Developmental Milestones: Understanding How Babies and Children Develop Social Skills

developmental milestones

As a parent, one of your biggest goals is probably to raise a confident and socially adept child. A child’s capacity to flourish in life is highly influenced by their ability to develop social skills. This includes good communication skills, good behavior, high emotional balance, and high resilience. Social skills help shape their personality, build their confidence, and enhance their self-esteem. Thus, learning social skills is a crucial component of maturation. 

In this blog, discover the important developmental milestones of a child and learn new parenting tips that will help you raise social superstars.

Developmental Milestones for Social Skills

Although children can socialize from birth, they must acquire particular skills to interact with others successfully. Every child is unique, and thus the phases of social development in children may not occur in the same order. Nevertheless, if you take a look at some general developmental milestones, you can determine if your child is developing social skills adequately.

Infants (0-12 Months)

Infants start developing their communication skills and establishing emotional relationships during the first year of life. The following are some developmental benchmarks for newborns:

  • Eye contact: Infants should be able to make eye contact with people and follow them with their eyes.
  • Smiling: Infants should be able to smile in response to their caregivers and strangers.
  • Crying: Infants should be able to communicate their needs through crying and vocalization.
  • Social engagement: Infants should show interest in socializing with others and be able to engage in activities like playing and singing.

Toddlers (1-3 Years)

As toddlers, children are beginning to understand the concept of social interactions and how to communicate their feelings effectively. Some of the developmental milestones for social skills in toddlers include:

  • Sharing: Toddlers should be able to share toys and objects with others.
  • Turn-taking: Toddlers should understand the concept of taking turns during playtime.
  • Cooperation: Toddlers should be able to cooperate with others during simple activities.
  • Empathy: Toddlers should be able to understand and recognize other people’s emotions and react accordingly.

Pre-schoolers (3-5 Years)

Children are growing more independent and acquiring more sophisticated social skills when they enter preschool. The following are some developmental benchmarks for social skills in pre-schoolers:

  • Making friends: Pre-schoolers should be able to form and maintain friendships with others.
  • Communicating: Pre-schoolers should be able to express their feelings effectively and understand others’ perspectives.
  • Resolving conflicts: Pre-schoolers should be able to resolve disputes with others and understand the importance of compromise.
  • Sharing opinions: Pre-schoolers should be able to share their thoughts and ideas with others.

Raising Superstars: Tips To Help Your Child Develop Social Skills

Now that you understand the developmental milestones for social skills, it’s time to focus on how to help your child develop these skills. Here are some tips to help your child become a social superstar:

  1. Encourage Playtime

Playtime is a wonderful way for children to develop social skills. Encourage your child to play with others and participate in group activities like sports or dance classes. This can help your child develop communication, cooperation, and conflict-resolution skills.

  1. Model Social Skills

It’s essential to set an example for your children by having solid social skills. Teach your youngster how to properly communicate, share, take turns, and resolve disputes. Your child will pick up these abilities by watching and copying you.

  1. Practice Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial component of social skills. Encourage your child to listen actively to others and understand their perspective. Teach your child to ask questions and engage in meaningful conversations.

  1. Praise Good Behaviour

It is possible to apply the powerful tool of positive reinforcement to change behavior. Praise your child for their efforts when they demonstrate strong social skills. They will know that they exhibited the right behavior and would be inspired to hone their social skills.

  1. Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Helping your child develop social skills requires teaching them how to solve problems. Children with problem-solving abilities may approach social concerns rationally and successfully, which can aid them in resolving conflicts and forming good connections with others.

  1. Provide Opportunities for Socialization

Children need opportunities to interact with others to develop social skills. Encourage your child to participate in social events like birthday parties, play dates, and family gatherings. This can help your child develop confidence and social skills.

  1. Teach Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is an important part of social skills. Help your child to identify their feelings and express them in appropriate ways. Let them realize that while feeling sad, angry, or annoyed is normal, it’s crucial to express those emotions in the right way.

  1. Foster Independence

Children need to learn to feel independent as they become older. Teach your child to use independent judgment and accept accountability for their actions. They will develop important social skills and decision-making skills that will help them grow with strong leadership skills. 


In conclusion, social skills are essential for a child’s development and success. By understanding the developmental milestones for social skills and implementing strategies to help your child develop them, you can be successful in Raising Superstars. Remember to model good behavior, provide opportunities for socialization, and praise your child’s efforts.

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