Daycare is a completely different world for toddlers, as it's often the first time a child spends an extended period of time away from family. Given the new environment, good social skills are critical. However, teaching this new set of skills to a toddler isn't always easy.
A part of social development is not suppressing your emotions, but instead learning how to manage them. As a result, it's important that you create an environment in which your child can freely express their emotions so that they learn how to control them. For instance, if your child is upset that you won't let them play with their toys, allow your child to feel upset, but talk to them about their feelings and the right way to show them.
Once your child begins daycare, they will encounter many instances in which they might feel sad and upset, so the better they can manage these emotions now, the better their social development.
Children learn by example, so it's important you always set the best parental example, socially. For example, always practice excellent conflict resolution skills. If your child regularly sees you get upset and get out of control, the child will assume that this type of behavior is acceptable and may, in turn, mimic it. Instead, show your child how to communicate and work through difficult situations.
Once your child begins daycare, they will rely on the same conflict resolution practices that they saw you display. Practice everything you've taught your child whenever they're around because they're always watching.
Lead and Follow
A part of having good social skills is knowing how to be both a leader and a follower. While many toddlers naturally have a take-charge attitude, it's important that you only let your child lead some of the time.
A healthy balance of the two will help your child when they begin daycare because it will help the child be able to take direction from their classroom instructor and be able to engage when another child at the daycare wants to take the lead. It's good to teach this skill during game time by letting your child be in charge of the game sometimes and other times telling your child that you get to be in charge.
When it comes to helping your child with social development patience is a must. All children develop differently, and social skills are no exception. Stay persistent and your will child advance.
For more information on social skills and daycare, contact a local company such as Kids Future Day Care Center.