The child’s development 2-3 years

Now the child is developing a lot in his identity as an individual. The language develops quickly and the child begins to put sentences together. Children of two years are often very active and can, for example, run, walk stairs and walk on their toes.

All children are unique and develop differently. However, there are some characteristics that are common and typical for most children in an age group. These are described here.

It can vary greatly in how children develop. To understand and recognize your child you may also need to read about the child’s development for 1-2 years or about the child’s development for 3-4 years.

Development is going fast at different periods

The development is different at different times and can vary greatly from child to child, even between siblings.

Development is both fun and hard for the child. They can sometimes become anxious, change their mood and need more closeness or attention than before.

A child’s development is affected by many circumstances. There are individual conditions and events that can affect how a child develops, both in the short and longer term. For example, it may be if the child is born prematurely, has a disability or is involved in a major change in life.

You need to be active in the child’s development

The child is still dependent on adults. You and others who are close to the child are very important for how the child feels, develops and relates to their surroundings. They are influenced by how you provide closeness, encourage and give the child what they show they need. Then the child feels safe.

The child uses his close adults as a safe base to explore the world from.

Read more about how the child ties in and how you can socialize.

What the child thinks, understands and feels

At this age, the child understands better that both you and you as a parent have their own needs and desires. But the child’s own needs are usually at the center. It is difficult for the child to get together what they want and what others want.

The child is better at understanding that different people may have different thoughts about things, but this is still difficult. This allows the child’s mood to change quickly. The child can be perceived as strong-willed. It can be challenging for you as a parent to negotiate different wishes.

To know yourself

At this age, children can and do want to do more things on their own. It can be eating yourself, dressing yourself and opening and closing doors yourself. Practicing the new is important for the child. Your task is to let the child exercise, and at the same time keep in mind that the child often wants more than they can. It is a security for the child that you ultimately take responsibility for how things are, even if they sometimes protest.

Mine and yours are important to the child

Now it is important for the child to distinguish between mine and yours. She likes to tell herself and others what people, animals and things belong together and how.

It can be difficult to share toys at this age.

The child begins to use the words you, me, me, mine and mine when they talk about themselves.

The child uses you to develop

Being a parent to a child of this age can be both fun and demanding. It is common to feel uncertain about how to deal with the child and to have a bad conscience for being angry or inconsistent.

The fact that the child is now more aware of what they themselves think and feel means that you as a parent need to spend more time understanding this. The fact that the child and you have different ideas about things is one of the most common causes of conflicts at this age. The best way to understand the child is to be interested in your child and his thoughts. Listen, watch, and learn from your child.

Adapt to your child’s personality and temperament

Now that the child is exploring his world more and more, it is good to adapt your style as a parent to the child’s personality and temperament. Children who are calm, shy and cautious usually need a calm, encouraging parent who waits for the child and helps them dare.

Children who are active and impulsive usually need a more active and clear parenting style. This means, among other things, that you need to think a lot in advance and remove dangerous things that the child may happen to get hold of. Active children may need adults to be close to them, as they sometimes find it harder to listen to what you are saying.

Some children may take extra time to get started on games and other activities. They need patient, friendly parents in the first place.

Children under the age of 2 can react strongly to adversity because they are unable to handle strong emotions. For example, the child may have an outbreak or become irritated. Some children respond extra quickly, often and often. The child needs you to be patient, friendly and warm. Having a tough parenting style is not good for these kids in the long run. It can be difficult to teach the child things if they do not seem interested. But try to think that you need to strain the extra child so that they do not miss learning things that children with easier temperament learn.

Adapt to your child as best you can. Pay attention to the child’s temperament and what they need.

Okay to get angry

As a parent, it is always good to be warm and friendly towards the child. However, sometimes you still get angry. As the child practices coping with all new abilities and emotions, it is easy for a parent to lose their temper. It’s okay as long as it’s within reasonable limits.

A 2-year-old needs a lot of guidance, and wants a lot that they don’t get. Therefore, conflicts arise. Setting a boundary and losing your temper are two completely different things. Practice controlling your child without losing your temper.

So you can do so not to mess

Here are some tips on how to do for the child and yourself in difficult situations:

  • Divert the child by focusing on something else that interests them.
  • Let the child make simple choices, say, “Which boot should we put on first ?!”
  • Put words on what the child feels and confirm the feelings.
  • Prepare the child clearly for what will happen. For example, say “Now we will put on the overalls and go out soon!”
  • Talk the child through the situation, put words into what you do and what happens.
  • Sometimes let the child get what they want, especially if it is about something that is not so important.

