Adequate social development in children is one of the most important factors in the growing process of every child. It is during this time that a child learns how to control its feelings, understands its needs, and begins to interact with people in a polite and respectful way.
Read on to find out what to expect from your child when it comes to social development.
Around the age of 2 years, your child will start engaging with others - though they would still prefer to be around mom and dad. Usually, a child this age would play 'next to' instead of 'with' others. This is referred to as parallel play. There isn't too much interaction during this age, but it's important to allow your kid to mingle and interact with others.
This is also the age where kids start to fight over things and toys. It is extremely difficult for them to understand the feelings or perspective of another. During this stage, they tend to be selfish and can only think of oneself.
By the age of 3, your child will start to seek out others. They will want to play with other kids as this is the time when associative play starts. Give your child plenty of opportunities to play around with other kids. However, it's also important to supervise them and give them reminders about taking turns and sharing. Though it's still difficult for them to understand the concept of sharing, it's a good time to teach them to be respectful and to make compromises.
Pretend play, creative activities, and dress-up are some of the things you will notice your child engrossed in. They will learn to imitate and copy the actions of elders and other kids as well.
3 years is also the age group when your child starts to understand different emotions such as happiness, sadness, etc. It's important to make them understand these emotions in order to be aware of their feelings as well as the feelings of others. They will also start to show love and affection by offering kisses and hugs whenever needed.
Age 4 and 5 is the time your child will start preschool and hence will now be interested in playing and interacting with other kids more. This is a good time to get your child involved in sports or games that do not have too many restrictions or rules since putting them into something that has strict rules will probably make them dislike the sport or game.
Now, by this age, your child will start to be more cooperative and will understand the concept of waiting their turn or sharing their toys with others - though there will still be fights over toys. This stage allows kids to resolve their conflicts verbally and develop ways to negotiate on their own.
The state of being independent is something every parent wants to see their child in. 4 to 5 years is the time when your child would start exhibiting the kind of behaviour associated with independence. Putting away toys, choosing her dresses, or probably even trying to dress herself are some of the things you would notice.
Keeping all the above points in mind, it's important for every parent to allow your child to be comfortable and confident in their own way. Giving them space and time to develop are also key factors in the social development of every child.