Social Skills: 1 year old

Over the next year, your toddler will become more and more convinced that she is the center of the universe. She has difficulty understanding that other people have wishes or desires different than her own.

Your 1-year-old will begin to participate in simple make-believe games. Her play will mostly involve imitating adult actions such as feeding a doll, talking on the phone or shopping.

One-year-olds do not play together in the traditional sense. Instead they engage in what's called parallel play -- play in which two or more children monitor each other's actions, but do not interact directly. To the casual observer, associative play may not seem social at all. But watch carefully, you'll see that your child closely scrutinizes her playmate's moves and then tries to imitate them.

Even if your child is incapable of more mature social relationships, that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy the company of her peers. You may not see cooperative play right away, but your child will grow more excited over the prospect of play dates with other children.

A 1-year-old is not developmentally capable of sharing. And this can make play dates a bit tricky. Pinching, grabbing and screeching are an inevitable part of toddler interactions. Kids this age require close adult supervision.

More skills and milestones:

Development Tracker main page


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