Tag Archive | "toddler social development"

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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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.


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.


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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