Parenting the Social Toddler

Being social parents, it doesn’t surprise me that we have a very social toddler. He loves to talk to anyone that will talk back to him and assumes everyone should if they don’t. He loves screaming in church during times that are not always the most appropriate. But is a social toddler something to worry about?

It’s funny because everywhere you look on how to help a child with their social development we are ahead of the game. If this kid gets a play date, even if it’s just with one friend, he feels like the king of the world. He loves to be around other children any age and is always trying to keep up with those that are older than him.

Being the crazy parent that I am, I worry a lot about him being too social. What if some random person were to go up to him and just take him away? Maybe I read too many books (I mean, I did just read My Story by Elizabeth Smart). I freak out about everything and always hear, it’s because it’s your first child.

But why does there have to be an excuse for my craziness? Maybe I just worry a lot because I care about my child’s safety and want to protect them.

Whatever it is, I have come to the acceptance that him being as social as he is is completely okay. I just need to make sure that I am social with him. And now that he is starting to repeat things that he hears I definitely need to watch what I am saying around him. I am pretty sure he has already said his first swear word. Whoops!

So the moral of the story is this, let your children be social because it probably won’t last forever. Kids change all the time and before we know it he could be freaking out when I come home from work or when we go over to grandma’s house.

Just make sure you provide opportunities to stimulate their sociality. Teaching appropriate greetings like hello and good bye, sharing/taking turns, and using soft hands rather than hitting. These are just a few things that we try to reinforce constantly to help teach appropriate social behavior.

Having a social toddler isn’t the worst thing we could be dealing with. It makes church a billion times easier because he actually wants to go to nursery and be around the other kids. Plus, with baby number two on it’s way he is going to be in heaven having another friend/sibling to play with him all day and all night.