Get expert answers on your toddler's readiness for potty training, playing with other kids, discipline, learning and more.
...to start talking
You’ve likely heard a lot of unrecognizable babble coming from your tot. “Most toddlers begin attempting words around their first birthday, says Cellupica. Words like “Dada” and “Hi!” are typical first words. The best way to encourage your child to expand her vocabulary is to spend lots of time talking to her. “Word-based play like nursery rhymes and singing are also important. Encourage your child to flip through books and begin reading to her as soon as she shows enough patience to sit and listen for a few minutes.”
...to be disciplined when naughty
If you catch your tot in the act doing something she’s not supposed to, it’s your job to teach her how to behave rather than punish her, Cellupica says. “Keep your expectations for her behaviour realistic and your requests short and clear, since your toddler is still learning language.” Children in this age group usually don’t respond well to your attempts at reasoning. “Use the idea of natural consequences to teach your child. For example, if she writes with crayon on the wall, have her help with cleaning up the mess.”
...to start learning ABCs and 123s
You can start exposing your child to numbers and letters as early as you want. Most kids start learning to count and say the alphabet around two to three years old. Cellupica suggests using wooden puzzles to introduce these concepts.
...to start learning responsibility (cleaning up toys, for example)
Kids love imitating Mom and Dad so include them in household tasks, such as tidying up their toys. “Build tidy-up time into your toddler’s daily routine and encourage her to clean up her toys when playtime is done. Your best chance of success is to do it together, rather than having your toddler clean up on her own,” Cellupica says.