Toddlers and Twos Are Amazing
Toddlers never stop moving. A toddler’s response: “I do like to move, but I
always wonder why adults like to sit so much. My body can do so many things,
and I want to use it to run and jump and climb. Why did you stop moving?”
The Real Scoop on Toddlers
Messy means toddlers are exploring the world. “I have to touch, taste,
and smell everything to really learn. Imagine trying to learn how to use
the computer if no one ever let you touch the keys.”
Stubborn means toddlers are determined. “You’ll admire my tenacity
when I’m older.”
Unable to share means toddlers are learning autonomy. “Learning to
have control over things and the world makes me feel independent.”
Not a good listener means toddlers are passionate about life and learning.
“I am often more interested in learning about the world than getting a
Gets frustrated means toddlers are learning to communicate. “Until I can
talk, read, and write, I’ll have to tell you things in the best way I can.”
Never stops moving means toddlers are whole-body learners. “I am
learning how to use my body and I like to practice a lot.”
Throws tantrums, hits, and bites means toddlers are learning social skills.
“Seems to me the easiest way to get something is to take it. I’m just
learning all the rules of life.”
Adults get frustrated too. I’ve always wanted to lie down in the grocery
store aisle and kick and scream. I just haven’t done it yet. How about you?
understanding toddlers and twos
Toddlers throw tantrums, hit, and bite. A toddler’s response: “How can I tell
others what I want if I can’t talk? Use your words, you say, but hitting and bit-
ing seem to work better. I don’t like tantrums, either, but once I get started, I
can’t seem to stop. I need you to help me learn how to have more self-control.”
14 Chapter 1
Expectations for Toddlers
To work well with toddlers, you need to understand who they are. The way
you interact with toddlers, how you set up their environment, and how you
plan their routine and activities should all be based on appropriate expec-
tations. Are you expecting too little of toddlers, or perhaps too much? As
I stated earlier, toddlers aren’t infants, but they’re not preschoolers, either.
Good-quality education and care are based on an understanding of their
development and an appreciation of the natural behavior of toddlers.
The job of toddlers, and all children, is the job of development. Take a
look at the toddler’s job description below and see if you have further expec-
tations to add.
dler’s The Tod
iption r c s e D
o J b
As a young child, I am trying to make
sense of the world around me. I learn by exploring,
experimenting, and testing the limits of my environment and the
consequences of my actions. I want to be responsible, independent, and
capable, but it will take lots of experimentation, trial and error, and prac-
tice to get me there. Here’s what I will do to ensure my success in school
and life (and drive you crazy):
I will use my curiosity to explore and learn about the world
I will be a unique individual in interests, in temperament, in
moods, in how I learn, and in the care I need.
I will develop at my own pace and in a way that integrates my
interests and enthusiasm.
I will let others know my feelings, needs, and wants by express-
ing myself in the most appropriate way that I can at the time
through words, expressions, and actions.