May 24, 2009

Being A Toddler & what parents should observe on?

Toddler’s Milestone in Language

Long before your child utters his first word, he's learning to talk. In fact, the average 1-year-old can say only six words. But, surprisingly, he understands close to 70. Most of those words are objects or familiar expressions. Keep in mind that boys tend to acquire language skills at a slower rate than girls do.

His first words likely will refer to familiar people, favorite possessions and parts of the body. As his vocabulary increases, he'll begin to add action verbs such as "come" and "go" as well as directives such as "up" and "down."

Between 12 and 18 months your child will accrue new words slowly -- perhaps four to six a month. He may continue to use these new words regularly, or drop them as he moves on to new ones. But just because he hasn't used a word regularly, doesn't mean it has been forgotten. For some kids, 50 words is a benchmark. After hitting this number, he may experience a vocabulary explosion picking up new terms faster than you can track them.

Sometime before his second birthday -- or shortly thereafter -- your child may surprise you by pairing two words together such as "mommy up," "more milk" or "big toy." Often this doesn't happen until after your child has acquired at least 50 single words.

Even if your child's language skills are well developed, don't expect strangers to understand him. Most children of this age make the minimum sound needed to label a person or object. It will be several years before they develop the mouth coordination necessary for proper pronunciations.

Your Toddler's Social Skills?

Over the next year, your toddler will become more and more convinced that she is the center of the universe. She has difficulty understanding that other people have wishes or desires different than her own.

Your 1-year-old will begin to participate in simple make-believe games. Her play will mostly involve imitating adult actions such as feeding a doll, talking on the phone or shopping. One-year-olds do not play together in the traditional sense. Instead they engage in what's called parallel play -- play in which two or more children monitor each other's actions, but do not interact directly. To the casual observer, associative play may not seem social at all. But watch carefully, you'll see that your child closely scrutinizes her playmate's moves and then tries to imitate them.

Even if your child is incapable of more mature social relationships, that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy the company of her peers. You may not see cooperative play right away, but your child will grow more excited over the prospect of play dates with other children.

A 1-year-old is not developmentally capable of sharing. And this can make play dates a bit tricky. Pinching, grabbing and screeching are an inevitable part of toddler interactions. Kids this age require close adult supervision.

Emotional Development Of The Little Toddler

Once your child learns to walk, his world expands exponentially. He now has the means to leave your side and explore on his own. This turn of events is both terrifying and exhilarating. And, as a result, you may find your child vacillating between periods of extreme neediness and extreme independence.

Your 1-year-old is also hard at work developing a sense of self. Once he truly understands that you and he are separate people, he will begin to claim ownership of certain possessions. Words like "me," "my" and "mine" become common refrains.

Your 1-year-old is also becoming more willful. If you tell him not to pull all his clothes out of the drawers, swat the dog or bang on the windows, he may not always comply. This is his way of asserting independence.

Along with a growing sense of self, comes fear of abandonment. Your child depends on you for strength and security. When you disappear, so may his self-confidence. And that's when separation anxiety tends to materialize. This normal developmental stage tends to wax and wane throughout the toddler years, but typically peaks at around 18 months.

Physical Development

During the next 12 months you child will also learn to:

• Eat with a fork and spoon

• Drink from a cup (without always spilling the contents)

• Kick a ball

• Stand on her tiptoes

• Build a tower of up to six blocks, and then smash them down

• Sort shapes in a shape sorter

• Scribble with a pen or crayon

• Turn pages and knobs

• Scoop up a ball while it's still in motion

Challenges to both parents & child

Your one-year-old is now prone to temper tantrums -- hysterical fits where he may throw himself onto the floor, kick, scream and perhaps even hold his breath until he passes out. If you see a tantrum brewing, do what you can to distract him, or talk him out of it. Once a tantrum is underway, however, reasoning will do no good. Instead it's best to ignore the behavior. This is, of course, assuming he's throwing a tantrum in a place he can't hurt himself or any innocent bystanders. Eliminate the audience, and you eliminate the incentive to throw a tantrum.

Separation anxiety tends to peak in the second year. Your child may fall to pieces whenever you try to leave her in someone else's care. This is a normal developmental stage that all children go through. Although it can be painful to leave your screaming child behind, don't succumb to her wishes. She needs to learn that when you leave, you will return. And besides, learning to deal with stressful situations is an important development task.

Once your child starts walking, she'll want to explore and may resist being confined to a stroller or backpack. Shopping trips and outings become a greater challenge, as your child wants to go up the escalator, climb shelves, open bottles and wander off. One trick that may help: Buy your child a doll-size stroller and let her push it alongside the big one.

Toddlers have all sorts of irrational fears. During the second year of life, one of the more common ones is stranger suspicion. As an older infant, your child may have experienced stranger anxiety. This, however, is different. Now that your toddler is capable of rational -- or at least semi-rational -- thoughts, he's also capable of more complex fears. And if a child isn't familiar with a person -- whether it's a neighbor, a colleague or even a grandparent -- he may see that person as threatening. Holding your toddler during introductions, or warning a newcomer not to come on too strong, may help. But time is the ultimate curative.

How to help toddlers bloom?

Toddlers actually appreciate limits, even if it may seem otherwise. Yes, they'll keep trying to push, but the existence of limits gives children a sense of security. So, if you don't want your child standing on the sofa, say so in a firm voice. If that doesn't work, remove her from the couch yourself, and give her a time-out. Enforcing boundaries also helps teach 1-year-olds about consequences.

Be consistent. Your child will have a much easier time accepting the law of the land, if rules remain constant. In other words, if you allow your child to eat in front of the television one day, and then outlaw it the next, you'll lose credibility.

Taking care of a toddler can be frustrating at times. If you feel yourself losing your temper, step away from your child and collect yourself. Of course, to ensure your child's safety, make sure you leave her in a baby-proofed space such as her crib or play yard.

One-year-olds can exhibit all sorts of quirky behaviors, from insisting on wearing a winter coat in spring to refusing to eat anything green. But not every gaffe requires immediate adult attention. If safety or respect is not at issue, sometimes it's better just to ignore the problem.

Activities With Your Toddler?

Reading-Children of this age can appreciate a simple story, but also like looking at the pictures. Stick with board books that can better withstand a 1-year-olds not-so-gentle touch.

Emptying and filling-One-year-olds are fascinated by the prospect of emptying and filling containers. A milk jug holds a special allure for young explorers because the narrow neck stands in stark contrast to the spacious interior. Try putting small objects such as raisins, Goldfish crackers or Cheerios into the bottle and then let your toddler figure out how to pour them out.

Sorting-Save your junk mail. It now serves a purpose. Your toddler will love the challenge of pulling the inserts out of the envelopes and then trying to put them back in again.

Stacking-Building a tower and then knocking it down is not only fun, it's educational. Placing one piece atop the next teaches kids about balance. And, of course, the demolition reinforces the concept of cause-and-effect.

Scribbling-Your toddler doesn't have any concept of cubism, impressionism or even paint-by-numbers. But that doesn't mean he won't be thrilled by the prospect of putting pen to paper. Buy a large box of crayons, cover the floor in large sheets of paper and let your toddler experiment with various hand grips.


Hanz said...

Great reading & full of tips. Useful to me. :>

kakyong said...

kakyong pun suka ulang2 kali baca pasal toddlers development.. almaklum lah kita ni selalu lupa...

Toddler fears said...

Many children suffer from different fears like fear of dark, insects, animals, shadow, noise of washing machine, vacuum cleaner etc. We should not take these issues lightly, we should make child realize that object of fear is not at all harmful and should explain properly so that child wont have any fear.

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