If you get too angry, go away and let another adult take care of the child for a while.

Read more about when children get an outbreak, what it can depend on and how you can do it.

Show that you are there

You always need to be there as a confident, responsible person. It is less important that all situations and rules are always exactly the same. On the contrary, it is important to be flexible as a parent. You are the bigger, wiser person who guides the child through life and helps them develop.

After conflicts and quarrels you need to do as soon as possible so that you and the child will have a good relationship again. By explaining what happened, you give the child an understanding of what went wrong and you show that you can become the same again.

Sometimes it can feel good to share experiences and maybe get advice and support. For example, you can talk to other parents, staff at preschool or hospital.

Feelings can change quickly

Children can easily exchange feelings, for example from loving hugs to outbursts of frustration. It can be difficult for the person or persons closest to the child, and for the child himself.

The child can not yet cope with all the strong feelings and needs adult help.

How the child is with others – social development

At the age of 2, the ability to pretend develops. The imagination can flow in the game. The child can pretend that things are different, for example that a block is a telephone or that a doll himself drinks from a cup. The game gets more actions in a row and the child can play, feed, change and place the doll.

At the age of 2, relationships with peers become more important than before. The child becomes a little less dependent on direct proximity to you as a parent. The child thinks it is more fun to spend time with children of the same age and with adults who do not feel as well. Many children of this age take the initiative to communicate and play with others. It gets easier and easier as the language evolves.

The child is happy to lend toys to other children, but may quickly want them back. Competition for toys is common. “My” and “no” are terms that children often use.

The child wants closeness and security

Although the child clearly shows his/her own will and can act independently, they are at the same time small and dependent on closeness, security and confirmation. Many children like to hug and kiss and be close to you as a parent.

Some sleep anxiously and may need to sleep with you, even if they have stopped doing so. At the same time, many children can be at peace sometimes and play for themselves.

The child would like to try something new and investigate

Children of this age are interested in mimicking the behavior of adults and older children. The child often likes to be part of the housework or in the garden. The fact that a parent is involved in sharing experiences makes discovery even more enjoyable. It becomes more educational for the child, and makes them understand more about the world.

Many children of this age find it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time and would like to try something new after a short while.

Usually the child can and does

It is common for children between the ages of 2 and 3 to do this:

  • Sorts things by size and color.
  • Playing pretend games with dolls, animals and people.
  • Adds simpler puzzles with a few pieces.
  • Understands the principle of two that are equal, and can, for example, play simple memory games.
  • Gets a little easier to wait.
  • Understand what’s mine and yours.
  • Understands and remembers what happens if they do in a certain way.

Tips on what you can do

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Make a dressing box for the baby. The child can play fantasy games with, among other things, old hats, vests, skirts, shoes, jewelry and bags.
  • Use hand or finger puppets. They are fun and good when you play and communicate with the child.
  • Let the child do regular chores at home, such as tablecloths, wiping the table or sweeping the floor. You can also bake or cook together. It gives time for community and small talk.
  • Have the child paint with ink pens, crayons or finger paint. Leklera can also be fun.

Language, speech and communication

Now the language is developing fast. When the child is between two and three years, they usually start putting together words for short sentences. First, there are two words and when the child is approaching the age of three, they can often make sentences with up to six words. It can still be very different between different children. At the age of two, most children talk.

Already at the age of 2 you can have a short call. The child can take turns talking and answering, as long as you take responsibility for keeping the conversation going. The question “What is it?” Is common.

At this age, some children can also create new words if they do not express certain things, the imagination is great. Children form new words by starting with ones they already know.

The child has difficulty pronouncing some words

Children of this age often switch places on language sounds and make pronunciation errors. For example, some children may have difficulty pronouncing two consonants next to each other. For example, washing can become “dense” and watch “cook”. The sounds often come by themselves and this is nothing you need to worry about at this age.

Do not correct the child but say the word yourself and the child will hear how it should sound. At this age, the family understands what most children say.

Talk and tell

Talking to the child about what you experience together is exciting and exciting for the child. Listening to the child, talking and telling increases vocabulary and the child gets words for what they experience.

