by: Lisa Murphy, Pre-Kindergarten 2 Teacher
A child at this age wears their heart on their sleeve, and in their voice, stamping feet, and crocodile tears. You seldom have to make a guess about a two year old’s emotional state. Expressing emotions is healthy, even when they aren’t happy ones. So don’t feel you have to rush in to placate your child at the first pout of sad sniffle.
Let your child know that it is okay to be unhappy sometimes-it’s simply a part of life. If you “swoop” in to vanquish the unhappiness, it sends the wrong message-that it’s not okay to feel mad or sad. Solving every problem for your child also robs them of the opportunity to work through their own feelings.
If you find yourself bracing for those fabled “terrible twos,” relax! It’s the second year of life that’s among the more challenging developmentally. The actual “twos” tend to be a bit calmer and even more fun.
Now your little one can move about with more confidence and play with less assistance. They are able to make their wishes known better than before and even understand even more than she can say. And that boundless curiosity is balanced at least a little by increasing understanding of rules.
Two-year-olds do test limits and disagree with parents, of course, but they’re developing more of a desire to please you. They want to be good! They want to help! Routines and consistency in your responses help your child learn the ropes and keep everyday life running smoothly.