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Your 2-year-old now
How can you tell if your preschooler is on track developmentally? By age 2, children begin to diverge widely in the rates at which they pick up new skills. That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a list of milestones that most children reach by their second birthday. Your 2-year-old should be able to:
- Point to an object that you name.
- Recognize the names of familiar people, objects, and body parts.
- Use short phrases and two- to four-word sentences.
- Follow simple instructions.
- Repeat words he overhears.
- Find an object even if you hide it under two or three blankets.
- Sort objects by shape or color.
- Play make-believe.
If you're worried that your preschooler seems behind, mention it to his doctor. The best way to diagnose a problem is through professional assessment and continued observation – together with your input, of course, since nobody knows your child as well as you do.
Your life now
Your little shadow is not just following you everywhere – he's watching you closely, too. Should you conceal your stronger emotions from him? Not in most cases. It's good for him to understand that people express their feelings. Give a simple explanation: "I was crying because I missed Daddy and it made me sad. But now I feel better. Let's have a big hug and I'll really feel great, then we can have lunch!" If you have an angry outburst, reassure him so he's not frightened. (All parents lose it sometimes, even though your goal is to be as calm and rational as possible.) Your child is now developing a strong sense of empathy.
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