My son is 28 months old. We live in a neighborhood that doesn't have many children. We do have a next door neighbor who is 4, however he doesn't seem to like our son... which is perfectly fine. I would never expect every person to get along and like one another, and I think it is a valuable lesson that my son will need to learn one day.
My son doesn't seem to comprehend the putdowns and comments that come from the other child, he still really looks forward to (trying to) play with him and watches to see when he comes home at night so he can go over and say hi. He is working on his conversation skills and we encourage him to talk to other people, and try to provide opportunities for him to see others.
Eventually my son will pick up on the vibe and my concern is that it will discourage him from trying to have friends. He goes to a couple of playgroups but doesn't seem to have bonded with any other child, other than this neighbor. I don't want to protect him from every possible hurt, because he will need to experience them, but should I keep encouraging him to try with this other child, or maybe steer him in another direction? He is pretty self confident in interacting with others and I'd like to think he can maintain that, but I worry that a few bad interactions might turn him off since he is still so young.