Parenting Technique 56 – Think “learning” all the time and remember that you are your child’s first and most important teacher.” Part III (See Parenting Techniques 54 & 55 for background.)
One-Year-Old to Two-Years
This is the year of toddlerhood. Your toddler will be on the go. You will notice his or her learning take off exponentially because so many new experiences are available. You will see your little one take things apart and put them back together, learn what to push and what to pull, what goes inside and what goes out, and much more. There will be possessiveness about toys and belongings that takes hold and should be respected as well. There will also be a new sense of self-awareness that also should be respected and channelled in a positive direction whenever possible. This is the time to turn all your previous explanations into clear rules. It is also the time to introduce photos, drawings, and pictures. By explaining concepts from books and through explaining other situations, you will have many opportunities to be instructive.
– adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, p. 46
You can see from what is going on, you are still your child’s best “educational toy.” Once again, this stage is all about what to do, not what to buy. Just as your toddler prefers your keys to baby keys, he or she prefers to explore real life around him or her. While baby-proofing is fine in any way you feel comfortable, you are the real baby-proofer by setting rules and consistently reinforcing them. Never leave your toddler unattended and make the most of all exploration and curiosity you observe. Easy? No, but in truth, this is the task at hand.
Everything you say and do continues to be important and will be forever. Those first words will be your words. You will love that. As you go about modeling life to your little one, you will see as time goes your child modeling all that you have taught him or her back to you. Enjoy your gift of leadership and responsibility. Both are amazing!
NOTE: Find out more about emergent literacy at emergent-literacy.com.