Parenting In Focus: New level of success for your growing child

By the time your little one has reached 18 to 24 months, many additional changes are evident. His language skills have significantly improved but so has his motor, social and self-care skills. Just look at the differences and see if you can remember when these changes happened.

Language development

By this age, your child may be using around 50 words. He even makes two-word sentences such as “Go bye-bye.” He understands the meaning of “don’t” and knows names for familiar people and objects. You probably noticed that he now listens to short books and can follow two-step commands such as “Pick up your coat and come here.” He points to six parts of the body when asked.

Intellectual development

By this age, she points to specific pictures in books when you ask her to. She tries different way to do things and even different strategies. She learns from looking at books and can focus on an activity for about five minutes. She now is old enough to pretend. She now inspects something by looking and not by tasting or touching..

Physical development

By this age, he is now a runner. He can stack six blocks. He rides a toy by pushing on the floor with alternating feet. If you live in a two story house, you will be happy to find him walking up steps. He is now old enough to kick a ball forward.

Social development

By this age, you will notice that she feels concerned when someone is crying. She may try to comfort someone who is very upset. She now handles simple responsibilities. She is interested in other children. You may even find her saying “no” or resisting, which is a new level of social development. She is even concerned about her doll and takes the time to feed her.

Self-care development

By this age, he has the ability to drink from a cup without a lid and use a spoon and fork. He is even old enough to wash his hands and dry them. He can take off some clothes as well as put on another piece of clothing. He can put his arms and legs through holes when he is being dressed.

This is an exciting time. Take advantage of the many changes your child is making. Be sure to make reading together a regular part of these growing years. You are laying the foundation for him or her to become a really good reader. Let your child pick out books to read. Point out the pictures and what they are so your little one can learn about the world.

Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and former executive director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents.