Your 19-month-old's social and emotional development: Eager to help

Your 19-month-old's social and emotional development: Eager to help

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New this month: Eager to help

As you've observed, your child has learned much by imitation and is interested in doing many of the things he sees you do — especially if the jobs seem important. He may insist on helping you wash the car, empty the dishwasher, fold laundry, and so on. His desire to help, as you know, far outweighs his ability, but the more you insist that you don't need his assistance, the more he'll demand "Me do it!" So your challenge is to find ways to let him in on the act. Toddlers don't see the difference between work and play, so you might as well encourage him to help you while he's willing.

What you can do

Let your toddler toss the dirty clothes and dump the scoop of detergent into the washing machine, for instance, or give him a rag so he can clean the tires on the car (or better yet, let him hold the hose — always thrilling for a child). Show him how to put dirty spoons into the silverware basket in the dishwasher, or stow his plastic plates and cups in a low cupboard so that when you're emptying the dishwasher he can put those things away himself.

Other developments: Craving an audience, preparing for a sibling

Though your toddler's desire to be the show-stopper 24/7 may have waned a little bit, he still enjoys an audience. Expect repeat performances of any antics that get a response from you. He thrives on adoring adult attention, and may wither if you scold him. If you tell him not to do something in a harsh or impatient tone, he may cry and come to you for a hug since he needs reassurance that you're not angry with him.

If you're planning to enlarge your family, you're probably wondering how the arrival of a new baby will affect your toddler. There's no easy way to say it: It may be difficult, at least for a little while. But put yourself in your child's shoes. He's been the main attraction for quite some time and now someone else is going to steal the show.

While you don't want to start talking about the new baby too far in advance, since a toddler can't really understand the difference between a day and a month, at some point he'll notice that there's not as much room on your lap as there used to be. You can help make the adjustment period a little bit easier with some advance preparation. Here are a few parent-tested tips:

  • Make a scrapbook with pictures from catalogs of baby items such as a crib, stroller, infant car seat, and so on. As you look through the book with your toddler, tell him about the things "his" baby will need.
  • Let him help you wash, fold, and put away the new baby's clothes and blankets.
  • Buy him a special baby doll so he can practice loving a baby, and teach him a special song that he can sing to his doll and then to his new brother or sister.

See all our articles on toddler development.

Watch the video: CASEL CARES: Best Support the Power u0026 Purpose of the Teenage Brain with Dr. Dan Siegel (July 2022).


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