Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Wonderful World of Toddlers

When children begin to walk, they are called toddlers. Usually this term is applied to one and two-year-old children. This is a stage in the growth of a child and not a specific age. It is a time between infancy and childhood when a child learns and grows in many ways. Everything that happens to the toddler is meaningful. With each stage or skill the child masters, a new stage begins.

During the toddler stage, most children learn to walk, talk, solve problems, relate to others and more. One major task for the toddler is to learn to be independent. That is why toddlers want to do things for themselves, have their own ideas about how things should happen, and use “no” many times a day. I often tell the parents in my parenting classes that toddlerhood is just practice for the teenage years!

The toddler stage is characterized by much growth and change, mood swings, and some negativity. Toddlers are long on will and short on skill. They are bursting with energy and ideas, needing to explore their environment and begin defining themselves as separate people. They want to be independent and yet they are still very dependent. One of the greatest challenges for parents is to balance toddler’s need for in-dependence with their need for discipline.

Although the toddler stage can be difficult for both parents and toddlers, it doesn’t last forever. In fact, it can be fun!

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