Fairy tales and rams are popular and good for development

Many children enjoy short stories, finger plays, chants and songs. Songs, rhymes and ramsas are good for language development.

Reading books for the child is good, it increases the child’s vocabulary. Please stop by as you read and discuss the contents of the book. Ask open questions about what is happening in the book and relate to what the child knows. Many children like to ask and talk about what they see in the pictures.

Screens and various media

Children of this age should still not use screen as much. But getting started watching children’s shows or using a tablet for a little while together can be relaxing and fun.

There are different perceptions about how video games and computer games affect children. Whatever one thinks, it is part of the world that surrounds the child. In general, screens do not contribute to children’s development, but it can be an activity among others and does not have to be negative or harmful as long as it does not replace things that are more important. The time in front of the screen should not replace the time when you are together, or replace the time when the child is allowed to move and play outdoors.

It is important to remember that children need active guidance and companionship of an adult if they are to learn any of the onscreen activities. A child sitting alone with a screen cannot learn much from it.

Remember to adapt that child to look after their personality and what you believe your child can handle. It can differ between children of the same age. Look with the child, talk about what you see and experience. Keep in mind that children can be scared of things you don’t think they are scared of.

You set boundaries around and teach kids how to handle different media. The recommendation from the World Health Organization, WHO, is that children between 2 and 4 years should use screens a maximum of one hour a day, but preferably shorter.

Do not allow children to watch adult films with violence or news programs. Turn off unpleasant background noise.

Think about how you use media yourself when you are with your child. Children do as adults do. Most social media programs are designed to take as much of your own attention as possible. Therefore, when you sit with a screen yourself, you become less attentive to your child.

Usually the child can and does

It is common for children between two and three years to do this:

  • Uses sentences in three to six words.
  • Uses the correct order and pronouns like me, me, you, we, they.
  • Understand a sentence with two or three prompts like “Go to your room and get the teddy bear and fire truck”.
  • Understands the difference between on, in, under and over.

Tips on what you can do

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Please read to the child every night or as often as possible. Books with large pictures and some text fit well.
  • Repeat, develop and explain what the child says. It increases vocabulary. For example, if the child says “more milk” you can say “You want more milk?”. Then the child also knows that you have listened and understood what they have said.
  • Play that you sound like a vacuum cleaner, an airplane, water that drops, a dog that knocks on the door and more.
  • Please tell us when the baby was small.
  • Take an outing and then talk about what you did.
  • Play finger games with or without finger puppets.

The body and how the child moves

It can vary greatly how the child moves and can use body, but children of 2 years are often very active and the ability to move is greatly developed. They learn to run, jump on their feet, stand on one leg, walk on their toes, walk backwards and walk down stairs. First they go up stairs with both feet on each step and eventually one foot at a time. Many are also beginning to learn to ride a tricycle.

Children of this age can use children’s scissors, build things from blocks or large lego pieces. They can often draw circles. Many people also like to paint with thick brushes in clear colors. The child holds the pen and brush with his whole hand. In the sandbox, the child can make sand cookies and splash and pour with water.

Usually the child can and does

It is common for children between the ages of 2 and 3 to do this:

  • Runs and climbs, goes up and down stairs.
  • Kicks on a ball.
  • Screws off and on cover.
  • Turns one page at a time into a book.
  • Jumps feet in place. This is most commonly closer to 3 years of age.
  • Draws vertical lines. This is most commonly closer to 3 years of age.

Tips on what you can do

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Play in the woods. There you can climb stones, jump over branches and other things, walk on narrow paths and carry sticks.
  • Let the child go balance.
  • Play on playgrounds. There you can ride a slide, swing and climb on a climbing position. It’s fun and good for the motorcycle.
  • Play or throw ball with baby. The movements are not really complete, so it is good to do so with caution and patience.
  • Let the child pour water into and out of mugs and jars of different sizes.

To stop using diapers

It is not possible to say any exact age when it is good to start training the baby to stop peeing in diaper. Some children may be ready to end up with diapers at this age.

If you need support

Seek help if you need support, have questions or feel anxious about your child’s development.

In addition to talking to, for example, friends and relatives, you can contact the childcare center, hospital. The staff there has a lot of experience with questions about children of this age. You can also talk to preschool or family daycare.

You can also contact a health care center or the municipality. Some municipalities offer parental support in groups or individually. You can find information on your municipality’s website.

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