For a young child, waiting for his turn and respecting that of others is not always easy. However, it is an essential social skill to develop, because it allows living harmonious relations with the others, in particular with the nursery and the school. In addition, the child who is able to respect his turn and that of others have, in general, more ease to follow rules.
To help you learn to take turns, start as soon as your child starts to show interest in others and for what they do. For example, let him know when you too must wait for your turn (eg at the cash register, in a waiting room).
Learn to wait while playing
Games that involve rules with multiple players (eg, board games) are great for developing learning to take turns in fun. Here are some suggestions for the activity to go well:
To learn to wait, your child needs your support.
- Choose games related to your child’s interests. If he especially likes to move, offer him a ball game rather than a lotto game, at least to start.
- Limit the first games to 2 participants so that your turn comes back faster. You will avoid being frustrated or losing interest in the game.
- Set clear boundaries and stay consistent in the application of the rule originally stated.
- Indicate who is the turn, using a sound, a gesture or an object (eg a timer, a toy that we pass, an hourglass that we return).
- Put words on what your toddler lives to encourage him to wait: “I know you find it long, but do not worry, it’s your turn soon. When you stress, your child feels understood and more willing to wait.
- Limit the game to 5 or 10 minutes unless your child wants to continue.
- Praise your child for his patience.
Waiting for a turn, learning step by step
Before you succeed in waiting for your turn and respect the others, your child must demonstrate self-control, an ability that is acquired gradually during the first years of life and that includes various stages:
- Delay tolerance (after 1 year);
- Tolerance to frustration (around 2 ½ years, 3 years);
- The ability to calm down and refrain from doing something (around age 4);
- The ability to understand the logic behind the instructions (around 4 years old).
Games to help him understand the alternation of roles
When your child grasps the principle of role-playing, it’s easier for him or her to play board games or wait in various everyday situations.
- Attack of love: kiss your child’s doggie, then give him a kiss so he kisses her and so on (as early as 1 year).
- Ball rebound: sit on the ground, legs apart, have fun to push each turn the ball to the other with your hands (from 1 year).
- Reading Duo: turn the pages of a book (around 1 year) or describe the picture each turn (from 3 years old). “One blow, it’s daddy, a blow, it’s you! “
- The pile of hands: put your hand on the table saying “To me! Ask your child to put his over yours by saying “To you! ” And so on. Remove the hand from below to put it over when both hands are taken (from 2 years).
- Collective masterpiece: draw on a sheet in turn. Once the drawing is finished, applaud (from 3 years old)!
- Head Hat: Players imitate the actions of the one wearing the hat. After 3 actions, pass the hat to the next so that it is chief in turn (from 3 years).
These games also prepare the child to understand the basics of the conversation. To find out more, read our ” Waiting for your turn to talk ” sheet.