The first two years of your child’s life are extremely important. Incredible and exciting developments are taking place and your child is learning about herself, the adults who matter to her, and the world around her.

These years are all about building a warm and nurturing relationship with your child through positive interactions. They are also about how you as a parent relate and interact, send powerful messages, and shape your child’s sense of self-worth, self-esteem and confidence. Your interactions provide your child with a sense of belonging, love and security and these become the vehicles for her to explore, discover, develop and learn.

Your child needs to feel secure to be able to trust that the important adults in her life are there to address her physical, linguistic, cognitive, social and emotional needs. These are the fundamental building blocks to a good start in areas that truly matter to your child. You can build firm foundations to develop your child’s language and literacy skills, thinking, socialisation and creativity as well as her sense of well-being.

In the first two years of life, your child will grow from a person who is totally dependent on you to someone who becomes increasingly independent. Her level of independence is closely linked with her physical development.

From an infant who starts to crawl to a toddler who walks, reaches for objects, and who then starts running and even dancing to her favourite tune, her increasing physical mobility gives her the confidence for her to know that she can do things for herself.

She starts stringing words together. During this phase, her favourite word is “no” as she learns to assert herself and to communicate what she wants and needs. This can be a challenging but fascinating time. With patience, you can build a nurturing and positive relationship with your child as you guide her to understand what is acceptable and what is not.

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Contributed by:
Early Childhood Development Agency