Does your child have imaginary friends? Wondering if it’s a positive or a negative phase? Let me tell you a story…
My mother grew up in a small southern US town in the 1940s, when polio was rampant. My grandparents, who were older and struggled to have a child, were naturally fearful of the disease and scared to lose her. So, Mom wasn’t allowed to play with other children very often.
Developmental milestones exist for good reason and help with everything from growth tracking to early prevention, but constant focus on checking off every item on the pediatric checklist only causes stress for everyone. When it comes to young toddlers (or really any age), there are some key positive behaviors that you might not realize are already happening.
4 “Minor” Young Toddler Behaviors that = Major Growth
Pretends to have a snack with their teddy bear.
What it means: Exhibiting pretend behaviors may seem like no big deal, but they’re actually early signs that your child has acquired symbolic reasoning (e.g., putting an empty spoon to your mouth is not eating, but represents eating.)
Deliberately turns a bowl of cereal upside down.
What it means: Your child is developing wrist control, which is necessary for just about everything we do with our hands.
Is obsessed with pop-up toys.
What it means: Your child has figured out, When I push that button, something will pop up! In other words, cause-and-effect, or I can make something happen.
Follows commands (like “Don’t touch!” And they actually don’t touch.)
What it means: Your child is learning self-control! At long last, they understand that they are in charge of their own wants and actions, and can exercise (some) control over their impulses.
Is obsessed with pushing, pulling, and throwing.
What it means: Your child is discovering the properties of weight, size, force, and mass. They are investigating questions of science, including which things do what and how.