9 Ways To Support Your Child’s Development

Toddlers are curious, cute and full of beans. They’re making leaps and bounds in everything they do and it’s great to hear them chitchat with all those new words. Of course, it’s not just their vocabulary that’s growing, and as your child grows, so is their behavior.

1. Share

While most toddlers enjoy playing with other children, the whole ‘taking turns and sharing’ is a work in progress. Toddlers often think they own everything (especially toys) and the world revolves around them, so sharing isn’t exactly a priority.

For you: Sharing is at the core of friendships and teaches children cooperation and patience, so practice sharing at home and encourage sharing with other children. Praise children when they share well and point out when other children are good sharers. After all, sharing is caring.

2. Picky eating

Ahh.. little food ᴄʀɪᴛɪᴄ. About half of toddlers refuse to eat a new food at least half the time. This can be a worry and a chore, so it’s important that you stay calm and stick to a healthy diet.

For you: Set a good example by eating a variety of foods yourself. Ask your child to help make their own meals and let them try different colors, types and substitutes. You may need to give a new food 10 times before your toddler starts to walk, so stick with it.

3. No!

Toddlers are learning about everything and confidently ᴀssᴇʀᴛɪɴɢ their opinions. They know what they want and are happy to let you know. Frequent and noisy. This is normal and if “NO!” is their favorite word, that’s also normal.

To you: Just because your child is saying it (“NO, NO, NO!!!”), it doesn’t mean they’re adults. Strictly speaking, two- and three-year-olds are still babies, so be patient and give them independence, and guide and supervise them. Toddlers love to help and imitate adults, so give that child a broom. CORRECT!

4. Sᴛᴏᴍᴀᴄʜ troubles

When a small belly causes ᴘᴀɪɴ, it’s no fun for anyone, especially toddlers, who can’t really explain what ‘ouch’ feels like. But extra fussiness, sleep problems, or tears can all indicate Sᴛᴏᴍᴀᴄʜ troubles.

By You: It can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing your toddler’s ᴄᴏʟɪᴄ, so it can be a process of elimination. Start by looking at their diet and toilet habits. Trying goat milk formula for toddlers can help with digestive issues.

5. Fear of bathing

Every little person is different, and some toddlers dread bathing. Whether it’s the sound of water running down the socket, fear of being ꜰʟᴏᴏᴅᴇᴅ, or anxiety about soap getting in the eyes, bath time isn’t an enjoyable time for all toddlers.

For you: It can be helpful to take your child out of the tub before pulling the plug, get a non-slip mat, bathe with him, or use baby shampoo to avoid sᴏʀᴇ ᴇʏᴇs. And if the problem persists, you can always switch to the shower.

6. Rage

Ah… ‘two ᴛᴇʀʀɪʙʟᴇ’ (and three). Tantrums give toddlers a bad name, but the reality is that your child is feeling quite emotional (which is completely natural) and tantrums are their way of expressing emotions, such as anger and ꜰʀᴜsᴛʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴ.

For you: The best thing you can do is accept that tantrums are a normal part of their development. Try to keep your patience during the ᴄʀɪsɪs, then support your child afterwards. Take it out! And don’t worry, tantrums will subside as your child learns to deal with ‘upset’ emotions.

7. Swearing

Toddlers are really picking up language and there’s a chance a swear word could come out, either by accident (while trying to say “sit”) or because they’re imitating an adult.

For you: If you accidentally swear, help them understand the word by pronouncing it correctly. And if it’s intentional, say “that’s not a good word”. Toddlers love to copy adults, so watch your own swearing around them.

8. White Lies

A two-year-old thinks their parents can read their minds, but by the age of three they often realize that we don’t have psychic abilities (which sucks!) outright lies (like covering up an accident or lying to get a cure) because they think we won’t know the truth.

For you: Although adults lie too, it’s important to teach children the importance of honesty and make them feel comfortable telling the truth. There is no use lying on spilled milk!

9. Cᴏᴍʙᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ

No parent wants to see their beautiful little one bite, pinch, hit or pull their hair. However, aggression is surprisingly normal toddler behavior and it’s important that you stay calm and react quickly and consistently.

For you: If your toddler is lying, get them out of the situation. Briefly show them the consequences of their actions, and when they’re settled, talk about what happened. Explain that it’s okay to feel ᴀɴɢʀʏ, but it’s okay to ʙɪᴛᴇ ᴏʀ ʜɪᴛ. Instead, talk about what they can do (like ask an adult for help) and teach your child the importance of apologizing.

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