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Your Toddler's Social Development: 18 To 24 Months

Your child may now be comfortable staying at a greater distance from you. One reason is her growing ability to get what she needs with her developing language skills (the average child at this age says eight to 10 words clearly, and can point to things that she wants). She is also understanding and mostly accepting your rules. Finally, she has a greater ability to work out issues through play. All these factors contribute to her letting go. This doesn't mean she won't fuss when you leave the house. But for the most part, she will be content to stay and play with another familiar, loving adult.

Adult Approval

A child's desire to please is quite strong by this age, leading to fewer confrontations and greater sociability. On rare occasions, she is even able to put your wishes above her own. This is a slow, gradual process that takes a while to master. Getting adult attention is so important to her, though, that she prefers negative attention to no attention at all. Expect to hear the word look from your child as she seeks your approval. Be careful not to go overboard. Too much praise might make her overly dependent on adult approval.

Returning Fears

Fears of objects or sounds often occur at this age. Your child may run to you upon hearing barking dogs, thunder and lightning, trains or trucks, flushing toilets, or vacuum cleaners. Other common sources of fear include the bath, rain, wind, and wild animals. Don't belittle your child's terror. Instead, help her see them up close so she can conclude that they are not worth getting upset about.

FisherPrice Parenting Guide CDROM