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Social Skills

Your toddler lives in a “me-centred” universe. In many ways, her behaviour is a survival mechanism designed to make sure she gets what she needs to survive and thrive. Toddlers are not yet able to think ahead or remember consequences; nor are most toddlers able to share, empathize, or control their impulses. You can begin to build the foundation for the development of these social skills, but it is wise to keep your expectations for “good” behaviour reasonable.
  • Language and communication skills will form the basis of your child’s relationships with other people. You can help your toddler develop social skills by responding to body language and attempts at talking. Encourage the development of speech by chatting, singing, reading, and listening to your child.
  • Strong attachments to family members help your toddler feel safe and loved. This sense of security is very important for building the connections in your toddler’s brain that support healthy social development.
  • For now, your toddler will not be able to control impulses. Changing the environment is the most effective way to change a toddler’s behaviour. If she throws sand, remove her from the sandbox. If he refuses to stop yelling, leave the restaurant. Establishing firm limits and reasonable consequences may not ensure the behaviour you want, but it can help your toddler begin to recognize your expectations.