Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
Social and emotional development
Promote your child's social and emotional development
- Spending time with him or her. Make an extra
effort to sit and play, read, and talk to your child. Don't worry too much
about having "play dates" and organized activities for your child between the
first and second birthdays. Children this age don't interact much with each
other. Rather, they tend to play alone but near each other, a behavior called
"parallel play." Your love and attention are the most important factors that
help your child's social and emotional growth.
- Knowing about your child's individual temperament.
Every child is different. Getting to know your child's personality helps you to
predict and handle his or her reactions to everyday
- Praising your child. When your child reacts well to
a difficult situation, such as leaving the park without protest, tell him or
her how proud you are. Although your child may not understand the exact meaning
of your words, he or she will associate the positive behavior with your
- Not responding to angry outbursts. When you react to a
temper tantrum or similar behavior, it is more likely
to continue. Unless your child's behavior is dangerous,
ignore it (but stay nearby and soothe your child as
needed). After the outburst is over, you can talk to your child calmly and
reassure him or her that everything is okay. It is very important that you do
not get angry or threaten to spank or hurt your child. Staying calm can
sometimes be difficult. Keep in mind that you are the model for your child's
Sensory and motor skills
Promote your child's sensory and motor skills by:
- Providing safe opportunities for exploration. Play games that encourage walking and movement, and go
outside when possible. For example, help your child walk around the yard with
push toys, such as play lawn mowers or bubble poppers. Play chase and race in
areas that allow "soft landings."
- Helping him or her to climb stairs. Keep a secure hold on your
child as the two of you go up and down stairs together.
- Letting him
or her feel different textures. Find items that let your child safely explore
the concepts of soft, hard, fuzzy, wet, dry, cold, and warm.