TODDLERS

When children learn to walk, they are called toddlers. Usually this term is applied to one and two year old children. The toddler stage is very important in a child's life. It is the 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. This growth is different for each child. Children have their own timetable. 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 each day.

The toddler stage is characterized by much growth and change, mood swings and some negativity. Toddlers are long on will and short on skill. This is why they are often frustrated and "misbehave." Some adults call the toddler stage "the terrible twos." Toddlers bursting with energy and ideas need to explore their environment. You need to make sure that they can explore in an environment that is safe for them. They want to be independent, and yet, they are still very dependent. Toddlers are very concerned with their own needs and ideas. This is why we cannot expect them to share. Toddlers sometimes get frustrated because they do not have the language skills to express themselves.

Often they have difficulty separating themselves from their parents. Usually, between 2-1/2 and three years of age, children begin to take an interest in being toilet trained and by age three they are ready to be known as preschoolers. By this age, most children are toilet trained, have developed verbal skills, are continuing to be more independent, and are taking an active interest in the world around them.

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