WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOUR CHILD: THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Your child's motor skills are advancing. She may now be able to stack her blocks higher than before or throw and kick a ball. Engage her in activities that test these evolving skills and offer her increasingly difficult challenges. When she's mastered the art of sorting shapes, offer her a simple puzzle. Set up a makeshift goal in the garden and show her how to kick the ball into it. Find a child-sized basketball net and let her practice throwing. Find the activities she enjoys the most. If you sense she's getting frustrated with a new game, take a break and try again later.
2. Your child may be afraid of monsters, especially at bedtime. Do you remember those monsters that lurked in your wardrobe, the shadows on the wall and those scary sounds that seemed to exist only at bedtime? Your toddler is nearing an age when he may begin to be frightened by similar spooks. Here is how you can reduce his fears:
Limit your child's exposure to scary movies and books.
Use a dim nightlight in your child's room or let him keep a child's torch by his bed to scare away shadows.
Use soft music to help mask any of your house's creaks. (Of course, make sure that the equipment and electrical cords are out of your child's reach.)
Let your child use 'monster mist' to scare away troublesome wardrobe dwellers. Simply apply a 'monster mist' label to an ordinary spray bottle and fill it with some water. (Or leave the bottle empty and instruct your child to scare away spooks with invisible magic mist.)
Above all else, always be available to offer a hug or a calm lullaby when your little one is afraid. He'll soon outgrow this stage and will most likely begin creating scary stories to tell you!
Click here to find out more about nightmares and night terrors.
3. Your child's attention span is increasing. You've spent your day playing with your precious little one. Now it's time to cook dinner, and you must break yourself away. But your toddler still wants to play. What do you do? You may be able to convince your bundle of energy to play independently for a few minutes. Select a favourite toy and watch her entertain herself. She'll probably want to stay close to you, but you may find that by this stage in her development she's able to play quietly (or not so quietly) while you are nearby. As she grows towards her second birthday, you'll find her attention span will increase considerably, making independent play a real possibility. It should be increasingly easy to prepare dinner without stopping every other minute to find a new toy to capture her attention. Just be sure you stop often enough to supervise properly, even as she plays 'alone'.