Toddler (2-5 years)

You should be happy I’m asking “why?” all the time! It means I’m a curious child, and that I love when you explain things to me # Why is it important? Questions indicate a healthy curiosity about the world and should be encouraged.

If we’re waiting for the water slide, and I get bored and complain, you could teach me a new game or song to distract me from that long line # Why is it important? The ability to wait for one’s turn is important and requires practice. The parent helps the child to develop these skills from an early age.

One of your roles is to teach me right and wrong. I may get angry and resist, but that’s okay – you’re also teaching me how to handle frustration # Why is it important? Setting clear boundaries that define what is allowed and what is not, helps the child to gain a better understanding of the world and enhances his/her confidence. It is natural for the child to oppose in the beginning, but his/her present feelings of frustration will help him acquire skills to cope with future aggravations.

It was so awesome when you asked me about Thanksgiving and the pilgrims! We just talked about it today at kindergarten! I love feeling that you know what goes on at kindergarten. # Why is it important? A parent who takes interest in the child’s experience conveys the message that that experience is valuable, thereby boosting the child’s confidence.

Even if it seems like I don’t listen when you explain to me that I can’t hit other kids, eventually it’ll sink in- don’t give up and persist in your explanations # Why is it important? At this age the ability to self-regulate (stop before acting) is established. The parent can encourage the child to acquire these skills by support and assistance with repeated attempts.

I was born with certain character traits. Education is influential, but some things are genetic, maybe even from several generations back # Why is it important? There are many innate qualities. Awareness of this may help to reduce feelings of guilt for the child’s difficulties and deficiencies.

I’m starting to draw family members. My drawing may be missing some body parts, but you don’t have to add them in, it’ll come with time # Why is it important? Reduces the parents’ pressure to perform actions that are not adapted to the child’s age.

I was angry when you said “no more TV”, but it helped when you added “I know it’s annoying, but you’ve watched a lot of TV and it’s bed time. Want to hear a story?” # Why is it important? When the parent conveys a message that is adequate to the child’s age, it is easier for the child to understand and accept it.

I want a doll! You explained that you got me a ball, kept walking slowly and pointed out a beautiful bird on the tree… I forgot all about the doll! # Why is it important? The parent can help the child overcome the frustration aroused by a boundary by helping him/her to find something else to focus on.

When I put my teddy to bed or talk to my doll don’t think I’m childish- it helps develop my thinking. # Why is it important? Imagination games are important for the child, allowing him/her to acquire understanding and control over his world.

Being late to kindergarten today and missing the “good morning” activity with the song I like made me cranky for the whole day. If I have a hard time getting up, wake me up a little earlier # Why is it important? The child requires a fixed routine as it has a calming effect and allows him/her the security of knowing what is to come.

I love it when you ask little things about what happened at kindergarten today, because otherwise you miss out on important moments for me # Why is it important? The parent is involved in the child’s life. The connection between home and kindergarten gives the child a sense of safety.

If you want me to do something I don’t want to do, it helps to break it into smaller tasks, with reinforcements along the way. “Good, you cleared your plate! What about the cup?” # Why is it important? The parent helps the child to deal with complex tasks, thus enabling him/her to cope. The child is rewarded for each small step and remains motivated.

Sometimes when I talk the words get stuck… if you don’t make a big deal about it it’ll go away on it’s own # Why is it important? The tendency to get ‘stuck’ while talking is typical for this age as the child’s thought develops faster than the ability to produce speech. Parental preoccupation with this can worsen this situation, which should pass with time.

If it’s time to start potty training, maybe you could get me a book about it. If I see that the boy in the book has accidents too, I won’t feel I’m the only one with this challenge… # Why is it important? Stories are an excellent way of helping the child to succeed in developmental tasks.

I love it when you find something special to say about me, without comparing me to my siblings or friends. It makes me feel confident to have a compliment all my own # Why is it important? Every child wants to feel special and unique.

“It wasn’t me! I didn’t draw on the wall…!” Lots of kids my age lie… it’s your job to make me feel comfortable to tell the truth, and to teach me that lying is wrong # Why is it important? patient interpersonal communication also during cases of negative behavior encourages honesty and reduces the fear and concealment

I offered to lend my jigsaw puzzle to Ben, and you thought he wouldn’t give it back. Allow me to be a good friend and encourage me, even if it means risking disappointment # Why is it important? Encouraging the child’s initiatives and social independence .

You’re wondering how to keep me busy. We’ve been to the mall and playground a million times. Maybe we can go to the forest for a picnic? There’s a whole new world waiting there for me! # Why is it important? Environmental education, for example learning about nature, farm animals, zoo animals, spring flowers, autumn leaves are all important to the child’s development, knowledge and creativity

When I was playing with the big magnet you got me you asked: what else can it magnetize? I just love open questions! Tried magnetizing the neighbor’s dog but it didn’t work… # Why is it important? Encouraging problem-solving through hands-on experiences and supporting the child’s learning.

It’s OK not to know the answers to all my questions- the most important thing is to encourage me to keep asking. Just say you’ll ask someone else and tell me later # Why is it important? At this age the child learns new ways to explore the world and his curiosity leads him to ask many questions. Parents’ acceptance of these questions will promote the development of the child’s initiative and will increase his curiosity in the future

Tips and online chat for the parents of infants, toddlers and first graders