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You might have a painting playdate in mind, but your child may prefer to bang on plastic bowls alongside her new buddy.

Conflict Resolution Toddlers don't yet have the words to express themselves, so they sometimes use physical force to get the things they want -- including another child's attention.

Managing Expectations For starters, limit meet-ups to two hours, and try not to divert from your daily routine too much (for example, be sure to time gatherings so they don't cut into naptime).

Be prepared to pack up your diaper bag early when your child seems cranky or tired.

"If your toddler isn't having fun after 30 minutes, maybe it's not the best activity for her that day, and that's okay.

You can try again next time," says therapist and parent coach Tammy Gold, owner of Gold Parent Coaching, in Short Hills, New Jersey.

But he'll begin to learn from hearing and watching you.) Of course, feel free to pipe up with words of praise when you see good behavior in action too.

You can get a turn with it again after Sophie is done." (Then distract her with another item that she enjoys -- a toy phone, for example.) You'll probably have to do this many times before the concept of taking turns sinks in, but your child will learn it faster if you start now."Parallel play is typical during the toddler years, when children don't yet have the skills to truly interact with each other," assures Dr. Over time, kids will begin to imitate each other's actions.For instance, if your daughter's playmate starts running around the room, she might join him -- and then start jumping up and down, which he'll begin to copy too.Whatever is behind his sudden reticence, you can help ease him into the situation by staying close to him on the floor for a while, says Gold. If he wants to sit on your lap, let him," she says.To get him interested in playing, start by introducing just one or two simple toys.Berger, since young kids are prone to separation anxiety.


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