Toddler milestone: Socialization 2

What comes next

Around age 3, when your child moves from toddlerhood to the preschool years, he'll turn yet another corner, becoming more confident, independent, and reasonable (at least for the most part). Preschoolers, while still needing your guidance, love, and attention, are better able to communicate their needs and wants, cutting down on tantrums. Your child's curiosity will rev up too, as he tries to figure out how everything works — from the toaster to his pet rabbit.

Kids naturally love and gravitate toward other people, especially other children. As your child grows, he'll learn more about how to respond to others in social situations, and his enjoyment of their company will likely grow. Children this age learn a tremendous amount from watching and interacting with others. When your child understands how to empathize with other children and appreciates how much fun it is to have playmates, he'll develop truer, more lasting friendships.
When to be concerned

If your toddler (1 to 3 years old) seems overly aggressive and is incapable of spending any time with other children without biting, hitting, or pushing them, you may want to discuss these behaviors with his pediatrician. These responses often arise out of fears or insecurities, such as when a parent is absent or a move is imminent. While all kids can become unfriendly to others, especially when they're fighting over toys or are overly tired, it's unusual for them to be aggressive all the time.