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Your child at 2 1/2 years

Your child at 2 1/2 years

Time to talk

Up until now, your child will have played alone, with you, or alongside other toddlers, but around now, he will start to become a bit more sociable. This is the age when children start to interact with each other, playing (and, inevitably, squabbling) together.

Making friends

Social abilities such as sharing, negotiating and turn-taking are crucial life skills to learn. But this can be tough for shy and outgoing children alike. Help your child be more sociable by:

  • Letting him share your life ??not just playing together, but doing household tasks (even if it's a little frustrating). If he can help unpack the groceries, or mop the floor he'll develop the ability to share tasks and lend a hand.
  • Showing lots of affection in the form of smiles, cuddles, and kisses. A child shown love learns to give love in return.
  • Not expecting too much. Your average 2 翻 year old is very self-focused ??to him, the world only exists through his eyes. Don't expect empathy yet. But do offer praise when your child shares, or is kind, thoughtful or considerate, to encourage him in the right direction.
  • Understand that sharing precious toys is difficult. When another toddler comes to play, encourage 'neutral' play with water, cooking, or rather than letting them pick their way through your child's toy box of treasures.
  • Leading by example. If you are friendly, always say please and thank-you, and take obvious pleasure in sharing and social interaction, your child will learn to follow your lead.
  • Giving him lots of chance to practise. Take him to lots of social situations ??playgroups, music groups, other people's homes, family events. The more practice at social interaction he gets, the better he'll become.