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Your 2 Year Old: Motor, Cognitive, Verbal, and Social Skills

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Social Skills That Children Develop by Age 2
Experts sometimes refer to children this young as "egocentric" or self-centered. That sounds rather negative, though. Really, your child just can't yet fathom that people may have their own thoughts or concerns apart from him. At this age, then, he'll still not be ready to play with other children in a traditional, give-and-take manner. Instead, he'll engage in what's called parallel play (playing alongside others). But, even in this phase, he’ll love being around others. The more interaction with you and other children he has, the more you may see him able to:
  • copy others, especially adults and older children
  • become more independent (which may mean he becomes more defiant when challenged or told what to do)
  • understand more and more that he is separate from others
  • begin to interact with other children in games such as chase
  • comfort a distressed friend or parent
  • take turns when playing with others
  • understand when he does something that parents approve or disapprove of

Highlight: It's not unusual for some two year olds to act shy around others, especially strangers. While this is a period when parents want to encourage independence and social interaction, it's more important for you to respect your child's natural rhythm. Give him the time he needs to feel comfortable with a situation and ease him into new environments by preparing him beforehand and being calm. In instances, when your child doesn't want to be left with a sitter, use techniques for managing separation anxiety.

"Developmental Milestones: Age 2." 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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