The roller coaster of toddlerhood

Support your child's growing independence, language and explorer's impulses

A little girl is playing with a toy

In toddlerhood, new adventures are coming. Buckle up and enjoy the ride! This stage is full of changes, challenges and rewarding new experiences for you and your child.

Learning is hard work for a toddler. Not having the vocabulary to voice feelings of stress or frustration can lead a toddler to throw tantrums during social, cognitive, physical and emotional learning experiences. During this time of growth and learning, parents need patience.

Every day your child is learning:

Independence

As your child starts to develop independence, it’s important to help your child feel secure and keep your child safe. Encourage your child’s developing independence by:

  • Keeping within your child’s line of vision when they toddle off to explore a new toy. When they look at you, acknowledge that you see them. This helps with their sense of security.
  • Letting them make simple choices. Say things like, “Do you want the blue cup or the red cup?”

Language

Your child is understanding more of what you say.  When you say, “Where’s your blanket?” they will bring it to you. Your child’s vocabulary continues to grow and soon they will be saying two-word phrases like “go out” or “want down.” With a growing vocabulary, your child can express their wants at times, but at other times, they become frustrated because they don’t know the words to use. Help your child build their vocabulary by:

  • Talking out loud when doing actions or pointing at items.
  • Using simple words and sentences such as “read a book” or “sit down.”

Exploration

Encouraging your child’s curiosity is key to helping your child become a lifelong learner. Curiosity comes from the desire to learn. Having a child who is eager to explore, discover and figure things out can be frustrating as they move and get into everything! As a parent, join in the discoveries while providing safe spaces to explore.

  • As your toddler touches, smells and looks at a flower, experience the wonder of it with them.
  • Help them explore safely. Close doors and use baby gates in areas of the house that are unsafe for exploring. Your toddler doesn’t know what is and isn’t safe.
  • Provide toys that can be pushed or pulled, make sounds, and stack.

Toddlerhood is a roller coaster of highs and lows — the joys experienced when learning new things, and feelings of stress and frustration. Hang on and enjoy the ride together.

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Posted In Children's, Parenting

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