Delays in children’s social development have been noted by Ofsted as a recurring feature at providers of childcare. As many as 1 in 3 settings working with two-year-olds have seen delays in emotional, social and behavioural development.
Toddlers with low personal and social skills find it difficult to make relationships with their peers, play cooperatively and share. This means that in many cases they are unable to participate in group activities, due to their difficulties in communicating with other children. In turn children’s development of social skills suffers, as they spend less time improving their language skills through speaking and listening.
So what can you do to help your toddler develop key social skills which will set them up for interacting with other children, and ensure they are ready for school in years to come? Here are our top tips:
Having regular playdates with other children is essential when it comes to your child’s social development. Meet up with friends or family members with children to give your little one a chance to play and interact with other youngsters. Alternatively, consider joining local clubs or going to mother & toddler meet-ups.
Can your child listen to instructions and follow them? Start simple and remember that your toddler is influenced by your tone of voice. Children seek challenges, but can shy away if something seems too difficult, so be patient and as they start to follow instructions your little one will develop valuable social skills.
Reading books with your youngster is not purely for encouraging academic skills, it can teach a lot of social skills, such as listening, as well as understanding of stories and emotions. This one -to-one time can widen your child’s understanding of the world.
Lead by example
Children absorb a lot from what they see and hear of the relationships of others. Parents who act in a kind, caring manner, and are polite and respectful to others can expect their child to act in the same way. Showing affection to your child will help too. Children who are more open and affectionate are more likely to have friends.
Using these as a guide you should see that your child’s social skills improve over time. We would love to hear your success stories, feel free to reply in the comments box below, or even add any tips of your own!
Author Bio: This article has been provided by Katy Crouch, a writer working alongside the educational experts at Learning Resources.