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Tips for sociable 2 yo

(3 Posts)
knightfall Sun 26-Jul-15 22:58:17

Ds is 2 and an only child (and going to remain one). I am very shy, but he is very outgoing. He loves other kids, tries to join in whenever he sees them, but doesn't quite know how to. He ends up watching from the sidelines or running after them but never manages to make friends.

We can't afford nursery for another year (when the free hours kick in), so that is not an option. Friends either have much older kids (6+), who are very nice and gentle, but obviously not that interested in him, or kids a bit older (4/5), who seem to be quite competitive and mean - snatching toys, making fun of him because he's smaller.

What can I do to bring out his sociable side, and avoid handing on my shyness? How would you feel if another kids' mum started engaging your toddler in a game with their own child in a park or museum etc? Or am I just overthinking this, and is it normal for a 2 year old to act like this?

Shelduck Mon 27-Jul-15 10:50:30

Hi knightfall Like you, I'm quite shy myself, but I have a super-confident and sociable 3yo. He's been at nursery since he was a baby, so he's completely used to mixing with lots of other children, but it still breaks my heart when i see him running up to a group of children in the playground, pulling up short and then standing watching them before eventually deciding whether he has the courage to talk to them. But as far as I can tell, that's pretty normal toddler behaviour! There's always a certain amount of sussing out that goes on when 2-year-olds meet. It's not necessarily the same thing as shyness in an adult, it's just the weird and wonderful dynamics of toddler relationships. If your DS is starting nursery when he's 3-ish anyway, I really wouldn't worry.

To answer your question about another kids mum in the park/museum - I'd be totally happy for you to engage my DC in a game, but I suppose what normally happens is that the parents sort of make eye contact with each other and smile and there's a sort of implicit "is this Ok?" that passes between them. (Gosh, what complicated creatures we are!) But if you're at all unsure, just ask. Say "DS doesn't get to play with other children his own age very often. Do you mind if he plays with your DC?" I'd think that was totally fine.

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 27-Jul-15 11:36:14

Can you afford to do any clubs with him? My DS is the same - really outgoing and loves to be with people. He goes to nursery 3 mornings a week. Then I take him to swimming lessons one day a week and Tumble Tots one day a week. He loves both. Tumble Tots has been especially good at helping him learn how to interact with other children. However I understand it varies grately depending on the people running it so watch out for that.

Does your library do a music time or anything?

I wouldn't mind if you started interacting with my DS, however I might see it as an invitation to start chatting to you, so do be prepared for that if you're a bit shy yourself.

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