Developing cooperative skills in toddlers is a must from the very beginning. They need to be taught the art of saying ‘I’ll help’ and being responsive. It’ll enable them to be more sociable and will also help them learn to work with others as a team.
Cooperation is nothing but the ability to create a balance between one’s own needs along with someone else’s. This ability should not just be expected only in adults; even children are capable of cooperation from a tender age. However, they can only cultivate it with the help of parents and caregivers.
How to Get Toddlers to Cooperate Better
1. Try to Take Turns
When the toddlers are between 6 and 9months old, they become capable of engaging in back and forth interactions. They also learn to imitate others. This is the best time to encourage them to cooperate. For example, when you do a chore like filling water into a bucket, give your child time to copy you. When it’s time to pack up his toys, make a fun game of it by taking turns and placing the toys back on the shelf or into the box. These experiences are important for him to feel the pleasure of accomplishment.
2. Give Explanations
You can also explain your reasons for restrictions and requests. Most 3-year-old children can understand language well enough to understand simple explanations. And explanation is the building block of teaching the importance of cooperation in children. Instead of just ordering your toddler to do something, try to point out how doing so benefits him and even the family.
3. Find Solutions
Help your little one come up with solutions for his everyday dilemmas. This is can be part of cooperative learning activities for your kid. If he can’t find a toy, help him look for it and suggest places it could be. This will not only encourage them to be cooperative, but make him a more independent person as well. He’ll also learn how to solve real-world problems more easily.
4. Do Chores Together
Let your toddler grow to experience the benefits that come along with cooperation. Another example of initiating cooperative play in children is to get him to do house chores with you. For example, you can set the table, clean up toys, or maybe even wash the car together. While doing these cooperation activities for children, point out the advantages of working together and helping each other. Let him know with each activity how fast the work is done if two people do it together. He’ll come to understand the importance of cooperation if you repeat the benefits time and again.
The most important thing to remember is that rules should sound like suggestions and not commands. Your child must feel that he’s free to make choices. While teaching him, do stuff along with him. Don’t leave him alone after you assign a task. It’ll just make him feel lonely and stressed out. Offering him a little incentive every now and then won’t hurt either.