He is an altogether more caring, sociable and sensitive child as he reaches this child social development phase. Friendships are regarded as important and he looks forward to seeing his friends each day, whether at home or at playgroup or nursery.
Toddler temper tantrums are less frequent and less intense as he gains a better understanding that the world does not always revolve around him.
During the 31 month old development to 36 month old development, he plays more cooperatively with his friends - they don't always share and take turns without arguing, but minor disagreements are becoming less frequent. His social skills training are beginning to pay off.
Make a special point of praising your child when he does play well with others, because this praise reinforces appropriate child social development. Remind him, before you take him for a visit at a friend's house that he should behave properly and share toys and games with his friend.
Your child gradually becomes more amenable to your family rules and the frequency of challenges to the limits you set decreases. His thinking and language learning skills are more advanced, too. So now is a good time to spend more time explaining to him why you have rules. Don't make your discussion too long or complicated. Keep it basic. Once you have explained to him the reasons why, for instance, he shouldn't hit someone, ask your child to explain the rule to you. As well as being a good way of testing his understanding, it also reinforces the message.
By this age your child is capable of undertaking basic tasks in the house, such as putting waste paper into the bin or putting his toys back in the cupboard. You may need to explain to him how to carry out such a task, but it will be within his capabilities and he will glow with pride when you then praise his helpfulness.
By now, his self concept is more clearly defined. He is more aware of who he is, of his own distinctive strengths and weakness, of his likes and dislikes, and of the way other people react towards him as an individual. You'll find that he becomes indignant when he discovers that his personal space of possessions have been used by someone else. This is a very positive sign of his maturity; though you may find his pleas that things should be done his way rather tiresome.
Involve him in minor decisions about clothes and food choices, where possible. Engage his in discussions about paint and wallpaper for his room when it's time to redecorate.
Be sure to visit all the child social development pages for different ages.
Read more about the different stages of social development.
If he suddenly seems unwilling to attend his new playgroup or to go to a friend's house because of shyness, encourage him to go anyway. Tell him that there will be plenty of exciting activities that he will miss if he doesn't go.
One of the ways your child learns basic social skills is through imitation of you and others in you family at home. Let him see you cooperate and share with each other, without bickering.
Some 3 year olds go through a phase of slapping other children when they don't get their own way. Make sure yours understands that hitting anyone else is wrong - don't tolerate physical violence.
Keeping a goldfish or hamster, for instance, is a good way to develop his concern for others, and is relative trouble free Suggest to your child that he should always feed the pet before he has his own meal and let him help with other aspects of its care.
As far as your child is concerned, every single thing that worries him is urgent - he isn't mature enough to wait for reassurance. Attend to his a anxieties the moment you spot them, before they assume a greater importance in his mind.
Be sure to browse through all the child social development pages that is broken down in different age groups.
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Social and Emotional Development