The social development of the child is as important as her physical and intellectual development. The child must be able to communicate and interact with other people. Every baby has a unique personality waiting to develop. Watching the baby grow is like meeting a whole new person. Every baby has her own likes and dislikes. As the baby learns to express herself better, her personality gets revealed to us. The development of a baby from a passive creature to a social being is a very fascinating process.
The First Year
The baby’s behaviour when three months old
The baby will display a liking for company and human contact. She will express her displeasure by crying when she is ignored or left alone. She will express pleasure when others are around by smiling, kicking her legs or waving her arms. She will turn around and look when people are speaking and smile when you speak to her. She will recognize familiar faces and react towards strangers by crying or turning away.
From four to six months
The baby will focus on faces and follow a person with her eyes when he walks away. She will lift her hands in a gesture indicating that you should pick her up. She will laugh when you pay attention to her and play with her. Your baby will be able to differentiate between a smile and a scolding voice. She will smile at familiar people and show visible signs of fear towards strangers. At six months, your baby will become more interactive like pulling the hair of the person holding her, rubbing noses with them or patting their faces.
From seven months to a year
Your baby will begin to imitate speech sounds and gestures. She will desist from whatever she is doing when you say “no.” She will become more clingy at this stage and express fear and dislike of strangers by rushing to your side or crying.
The Second Year
Most of the toddler’s actions are aimed at attracting your attention. Thus, she may try speaking to you, crying, hitting you or annoying you. She is not particular whether the attention is positive or negative as long as she can catch your eye. Once you respond to her, she will smile or laugh at you. Your baby will have frequent mood swings, between extreme displays of affection and anger. The child will become more participative in play and this is a good opportunity to teach them to share.
Dealing with a naughty child
A naughty child is one who knows the difference between right and wrong, but lacks the maturity to exert self-control and do the right thing. You have to be very patient with naughty children. Initially, you should try have a sympathetic approach and speak to them frequently. If this fails, restricting or withdrawing privileges is a much more effective way.
Dealing with a disobedient child
A disobedient child is to be dealt with great patience. Physical punishment is likely to lead to aggression. Explain to the child that her activities are anti-social or dangerous and suggest how she should behave.
If the child is too shy and timid
Some children are naturally shy. They do not speak much and keep to themselves. Other children are chatterboxes at home. However, when they are introduced into a new situation or to new people, they seem to withdraw into a shell. Children like this cannot be thrust into a new situation. You have to give them time to adjust. Do not try to force them to join in immediately. Encourage them to socialize when they feel comfortable.
If the child is very aggressive
Aggression in a child is usually the result of parental neglect, their absence or too much or too little discipline. Aggressive children are usually bullies, they physically and verbally attack children much smaller than them. The best way to deal with them is to clearly demonstrate disapproval and to praise good behaviour.