Toddlers are at an age where they can have separation anxiety and get nervous in large groups of children.
Every toddler is different and while some may be naturally confident others may be painfully shy.
For those particularly shy toddlers, there are some things that you can do to instil some self-confidence and help to make them more comfortable in social situations.
Self-confidence skills will stand to them as they grow older and start school.
Rather than solving the problem for them, help them to understand it and see if they can work it out themselves.
Having a routine can make a child feel secure which in turn will boost their confidence as they know where they are going when and what will happen. Similarly, if you are going somewhere, help your toddler to understand what will happen there, who will be there and what will be done.
If your toddler is scared to do something, gently encourage them and help them with it, afterwards, praise their efforts and tell them what a great job they did.
If your toddler is particularly shy and you are attending an event with many people or other children, allow your child to bring a small comfort object from home that will make them feel more familiar and therefore more confident in new and unfamiliar surroundings.
It is good to have a balance when it comes to your toddler in social situations. It is better not to push them too much but you also cannot hold them back. Gently encouragement and praise is best.
Give your toddler small tasks such as being able to wash her own hands to instil a sense of independence. You can also give her some choices in the day that may allow her to feel included.
Always make time to listen to your child and what they want to show you as it may be something they are very proud of and your reaction matters greatly to them. If you are particularly busy then tell them you would love to take a look when you can.
Remember that every toddler is different and just because your toddler may be shy now that doesn't necessarily mean they will lack self-confidence or esteem when they are older.