The best friend of toddlers are usually his/her own parent. However as the toddler grows, they like to start interacting with children of their own age and like having toddler friends .
Having said that, while some toddlers find it easy to make friends there are some who find it difficult. The reason being that their language skills are still under-developed and they find it exacting to communicate with others of their age. In such situations, the comfort of being with one’s parent who understands their every move is compelling.
Here, the onus lies on the parent to coax their children to step out of their comfort zone and to go on and make friends. So how can you as a parent support your toddler to make friends? Just speaking with them on the subject or giving them instructions isn’t going to help. You need to create an environment where they are eased into making friends. And here’s how you can do just that.
Don’t overwhelm your child with a lot of children at once. Instead, organise a playdate with the child of your friend. This exposure will help them get out of their comfort zone and take baby steps, literally, on the path of fostering friendships. Especially, as they see you being friendly with the mother of this “new child”.
2) Care to Share:
Playing together means sharing toys! Kids will eventually understand the value of caring is sharing, once they start playing with other kids. A common diktat that’s to be give by you is – you give your toy to your friend, he/she will give you his/her toy to play with.
A preschool that has limited students per class and one that encourages toddler interactions in a controlled and protective environment should be your choice. Here, toddlers don’t only learn how to behave with other kids but they learn how to behave outside the comfort of their home. The activities that they will do with other kids will help them break away from their shell, will help their personality blossom and will help them, yes, make friends.
So there you have it! Yes, being a parent is a tough task, but it surely can be a fun one. Think of it like that, in the process of you egging on your toddlers to make friends, you may also make new ones for life!