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Your 1 Year Old: Motor, Cognitive, Verbal, and Social Skills


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Social Skills That Children Develop by Age 1
Young toddlers can be a bit unpredictable. One minute your child ignores you, the next he's clinging to you with all his might. It's very normal for your one-year-old's temperament to fluctuate and for him to display more anxiety than before. But, while you may notice him become a bit more weary of strangers, you'll also see an amazing desire to interact with others, especially siblings and regular caretakers.

By 12 months of age, you'll probably see him:

  • react to unfamiliar situations or people with shyness or nervousness
  • show preference for mom or dad or certain caregivers
  • have a favorite toy or spot in the house
  • help you help him get dressed by putting out legs or switching arms
  • play "peek-a-boo," "pat-a-cake," or other interactive games

Highlight: Peek-a-boo can actually let you teach young children the idea of permanence, which will help a child with separation anxiety to understand that, while you might leave the room (or the house) for a period of time, you will come back. Try variations with toys, hiding them under a blanket and then unveiling them with a dramatic "peek-a-boo!" You can then move on to hide-and-seek-type games where you hide in easy-to-find places and let your toddler find you. As she realizes that you'll always be found, she may become better able to spend time away from you.

"Developmental Milestones: Toddlers." Healthycihldren.org. Web. October 10, 2011.

Powell, J. and Smith, C.A. "Developmental milestones: A guide for parents." Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service. Web. October 10, 2011.

Shelov, Sreven P. M.D., M.S., F.A.A.P., et. al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child Birth to Age 5. Banatam Book, 2009. Print.

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