As your baby grows older he or she is going to develop what we commonly refer to as a ‘Personality. ‘He is going to make new friends, like certain people he likes more than others, share his toys, feel sorry for something he has done wrong, feel angry and frustrated. The rise of new emotions and character traits in your toddler is the beginning of his social skills.

How he develops his social skills is largely dependent on the atmosphere at home and the number of caregivers associated with his life. In Indian families, the arrival of a baby is an event which pulls the members of the family together to share the joint responsibility of raising the child. Right from the oldest grandmother to the youngest niece, everybody will have an opinion on how your toddler ought to be raised. No matter how many people love your child, you are ultimately the parent. Raising the toddler right is your responsibility. Involve everybody in your thought process and make sure they are on board with developing the social skills of your toddler in the right manner.

Tips to  encourage your toddler to become more social

Since the concept of day care has not yet gathered stem in India, most Indian babies, even those of working couples, spend more time at home with their grandparents, aunts and uncles who love to pamper and spoil the baby. The result is that once the baby turns two and starts grasping the basics of a social interaction, he learns that he can have his way. He does not learn the importance of sharing and how to take denial in stride.

Here’s how you can encourage your toddler to be more sociable

1. Enlist his help

Unless you son or daughter is a superhero, you cannot task him with things like cleaning the house or cooking or anything else. The idea here is to make your toddler feel that he is helping you out. Ask him to fetch smaller things for you. Remember to thank him for it. This way he will learn that helping is a good thing and he will be tempted to try it with his peers

2. Encourage polite behaviour

Remember to appreciate your toddler every time she or he says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. Ask the other care givers in the family to do the same. Express displeasure when there is a demand instead of a request.

3. Encourage your toddler to play with other children

It is always a great idea for your child to spend more time with children of his age group. It is with them that he will learn how to share and how to tackle refusal

4. Do not ignore your child

Whenever you have friends or relatives visiting, do not ignore your child. Your child is at a sensitive age and ignorance can make him more shy or withdrawn

Some babies are born shy. They are more attached to their caregivers and parents and are not very welcoming of strangers. Even children of their age do not help to bring them out of their shell. Be patient with such a baby. Encourage him gently. Let him know it is safe to play with other children. Appreciate him every time he takes a bold step. A nurturing and loving attitude can help your shy child become a little more outgoing.

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