10 social skills your toddler must learn from age 1

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — August 16, 2017
  • 1 / 11

    Every one-year-old is different, with her own unique personalities, abilities and characteristics.

    However, here are 10 social skills that your toddler should start to grasp at this age:

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  • Taking turns during play
    2 / 11 Taking turns during play

    Your little one needs to learn that she can’t always be the first. There are others playing the game and they take turns, too.

    Related: 10 signs that your toddler is spoiled

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  • Sharing possessions
    3 / 11 Sharing possessions

    Children get on better with each other when they are able to share their toys and snacks, without complaining. Sharing is a crucial social skill.

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  • Being sensitive to other people
    4 / 11 Being sensitive to other people

    She gradually develops a sense that other people have feelings as well, and that they can get upset, just like her.

    Related: Toddler discipline: 8 steps to control kid’s tantrums at parties

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  • Saying “please” and “thank you”
    5 / 11 Saying “please” and “thank you”

    Most one-year-olds are able to learn these very basic rules of politeness, even though they will need encouragement to use them.

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  • Holding a fork for eating
    6 / 11 Holding a fork for eating

    Good table manners have a direct effect on the willingness of others to sit with her. Certainly, using cutlery rather than her fingers is a good start.

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  • Listening to someone else
    7 / 11 Listening to someone else

    Once she begins to listen whenever someone talks to her, rather than turning away or interrupting, she’ll be more popular.

    Related: 5 ways to teach your children compassion

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  • Asking, not snatching
    8 / 11 Asking, not snatching

    The typical toddler instinctively takes what she wants without asking. It would be much better if she asked for permission.


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  • Saying “sorry” appropriately
    9 / 11 Saying “sorry” appropriately

    Learning to apologise – and to mean it – is a vital social skill, because it makes others feel she is trustworthy.

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  • Being gentle with others
    10 / 11 Being gentle with others

    Young children get nervous when one of their peers plays in a rough-and-tumble style. A gentle approach allows everyone to have more fun.

    Related: Toddler is naughty? Ask yourself if you’re expecting too much first

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  • Use words, not fists
    11 / 11 Use words, not fists

    No child wants to play with one who starts hitting whenever she doesn’t get her own way. It’s far better to express her feelings with words.

    Related: 4 steps to teach your toddler important social skills

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

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