2 2 0
2 – 3 Y E A R S
Your two-year-old is just beginning to understand that the
world extends beyond his immediate family. Grandparents,
aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends are starting to play
more of a part, too. He will also become more aware of
the differences between being a boy and being a girl.
Understanding that there are other people in his world helps your toddler
develop social skills, and enables him to develop self-awareness and an
understanding of the existence and meaning of relationships.
Getting along with others
As well as having siblings and burgeoning friendships, your toddler may
also have cousins as playmates. In some families these relationships are
among the strongest that children develop through life. How well the
children bond will depend to some extent on how relaxed the relationship
is between the parents. Even though two adults have been brought up by
the same parents, they may have radically different views on the “correct”
way to bring up their own children, and toddlers can easily pick up on
any tensions and differences.
A simple way to get around differences of adult opinion on the “best”
approach to parenting is to agree to respect the house rules of the home
you are in. Children are happiest when their parents are happy. If the
adults agree to compromise—so can they.
Practicing sharing and role-play
All relationships offer toddlers the opportunity to understand how to share
and take turns. You can help your toddler to develop self-awareness and
to remember what is expected of him by modeling the kind of behavior
that you expect, and by describing to him what you would like him to do.
For example, “Tommy, here is Martha. Martha is your cousin [explains
IMPORTANT PEOPLE Your
toddler is getting to
know his wider family.
and grandchildren is
often one of the most
special and most loving.