lot of children are present. Let him observe other toddlers use the skill. Once he sees the skills in action as well as the positive feedbacks it gets, the more likely he will try it on his own.

Play With Your Child

Studies have shown that parent-child play helps boost a toddler’s social growth. While it is good to expose your toddler to other children, it is also equally important for him to play with his parents. He learns a great deal just by playing with you, social skills are advanced allowing him to easily adjust with his peers. Reserve a few hours in a day to play with your toddler in a child-like way. Smile and laugh a lot. Squeal with excitement. Do not criticize him. Instead of being directive, be responsive.

Being an only child is not an excuse for having poor social development. Expose your toddler to various environments and let him mingle with different kinds of people to boost his self-esteem making him capable no matter where he is or who he meets.

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Household Chores That Help Improve Toddler’s Social Development

Even at a young age, your toddler must learn to do simple chores around the house. At this stage, toddlers love to help in the house so take advantage of it. Teaching your toddler a thing or two about household chores allow him to become responsible. Aside from that, doing simple errands allows your child to build social skills helping your tot enhance his social development. These chores need not be complex; it can be as simple as putting his plate in the sink or picking up his toys.

When your child loves helping you with your errands around the house, you know that he is having fun with his tasks. Delegating easy to do chores for him allows him to pick up important traits that improve toddler social development. Toddlers learn best when doing. Let your toddler choose the chores he wants to do. By letting him do things on his own, you allow him to pick up communal traits that can usefully assist him towards proper social growth. Below are some fun household chores for your toddler:

Cooking Meals

Probably one of the most entertaining and fun tasks a toddler loves to do is to assist people around the kitchen especially when it involves cooking meals. Have your child help you in preparing your meals. You can ask him to pass on the ingredients or allow him to mix it. Expect a 20 minute dinner food to turn into an hour of cooking. When your child enjoys what he is doing, he becomes happy and a happy child will always have a pleasant disposition allowing him to easily adapt and adjust with different kinds of people under varying circumstances.

Clearing The Dining Table

After every meal, most children will not stand up and put their plates and eating utensils in the dishwasher. Do not allow your child to be like this. Teach him table manners. Task him to help clear out the table after every meal. Let him pass on the plates to you. Studies have shown that toddlers who help out after meals are likely to relate better with their peers. By tasking your tot with this chore, you nurture him to become a sociable person, one that is sensitive enough to help out others without the need to be told.

Picking Up His Own Toys

A very basic chore, assign your child to do housekeeping errands with his toys. Let him fix his own clutter and put every toy back in their original place at the end of each day. This simple errand reminds him that he should not rely on anyone to clean his own litter and once he has grown used to it, it eliminates any unnecessary tantrum display therefore making him a welcoming child that allows him to make friends and build long lasting relationships effortlessly.

Laundry

Practice your tot to put his dirty clothes on his own hamper and let your child choose what laundry errand he wants to do. You can have him help you put clothes in the washing machine or have him assist you in putting his clothes in his cabinet. This simple chore infuses him the importance of sharing with others whether it be during work or play.

Cleaning

Simple household chores like cleaning the house also enriches your toddler’s social development. By letting him put his trash into the garbage can, do the dusting or help you in wiping the floor, this gives him the idea that life is not only about him and will make him learn that being aggressive, selfish and superficial will not generate him any good feedback from others. Also, it makes him realize the value of taking turns which is very essential in developing social skills making it easier for him to relate well with other people.

No matter how old your toddler is, assigning him easy to do household chores will not only help him learn the importance of being clean and neat. In the social perspective, an individual who has been trained to do errands at a young age is more likely to grow better social skills making him adaptable to different situations and people.

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