Beign there for the child, without overburdening him and without shadowing his personality is very important. This sends the message of support and acknowledgement and the feeling of being important in his parents’ lives is huge. However, being there for the child does not mean that you always help and therefore make the child more dependent on you. The child needs affection and guidance in different situations of life. He needs opportunities to socialise both with children his age and with adults.
Stages of development in socialising with other children. The first stage of social development is playing alone, or playing next to another child, not with another child speaking to himself and sharing a toy with the parent from time to time. The next stage is when the child is capable to play with others, but this is also when the child needs to share and wait his turn. This is a difficult stage for children as one moment they get upset with their colleagues and the next, they continue playing as if nothing happened. During the next stage, children widen their circle of friends to three or four children and at nursery, this is made even wider. Throughout these stages, parents have to offer support, but let the child manage alone as much as possible so as not to impede the child’s self-esteem.
Another important aspect to mention is the scheduling of the social events when mothers (usually) try to identify children of similar ages with whom their children can play, regardless of their gender, as this is not important at this early age. Thus, you can invite children to visit and you can organise themed parties, or you can accept an invitation to visit. It is recommended that these first encounters end up on a jolly note (to encourage a repeat). Therefore, it is advisable to watch over the interaction of children, so you can intervene if case may be. If the child is big enough to visit friends on his own (even if it involves a short travelling distance) it is important to check the reaches the destination safely, even if he is old enough not to be accompanied by adults.