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Your 2-year-old now
A child this age wears her heart on her sleeve – and in her voice, her fists, her stamping feet, and her crocodile tears. You seldom have to guess about a 2-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 or sad sniffle.
Let your child know that it's okay to be unhappy sometimes – it's simply part of life. Swooping in to vanquish the unhappiness sends the wrong message – that it's not okay to feel sad or mad. Solving every problem for your child also robs her of the opportunity to work through her feelings on her own.
What you can do: Help her label her feelings. "You're so mad at Mommy because she said no park today!" Let her know you have the same feelings, too, sometimes: "It makes you feel sad when we say bye-bye to Grandma. It makes me feel sad, too." If your child screams or hits when she's angry or upset, show her acceptable ways to vent her emotion, like punching a pillow or stamping her feet.
Your life now
If you find yourself bracing for those fabled "terrible twos," relax. It's the second year of life (the one you've just passed through) that's among the more challenging developmentally. The actual "twos" tend to be a bit calmer and even more fun.
Now your child can move about with confidence and play with less assistance. She can make her wishes known better than before and understands even more than she can say. And her boundless curiosity is balanced at least a little by an increasing understanding of rules.
Two-year-olds do test limits and disagree with parents, of course, but they're also 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.
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