12 – 24 months:
Toddlerhood is a whole new ballgame. While your toddler is now a lot more curious about the world, he can only understand it in terms of how he fits into it. Your toddler will begin to enjoy the company of his peers but will be unable to understand how to share or take turns, which can make play dates fraught with unpredictability … friends one day, enemies the next! He'll also want to do things his way, which can lead to defiance and tantrums.
24 - 36 months:
You may not have thought it possible, but between 2 and 3 years, your toddler may seem even more self-centred than his younger self; he isn’t yet capable of empathising with those around him, so can appear to be uncaring. But as he matures, he will learn how to share and take turns, and find one or two like-minded 'special' friends.
If separation anxiety becomes an issue, stay calm.Don't feel concerned that your toddler is developing anti-social tendencies – it’s all part of his normal development. Rather than pushing him out of your arms and into situations that he is clearly unhappy with, take the slow approach and try to desensitise him to spending time without you by introducing him to other carers while you stay around.
Invite a friend around for a play date.Yes, there will be issues with sharing and taking turns, but the best way your toddler will learn to get on with others, is by spending time in the company of other children. If you ensure that you are always monitoring the play (and quickly step in if things get a bit heated!), and that there are enough toys to share around, he should be able to enjoy the company of his pals without too much stress.
Toddlers are, by nature, self-centred.Sharing is a learned skill that can take years to master, so don’t be surprised if your toddler can’t manage to do it gracefully. At this age, he is only focussed on his wants and needs, and how other people impact on him. He hasn’t matured enough yet to show any empathy, so don’t be surprised if he shows little regard for those around him. This is a good age though, to model the manners that you expect from him as he gets older.
Get him connected with other kids.There’s no better way to hone your toddler’s social skills than in the rough and tumble of group activities. So join a playgroup or gym class – anything that he enjoys where he can spend time with his peers focussed on a joint activity.
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- 2. Going to bed problems
- 3. Reading with toddlers
- 4. Learning songs
- 5. Cooking with a toddler
- 6. Best books for toddlers
- 7. Play stages for toddlers
- 8. Feeding toddlers
- 9. Encouraging your toddler to eat
- 10. Toddlers and fussy eating
- 11. Toilet training basics
- 12. Discipline tips for 1 - 3 year olds
- 13. Toddler fears
- 14. Why does my toddler lie?
- 15. Best toddler tips
- 16. 10 tips to deal with tantrums