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Treasuring the Toddler

Toddlers are bundles of energy intent on exploring the world around them.  Parenting toddlers can be both rewarding and challenging.

The toddler is an egocentric being.  This means they literally believe everyone should carry out their every wish.  And since the toddler has no concept of time they want everything immediately.  Waiting is not a skill they possess, so if they are thirsty they need a drink NOW!

Complex little humans with an abundance of curiosity and energy, toddlers are like sponges, soaking up information all around them. They learn through their interactions with others and display the behavior they see modeled by those around them. The young child learns by what they see and not necessarily what they are told.

Most toddlers do not have the vocabulary to express their wants and needs, so they can become easily frustrated when trying to communicate with others. This can sometimes result in hitting or pushing, that is often misperceived by adults as intentional aggressive behaviour, when it is their way of expressing their frustration.

Toddlers are very easily distracted because they are so busy observing all the activity around them.  At times, they can be physically clumsy as they work through learning and perfecting their gross motor skills. Give them space and time to learn.

Repetition is very important for toddlers’ development.  Repeating helps them gain confidence and feel they have some control over their world.  For example, they love to read the same book over and over.  Adults may tire of the same story, but the toddler will thrive with the familiar

A toddler meltdown usually occurs if any of the following are happening, hunger, tiredness, growth spurt, sickness or stress. Stress can be anything from mommy getting a new hair style to having a new baby brother or sister, so it is important to keep routines such as naps and meals as regular as possible.  The toddler can easily become overwhelmed and since they cannot identify feelings yet, they require us to help them regulate these overwhelming emotions.

When in doubt, remember these 3 tips to help toddlers develop into the best version of themselves:

  1. Adults in the toddler’s world can use this time to label everything- name their emotions and behaviours to help toddlers regulate their huge feelings
  2. Model the positive and redirect the negative
  3. Keep expectations within the realm of age appropriate development

Toddlers need support as they take this journey- love them, guide them, and most of all enjoy the explosion of activity this little person shares with you.

The Community Early Years Partnership disseminates information about and promotes optimal infant and early childhood development to healthcare providers, community partners, parents and caregivers.


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