How your baby learns to become a social partner with peers

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Development/Milestones: Babies

babies playingA recent study in Child Development investigated how one-and two-year-old peer pairs reacted when presented with a simple cooperative task. Age differences were found in amount of coordinated activity, monitoring the peer's activity and location in relation to the goal, and attempting to achieve the goal when the peer was (or was not) available as a partner.

One-year-olds' coordinated actions appeared more coincidental than cooperative-- a finding I can attest to-- whereas older children appeared to be more actively cooperating toward a shared goal. Differences in coordinated activity with peers were associated with differences in attention sharing with an adult and with language about self and other. The ability to cooperate with peers, becoming a true social partner, develops over the second and third years in concert with growing social understanding.

Studies like these are fascinating. Tracking my toddler's progress is a never-ending source of interest to me. I now have some idea of when he may begin to show cooperative behaviors, as well as why they may occur when he plays with other kids his age. Have you any experiences you'd like to share on this topic?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.