development. We tend to think of toddlers as more rational than infants because
they have language skills. But toddlers’ brains are only beginning to build bridges
to abstract reasoning and organization via emotional exploration—especially
imagination—and sensorimotor experience. We may see lots of signs of emerging
abstract reasoning even in young toddlers, yet we must keep in mind that the
presence of these capacities does not mean toddlers can use them to organize,
make sense of, or regulate their impulses and feelings.
How Views of Toddler Development Have Changed
The major theories of child development, all evolving over the last hundred years,
have naturally seen generations of revisions, amendments, and challenges.
Changes in how researchers study very young children and in technology for
observing the brain have shifted our perspective and integrated once-separate
disciplines of childhood support.
Two currents in research fleshed out and confirmed the concept of the brain
and body as linked through the nervous system. They also established the idea
Recent child development research has focused on this fact: very young
children use adults as mirrors not just to know what to do but also to build
a sense of self.