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  • Back On Track Early Childhood Professionals

Guiding the behaviour of your 2 year old

Your child turning two is a big milestone for you and your child.

It can be a challenging year ahead, but with a little guidance and a strong routine it can be an enjoyable and fun 12 months.

From a developmental perspective your child is experiencing and learning to regulate their emotions, moods and feelings and they are also becoming aware of your feelings and moods and can be influenced by these.

“Terrible Two’s” is how this age is referred to by most of society.

However, at this age they are learning to communicate and verbalise their wants and needs and often become frustrated, angry or embarrassed.

As parents guiding this behaviour it is important to understand that they don’t have the words to explain their feelings and we need to help them. It is best not to negotiate or bargain with your child when they are feeling frustrated or angry, it is best to “just get on with” what you are doing and not give too much attention to the tantrum.

However, when your child has calmed down this is the opportunity to talk to them about a better way to express their needs, wants and feelings by showing how to express what they need and what words to use when they experience these feelings.

We promise it will get better as they near 3 and their vocabulary has developed.

2 year olds have about 50 words in their vocabulary and often include words like “I, You, Mine and Me” encourage and practice having conversations with your child and encourage them to take turns to talk and listen.

This is a very important life skill.

Reading books and singing songs and rhymes will help your child to learn new words and the rhythm of language. Incorporate simple rhymes and songs into your daily routine and they will start to imitate you and pick up lots of new words and really enjoy your attention.

Play is important at this age as “CHILDREN LEARN THROUGH PLAY!!” they love to dress up and imitate you and the people in their lives. They also love to get messy so include in their day lots of sensory fun with things like play dough, sand, dirt, finger painting or water play.

At this age they can follow very basic instructions so take the opportunity and the time and encourage them to dress and undress themselves, feed themselves, wash their own hands, wash themselves in the bath and introduce toilet training.


You may be finding it hard to keep up with your child as they are becoming more confident and in control of their little bodies so let them run when it is safe, kick balls, climb equipment at the park and let them take risks that will encourage them to work out their own limits within a safe environment and with supervision. At this age they need lots of outdoor, physical play, so head out for outdoor fun as much as possible.

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