We're all social beings, and enjoy social interactions with others. Small 2 year old children are no different; however, at their age, they may not yet completely take part in playing with other children. To get your child used to being around others and learning to play with others, you can setup playdates with other parents that have similar aged children. We typically have 1 or 2 playdates for our children each week where we meet with parents of similar aged children. This could be at our home, at their home, or at a public place such parks or a children friendly place. While a 24 months old toddler may not yet know how to interact or play with other children, setting them up in an environment with other children will teach them valuable social and communication skills.
Day at the park.
Social & Emotional Development
- Two year olds enjoy social interactions, but would rather engage in parallel play when put together with other children - that is, play side-by-side with other children, but not interacting with other toddlers. Supervision is required so that the children do not fight for toys and prevent conflicts from occurring.
- Develops a better understanding of self, and also begins to have some understanding of their feelings such as sadness, happiness, and anger. Talk to your child about his or her feelings, and name those feelings. This helps your child gain a better understanding of those feelings, and know what those feelings are.
- They do not yet understand that hitting or biting hurts. Parents need to carefully explain to their toddler that hitting or biting hurts, and state clearly that hitting or biting is not permitted. Hitting or biting can be because a young child is curious, tired, excited, angry, or frustrated.
- Observation skills increase in 24 months old toddlers, and they like to imitate what your are doing, and will copy simple tasks that you are doing. For example, if you're wiping a spill off the floor with a towel, your child may also get a cloth or paper and imitate you wiping the floor. They also like to copy the play of other children.
- Some 2 year old children may begin to have some tantrums and challenging behaviors. Set examples by being kind, sharing, patient, and open. Talk to your child, explain, and resolve the conflicts peacefully.
- At this age, they begin to develop more self confidence in their own ability to do things by themselves. Encourage and praise your child, and let them master some simple things or tasks by themselves. When a child does not succeed in doing certain things, focus your comments on their effort rather than the outcome.
While a two year old child enjoys being around other children, he or she may not yet be able to share, take turns, or play games with rules. At times, they may take toys away from other children without understanding what sorts of implications their actions will have on others, so parents should take these opportunities to explain to them that what they do will have an effect on others. At this age, toddlers are still learning about their own emotions and feeling, and will need parents to guide them along to better understand their feelings, and how certain of their actions can affect the feelings of others.
Although 2 year olds may not yet be able to speak clearly, but they will understand most of what you say, and sometimes, a simple conversation will go along way to help your child understand their feelings and emotions better, and why certain actions and behaviors are not acceptable.