Your toddler: 32 months old

First friends, teeth brushing and getting dressed. Learn all about life with your 32-month-old.

Photo: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Circle of friends
It’s true, a young toddler doesn’t have a lot of social graces. As he sees it, he’s at the centre of his universe. He lives mostly in the moment, which means if another child is between him and the toy he wants, there could be a decidedly unsociable shove. Sharing is difficult because his understanding of ownership (let alone temporary, voluntary lending) is limited. But all this is changing now. As your child approaches the preschool years and learns appropriate ways to relate to other children, he’ll develop a firm friendship or two. That’s truly something to celebrate.

Read more: How to help your kid make friends>

The tooth truth
Dentists often like to see children when they are very young, long before there’s any hint of a problem with their teeth. No matter what the timing, the first visit to the dentist isn’t just to look at your child’s teeth (in fact it may include only a little peek inside the child’s mouth). It’s mostly an opportunity to become accustomed to this new setting. Learn more about the first dentist visit, and caring for baby teeth.

Dentists say we should all brush for two to three minutes, but do you and your toddler do battle over brushing?

Read more: What you need to know about cavities>

Rediscovering leisure
Remember leisure? Don’t feel guilty if you would like to spend some time with adults — they can be fun too, almost as much fun as toddlers. After an intense day with your little person, it will do you good to unwind with friends or your partner. Get 10 tips for fanning the flames of your love life, too.

Read more: Fab fitness date night ideas>

Getting dressed guide
Sometimes it’s the little things that drive you nuts…like the fact your toddler will only wear his purple shirt, day after day, or how he hates the way his toes rub on the seam of a particular pair of socks.

Toddlers do have preferences about their clothing — sometimes strange and inexplicable preferences, at least to grown-up sensibilities. And although it can be humbling to step out with a child who proudly “matched” four shades of red in his outfit, think twice about overruling his choices. If wearing something slightly out of season or eccentric gives your child a feeling of independence, why not? Take a little pride in the fact that he dresses himself! (And say it loudly and often: “He dresses himself!”)

Read more: Does your child challenge traditional gender roles?>

Originally published on Oct. 23, 2011.

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