Learning Positive Friendship Skills in Toddler Age

April 19, 2018

Newborn child loves to look at faces. In these early months, they start to learn how to be a friend and relate to other people. They learn social skills by watching how the adults in their lives relate to and interact with others. They will soon recognise their own name and love to play little turn–taking games with adults around him/her. This is the start of the give–and–take of relationships. Toddlers will enjoy these interactions with us throughout the day and from it, they will learn other people are fun and they can have the ability to interact with others. Toddlers have lots of learning to do because everything is new to them, and they are trying to make sense of it all.

Being able to take turns with others is key for children’s social development. Through their relationships with their primary carers, toddlers build feelings of safety which enable them to gradually move further away themselves and develop more relationships with others. Although they do not recognise other toddlers as playmates, they often like to be around them and show interest in looking at them. When a baby is at playgroup or child care, they need adults to play with and respond to them as well as support them in their interactions with other babies. Toddlers enjoy being near and watching others and at this stage they first tend to play alongside others rather than with them. They tend to copy and imitate what others do.

Young toddlers do not yet understand anyone else’s point of view. They just know theirs. The toddler becomes more consciously aware of herself/ himself and others while they use to interact with others both in small group and big group. The sense of self is getting stronger and also helps the toddler become more aware of how other people feel. She begins to use the words me and mine. An emerging understanding of cause and effect helps the toddler as well to know that grabbing her friend’s toy will make him/her cry. Another equally new understanding of order and sequence also gives the senior toddler the tools to begin to take turns. Through those around them toddlers are learning about the world and how to relate to other people such as how to be friendly, how to invite others to join in, taking turns, talking and playing together.

This article is written by Yenti Handala, Center Director of Tutor Time Pluit. Ms Yenti holds a degree in Education from Atmajaya University and has 16 years of educating experience. If you would like to know more about preschool in Pluit you can find out more here or chat with us via Whatsapp.

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