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Your 2-year-old now
Not only is your tyke saying and doing funnier things every day, but she responds to humor in a big way, too. Her preferred mode of humor isn't wry jokes or irony, but more along the lines of slapstick, strange sounds, and funny faces.
Use humor to your advantage to cajole a reluctant child into getting dressed: "Where does the sock go? On your nose?" ("No! On my feet!") Your child gets a rush out of feeling smarter than Mom or Dad. If you sense you're heading into a power struggle, start to talk in a silly baby voice or quack every other word. Using silly voices when you read or tell stories makes book time more fun.
Your life now
Now that your 2-year-old seems so big, should you buy her some age-appropriate software? It depends on how you use it and why you're doing it. Although older preschoolers can manipulate a mouse with ease, you needn't worry that they'll fall behind if they don't learn how to use one now. (That will never be a concern for any child born this century.) Nor will computer games give your child an academic head start. Kids this age learn best through hands-on explorations with three-dimensional objects. A flat screen, no matter how many bells and whistles it has, can't compete. It's not clear whether any harm can come from computer play at very young ages.
Use software for kids sparingly if you do — the time your child spends at a computer count toward the total "screen time" he should have in a day, including TV. (Most experts on children and media recommend an hour or two at most total screen time per day.) Never place a TV, DVD player, or computer in a young child's bedroom; it leads to excessive viewing and creates a habit that's very hard to break. When and if you do use computer games, pick educational programs made for 2-year-olds. Ideally, play together so you can help interpret what's happening.
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