Tag Archive | "social development"

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.


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 Teach Your Toddler The Value of Sharing

Toddlers tend to be overprotective of their things and they have a hard time taking turns. Thus, it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children the value of sharing. Here are a few useful tips you can try out.

Talk About It

Talk about sharing with your toddler. Make it a frequent topic of conversation in your home.  For instance, while you are playing together, say something like “Can I have a turn?” or “It is your turn.”. Or, when you are going out to run some errands, explain to your little one that he sat in the front seat last week and it is his older brother’s turn. After reading a book, ask your toddler’s opinion. Or, if a fight took place at the playground because David did not let Dennis try the swing, ask him how he would feel if he was Dennis or what would have happened if David and Dennis took turns using the swing. This is an excellent technique to help your little one grasp the concept of sharing.

Practice It

While you are playing with your toddler, have him stack a block on top of yours or take turns putting puzzle pieces. Tell him to flip one page of the book while you flip the next during reading time. Role play with your toddler. He can be the friend while you can be the child who does not want to share a basket of apples with others. Demonstration helps your toddler realize that sharing and taking turns is fun.

Organize A Play Date

Invite a few of your neighbour’s kids over to your house. Provide items that can be shared such as blocks, coloring books, crayons, markers, clay and jigsaw puzzles. Or, you can ask your little one to put away his special toys but leave 3 or 4 toys that can be shared. You may also prepare some games that encourage sharing and teamwork. Some good examples include:

  • Band Game – Collect all your toddler’s musical instruments, give each child an instrument and let them play the instruments at the same time.
  • Hunting Game – Divide the children into 2 teams, give each team a basket and a list of things they need to find. Give a time limit and emphasize that each member of the team should be able to find at least one item on the list to ensure they will help one another.
  • Play Doctor – Provide the children with a teddy bear. Assign one toddler to be the doctor while the other will be the daddy. The teddy bear (the patient) will have to be passed to the doctor for a check-up and then returned to the daddy. Then, switch their roles, the doctor will be the daddy and the daddy will be the doctor.


Each time you see your toddler share, praise him. Let him know how happy you are because he shared his sandwich with a playmate who forgot to bring his snack box or commend him for giving his old toys to charity. Remember, all it takes is a little praise to encourage someone to continue a good deed.

Most importantly, make sure you let your toddler witness it with his own eyes. Give him the last piece of cookie. Share your ice cream. Offer to open the door for an old woman.

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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 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.


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 Help Your Child Make Friends

Having friends is an important part of your toddler’s life. It is also a way for him to develop social skills. If your toddler is a little shy, it would help to have mommy and daddy lend a hand. Here are some tips on how to help your child gain and keep friends.

Arrange Regular Play Dates

Start by inviting one or two toddlers your child knows to your home. They can be around his age or a little older (the older child might initiate a little more). Play dates give an introvert toddler a good start for a social life. Just make sure to keep play dates short, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient time for them to interact with each other. You do not want to overstimulate them as they may start to bicker.

Provide A Lot of Fun Games and Activities

Start a fun play date by planning games and activities for your toddler and his playmates. This will make your little one more comfortable and confident. Know their common interests so you can come up with activities they will enjoy. For instance, if your toddler and his playmates love drawing, then provide them lots of drawing materials. Once they are done, they can take turns explaining their masterpieces. Doing something they love together is the fastest way for your toddler to make friends.

Get Involved

Do not just leave the children to play by themselves and hope it all works out. You can oversee a craft project while letting them do as much on their own as possible. Be there in case an argument takes place, if they need a change of activity or if they stop playing together. Your assistance can make toddlers feel more at ease with each other.

Schedule An Outing

Encourage your toddler to play on the playground so he can mingle with other children. Invite your toddler’s classmate to have ice cream at the mall or go to a park. Or, organize a family trip and invite your friend and her child for picnic or spend the morning at the zoo and then have lunch together.

Enroll Your Toddler In A Class or Club

Participating in extracurricular activities is a great opportunity for your toddler to hone his social skills. Find an activity or a sport your youngster is interested in and sign him up. For instance, if he loves playing soccer, then enroll him in a soccer class. This will allow your toddler to meet and interact with other children who share his interests.

Be Your Toddler’s Playmate

Play with your toddler on a daily basis. This allows you to stimulate interaction while getting to know your toddler’s strengths and weaknesses. He may love drawing but may struggle completing puzzles. This will give you an idea what activities to include and exclude in a play date.

Teach Your Toddler How To Listen

It is very easy to talk yet very hard to keep quiet and listen. Explain to your toddler that making friends takes time and effort. Tell him to give someone time to talk about himself and that he should listen when a person is talking. Also, remind your toddler that when he talks about himself, he should not boast nor exaggerate.

The art of making friends is tricky. But you can help your toddler by taking small, gentle step that promote positive interaction without making him feel like he is being pressured to make friends. Focus on giving him behaviours, values and experiences that make him attractive to other children.

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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.


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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