Supporting your eighteen to twenty-four month old
Your child is gaining independence in movement, speech, playtime, and trying new things. Two year olds jump, climb, dance, and move in a variety of ways. It is an interesting balance between allowing them to explore and yet keeping a close eye on them to ensure their safety. They are also developing language skills rapidly and using more words to meet their needs. They may get easily frustrated when you don’t understand what they are saying. Be sure to listen closely and acknowledge words that you do understand. You will notice your child is more interested in playing with other children. This is how they begin to understand themselves and others. Older two year olds will begin more imaginative play; they will pretend and even mimic adults.
Independence also means that they are eager to try new things. Provide opportunities for your child to learn new skills, but be nearby to provide assistance when needed. Be aware that their need to do things their own way often creates challenging situations. Calmly communicate clear and reasonable expectations as well as a few simple choices. It helps to consistently provide choices such as “Would you rather pick up your bear or your truck first?” or “Do you want to wear your red shoes or your blue shoes today?” Making decisions not only helps them feel independent, but gives them confidence as well.
Most two year olds:
– link two or more words together such as “mommy bye bye”
– enjoy playing with other children
– show a basic understanding of their feelings and the feelings of others
– love books and stories
– often say “me do it” as they attempt to try things on their own
– begin using pronouns such as “he” and “she”
– can say about 50 words – although you may understand only half of those words