Your Pregnancy

Your Preschooler Month 33

Each and every day, your 33 month old is learning and developing very important life skills that will help him manage different situations throughout his life. The ability to solve problems and the ability to recognise and manage stress are both necessary skills that every child (and every adult) uses daily.

Your Child’s Development

Each day, your child faces a multitude of problems that give him the opportunity to practice how to solve problems. Whether it’s a broken toy, a lost shoe, or spilled milk, these situations all provide the necessary setting to develop problem solving skills that will affect your child throughout his entire life. Another great way to stimulate your toddler's busy little brain is by giving him puzzles and simple board games to play with.
 
As a parent, you can influence how well your child learns this important life skill. Let’s say that your child is playing with another child. They are building houses from blocks but neither one has enough blocks left over to complete their house. You could step in and make a suggestion to them. Perhaps tell them to combine the blocks to make one big house. This is helpful, but it prohibits your child from trying to figure it out on his own. It would be better if you talk to them about the situation. Describe what you see as the problem and ask them for their ideas on how to solve this dilemma. This teaches your child that you expect him to try to solve his own problems. It also gives him the opportunity to do so. The more you encourage your child to work things out on his own, the better he will do facing problems in the future. 
 
Learning to deal with stress is another important and necessary life skill that your toddler is learning every day. As adults, when we think of stress as we know it, it’s hard to understand that a toddler could even have stress, but they do.  From meeting new people to just trying to behave, many situations cause your toddler to have his own form of stress. To effectively deal with stress, a child must learn how to recognise it. As a parent, it is necessary to talk to your child when you see that they are having stress. Get him to explain how he is feeling and make suggestions to what the cause of the stress is. For instance, if your child seems stressed after playing with another child, you might say, “Do you think you are upset because Liam took your toy car?” You may not always be able to hit the nail on the head, but when you do, it causes your child to think about his feelings in connection with what caused them. 
 
To help your child learn to manage stress, show him how to relax by reading a book or doing some other low-keyed activity. You can also encourage your child to talk about something that makes them happy when they are feeling stressed.
 

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