Children are completely fun-oriented - they only do the things they enjoy, and they can’t get enough of them. Kick a ball, do a jigsaw, draw or practice writing – at this age it is already an individual thing what they want to put their energy into. It’s really not until starting school that children are expected to also do things they're less interested in.
As many parents have discovered, there's only one cure for a child’s fear of the dark: sympathy and light. A night light chases away the most stubborn monsters. Help your toddler to search all the crannies in their bedroom before putting them to bed. And if you’re scared of the dark yourself, now’s your chance to win an Oscar by pretending you’re not afraid. Play around with a torch. Go out of the room when it’s dark, then beam the torch inside. Turn off the indoor lights and switch on the torch. This helps your child get used to the dark and discover it's not dangerous – just different.
My toddler hasn’t got a best friend yet.
Playing with a friend becomes more natural over time; playing alongside others is what most children this age do. There are also children who prefer playing with grown-ups, because it is more predictable (what does that say about us grown-ups…?).
Sooner or later, most children find friends who they click with. In life, this is harder for some kids than others – that’s just the way it is. But it’s too early to draw any conclusions. The journey towards becoming a social animal has only just begun.