Each child has an individual pattern of development based on genes and environment. The developmental stages in the growth of the child are categorized into milestones that represent physical characteristics, cognitive characteristics, social skills ,etc. They can be used to identify any abnormality in your child’s developmental patterns which can then be addressed. It is essential for parents to have a basic knowledge about the developmental milestones of children.
2 Year Old Milestones
In the second year you will observe an increase in the size and weight of your child. The body weight of children at this age increases by 3 lbs – 5 lbs and their average increase in height is about 3-5 inches. Children also learn some gross and fine motor skills during their 2nd year of age.
Some of the gross motor skills children learn are:
Balance their bodies
Jump and land on both legs
Climb the stairs while holding onto the railings
Take one step at a time and can also climb onto furniture
Carry toys around and throw a ball around when they are playing
Some of the fine motor skills children learn are:
Start brushing their teeth and feeding on their own even though their movements are not yet perfectly coordinated
Learn to scribble with a pencil or a crayon
Build block towers with four blocks
Learn to turn on the faucet
How can you help with your child’s physical development?
Physical development is one of the 2 year old milestones that help gauge the developmental progress in children. The best way to help develop your child’s motor skills is by playing with them. Invent creative ways to play with them. Play games that involve hopping and jumping. Play pretend games with them to improve their creativity. Encourage them to use the swing in the playground to improve their balancing skills. Make them dance to nursery rhymes so that their body coordination improves.
At 2 years of age:
They begin to understand the concept of time.
They can understand simple time based concepts such as ‘now’ and ‘later’ but cannot comprehend far away future.
They also understand simple mannerisms such as differentiating the nod of the head for ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They begin to recognize and differentiate size and color.
They follow simple instructions such as put the toy down, sit down ,etc.
Cognitive development is one of the important 2 year old milestones in children and if any abnormality is observed, parents should discuss the issue with the doctor.
How can you help with your child’s cognitive development?
You can teach your child to follow instructions. Give clear, precise instructions that do not confuse your child. Directly make the child to look into your eyes while giving instructions. Speak quietly without raising your voice. Switch off the TV and other distractions while speaking to the child so that the child can focus and listen to what you are saying.
After you speak, give a 6 -7 second pause, so that the child understands what you are saying and responds appropriately. If your child does not give an appropriate response then repeat your words. Do not overload the child with instructions. Give one instruction at a time in order not to confuse him/her. Use numbers while giving instructions. e.g. I want you to do two things, first collect all the toys off the floor and second place them all in the red bag.
Emotional and social milestones
Children develop an awareness of other kids and behaviors by the age of 2
They try to imitate the behavior of other kids and adults
They prefer the company of kids and do not mind being separated from their parents for short durations. They suffer from less separation anxieties as they complete 2 years of age
They like the company of other kids but they haven’t still acquired an understanding of playing together as a team by cooperating with other kids
They start to do things independently without parental help
They exhibit temper tantrums
They begin to identify gender differences about clothing, length of hair ,etc.
How can you help with your child’s emotional and social development?
Be aware of the fact that your child will mimic your actions and the actions of other adults and kids in their environment. Be cautious about the language and manners you use before your kid. This is also a good time to teach them good etiquettes. Also carefully choose the social environment your kids are going to be in. When they are around other children, you can also teach them social skills such as sharing and taking turns to play with a toy.
Finding a best way to deal with your kids temper tantrums is also important to shape their behavior. Doctors suggest that you can either choose to deal with your kids temper tantrum or ignore it. During a tantrum it is best to ensure that your kid is only screaming and crying and not putting himself or anyone in danger. If you have time then you can deal with it by addressing the issue with your kid without giving in to his tantrums.
During their second year children develop distinct language skills
They also start to repeat words they hear in conversations
They understand words denoting the objects they use and the persons they meet every day
By the time they complete 2 years, children start talking in sentences of two to four words and by the time they complete 3 years they end up having a vocabulary of 200 words.
During their second year of age children start asking questions like ‘why?’, ‘what?’ etc.
Language development is also an important 2 year old milestones and parents should observe and carefully develop their child’s language skills
How can you help with your child’s language skills?
You can develop your child’s language skills by involving them in tasks that you do. They can be asked to identify toys of a particular size or color. They can be asked to place clothes in the laundry basket. You can identify the things they use with words so that their vocabulary improves. You can help them identify the objects they use every day with words. You can show them pictures of animals, objects and colors and ask them to identify it. You can also show them photographs of the family and help them identify the members.