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Child Development Topics..


Terrible Twos

Two-year-olds have this marvelously inquisitive mind.They simply set out to explore the world, as it is available to them.  To reduce frustration and maximize the opportunity for your child's learning and pleasure consider the following tips.

So what's up when a kid reaches age two? Many parents are ready to pull their hair out when their kids reach this age. and it continues for about a year to a year and a half.

Parents of younger infants are lulled into a sense of ease when their son or daughter reaches the age of 6 months. By this time their infants are usually sleeping through the night, are able to sit in a high chair, can amuse themselves with play and are enthralled with mom and dad's smile. To many, parenting at this stage appears easy, and parents are little prepared for what lies ahead!

By 20 months toddlers are generally quite mobile. They are able to walk at a brisk pace and get bored with static toys. They are more interested in what lies beyond, and soon enough they start getting explorative. They are entering their terrible twos!

Two-year-olds have this marvelously inquisitive mind, but absolutely no experience from prior learning to understand what is safe or harmful, good or bad and right or wrong. They simply set out to explore the world, as it is available to them. Until they learn or experience otherwise, all objects are neutral. Objects have no inherent worth and are not yet known for causing either pleasure or pain. It's only when the child experiences the object can they determine its value. Value to the two-year-old is usually a function of the pleasure an object can bring to the child. Pleasure is derived from touch, taste, sight, sound and scent. Some things are pleasurable and "fun", while others offer neither amusement nor any particular pleasure. Other items, like the taste of a sour lemon, may cause displeasure and children soon learn to avoid these.

Knowing this about normal childhood development, the challenge facing parents is to pre-empt negative outcomes from their child's exploration and learning while maximizing the opportunity for positive outcomes. To reduce frustration and maximize the opportunity for your child's learning and pleasure consider the following:

1. By this stage of life, if you haven't already baby-proofed the home, do so. It is reasonable to put away the fancy glass and china that adorns the coffee table, have safety latches on cupboard doors and gates on the stairs. Your child will explore and this is normal and healthy, so get on your knees, look at your home from your child's point of view and fix anything that can cause harm. You will be more relaxed if you are less concerned about household safety hazards.

2. Telling a two-year-old what not to do doesn't mean they will know what to do. As such, they may stop doing what you have told them, but may go on to another equally disturbing activity. It is reasonable to tell a child to stop doing something, but not sufficient. Every time you tell a child what not to do, follow it up by redirecting the child to what they can do and be specific. So if you say, "Go play", this gives the child permission to do almost anything, whereas if you tell the child, "You can play with the blocks or the dolls", this more clearly directs the child to approved activities.

3. Children do need to learn safe from harmful, right and wrong, good and bad. When your child does do something you deem inappropriate, tell them so in a firm voice. However, don't stop there. Next, direct them to other approved activities and soon after let them know how they are playing well.

4. Self-esteem grows the more the child gains mastery over their environment and self. While some areas may be off-limits, other areas should be structured to allow exploration and play. A lower drawer in the kitchen filled with plastic bowls and utensils offers the child a safe and inviting area to learn and have fun. Consider what other places and activities are acceptable for your child and make them available.

So often parents of two-year-olds feel as if all they say to their child is "No". Use the above suggestions and you may find yourself saying "Yes" more often, and those terrible twos may just be a little easier. By the time your child is 42 to 48 months, they will have learned much and will better understand what is safe or dangerous, right or wrong.

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donna.9 years ago
i am very interested in how two year old minds work. i have four grandchildren, one being a little harder to handle than the rest.he is very smart and head-strong. thanks for the articles.
carlene.9 years ago
i have two year step-granddaughter. she is the yougest of a total 9 combined family. my step-son believes he is a geniousand insists he is raising one. he constanly tells her she os pretty and even ask her questions.he ask who's pretty and she answers "gracie" [hername]. he asked her who"s smart again she answers "gracie" i feel this is not in the best way to treat. she can count, she knows all the animal sounds from watching baby enstein for over a year. she does repeat words and says 3 words together. i am just concerned over the way my step-son treats her. he also talks a lot baby, honey,sweetie cushy words etc. i am surprised she knows her name. the mother treats her the same, only not as bad.
mercedes.9 years ago
my two year old is very smart,some times to smart for his own good.he is a sweet kid,but if he does'nt get his way he turn,s into another person.he is the only child so he is very spoiled and i'm starting to lose control.he talk,s back and tell,s me not to touch him while bathing(just trying to help he does'nt understand).he say,s thing,s like first of all,brother,he count,s to ten,an knows abc,s,how to get his self dress.very bright but he has to have his way.
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