Toddlers have been described as long on will and short on skill. Your toddler will be curious and will want to get stuck into everything. He will test new skills, walking, running, climbing, pushing, pulling, opening, closing. He will fall over. He will display a wide range of emotions and behaviour, from love and excitement, to fear and anger, wilfulness and frustration. He will throw tantrums and might even lash out physically. And he will learn a new and powerful word: ''No!''
Your toddler has no concept of danger, and is learning how to control his urges and how far he can go. The good news is that during this time your child will learn how to use more words than ''no'' to communicate. Your child will learn to listen to you, follow your instructions and develop self-control.
It is a busy period for parents. Sometimes it can be a real struggle (there are good reasons why some parents call this period the ''terrible twos'') and sometimes it is terrific.
Bring out the best
To help your child's growth and development you can:
- read books and talk about the pictures to increase interest in language
- speak to your child often and be interested in what he has to ''say''
- give your child simple directions and help him with a lot of practising
- encourage active and quiet play
- encourage your child to play with a variety of things
- let your child help with simple jobs around the house
- encourage your child to help in undressing and dressing
- encourage your child to eat with a small fork and spoon
- provide opportunities for your child to mix and talk with other children
- praise your child and cuddle him often
- be positive
- be a good role model your child will tend to imitate your behaviour.
All material is © Media 21 Publishing, and originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Good Health & Medicine magazine.