Social development milestones for a 2-year-old

Once your baby turns a toddler, ensuring that he has achieved age-appropriate social milestones is as vital as caring for his health.

By Ananya Subramanian

Social development milestones for a 2-year-old

Once your child is 2 years old, she begins recognising herself and becomes more aware of her own needs and feelings. At this age, you need to keep track of her social skills and give her a push whenever she falls short or lags behind her peers. Her well-being depends largely on the social milestones she attains by the time she turns two. Here are some of these milestones to keep a watch on.

  1. Selfishness: It begins with the harmless act of recognising himself in the mirror. Though it might appear cute at first, you will soon realise that your toddler is also becoming increasingly aware of his needs. This will lead him to expect himself to be the focus of attention all the time. While you are trying to make him change his attitude, remember that he does not know that such behaviour is wrong and unreasonable.
  2. Possessiveness: Your baby’s selfishness will also result in her becoming extremely possessive of her belongings – and that includes her parents! When she is playing with another child, she will refuse to share anything that interests her. So, you need to understand that not all aspects of your child’s social development are on the ‘good’ side. You can try to correct her behaviour by making her understand the value of sharing.
  3. Imitation: Although your two year old would show interest only in himself, he will also try to imitate others. ‘Pretend play’ will be his new favourite game, and he will try to mimic your mannerisms and actions. Though this might irritate you at times, remind yourself that it is just his way of understanding social norms. Use this as an opportunity to be his role-model and exhibit the social skills you want him to follow.
  4. Tantrum: ‘That’s mine’ might seem like the only thing you are hearing from your toddler. Irritation, frustration and anger will become an inevitable part of her social development, and occasionally, you will witness a huge tantrum. While handling her tantrums, remember that curbing her expression and emotion is not the right way to tackle her misbehaviour.
  5. Comprehension: As his vocabulary and communication skills improve, you will find that his ability to comprehend has increased. Not only will he understand basic commands and questions, but also will start responding to them. This is the perfect stage to interact with and teach him what is socially acceptable and what is not.

This might be the age during which your little one turns increasingly towards impertinence and unsociable behaviour, but this is also an important part of her social development. Keep encouraging her to make friends and share more, and correct her behaviour in a kind and accepting way. The tolerance you show and the mild disciplining tactics you use will help her in the long run.


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