Socialising with others
Children need the opportunity to socialise with others their age in order to develop their social skills, form friendships and learn more about the world around them.
Although children have the opportunity to meet other children in school, many parents like to give them a head start by getting them to socialise with others at a much earlier age. This not only helps prepare them for school but also teaches other valuable life lessons, such as the importance of caring and sharing.
Here we’ll share some tips to help your little one socialise with others.
Encourage your little one to socialise at an early age.
Teach them to share early
The earlier you start teaching your toddler to share, the more likely they are to respond well to other children in social situations. For example, if you are playing with blocks, try dividing them up so you have one pile and they have another. Make sure that if you’re playing a game, your little one is taking turns with you.
Your little one will soon get the hang of it and will be able to use what they have learnt when socialising with other children.
Encourage them to care for others
Teaching your little one to be caring and helpful will greatly improve their ability to socialise with others. Get them to help with a younger sibling or even do small tasks for an elderly relative. By involving them and giving them responsibility, they will understand the need to show respect and concern for others.
Arrange play dates
If your child is quite shy, it may be good to arrange play dates in an environment they are familiar with (such as your home), until they become more confident. This will give them the opportunity to socialise with others in an environment they are comfortable in. Once your child begins to enjoy socialising with others, then you can think about taking them to play group, nursery and other friends’ houses.
Help them feel comfortable
If your little one is lacking confidence in the socialising department, do what you can to make him or her feel comfortable. Sitting with them on the floor with the other kids, until they start to join in with play, is a great way to make your little one feel more comfortable and confident. It may take a while for them to adjust, so just be patient.
Take them to play group or nursery
It’s important that your child learns to socialise with others, as this will really help them when it comes to starting school in a few years time. Taking your little one to play group or nursery is a fantastic way for them to meet new children and enjoy socialising in a new, stimulating environment.
Children really develop their social skills in these environments and they can also help them to gain a sense of independence.
This is also beneficial for parents. Play group will help you to meet other parents in the local area and later on, nursery will give you the opportunity to leave your child in good hands, whilst you do some errands, toddler-free!
Play group and nursery sessions give your child the chance to socialise with others their age.
Do something they enjoy
Children can develop hobbies quite early on in life. You can’t guarantee they’ll enjoy doing the same thing in a month or even a week’s time but it’s still good to show interest and encourage them to do something they enjoy.
So if your little one expresses an interest for dancing, why not sign them up for a ballet class? Or if they enjoy going to the swimming pool, see if there are any swimming classes or groups you can go to together.
These groups and classes provide a great opportunity for your little one to socialise with others their age, whilst also learning a new skill.
Written by Carly Garrett