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NYS Parent Guide

12-24 Months: Growth and Development

You and Your Wonderful One-Year-Old

Parenting at This Stage

Parenting at This Stage

This is a time of life when you need to take a deep breath. See your toddler as someone who is trying to figure out who he is and what he can do. When he “tests limits” he is really testing himself—his abilities and how far he can go.

When you set clear and consistent limits in a positive way you keep him—and others—safe. At the same time, you are letting him know he is a good and capable person. It may be a challenging time, but one day you’ll tell him funny stories about how he “tried and tested” you.

Over this same year, you may see yourself:

  • Sing songs, read books, and play the simple games your toddler loves over and over again
  • Feel a growing confidence about what it takes to be a parent in terms of routine, rhythm and patience
  • Feel a lack of confidence about how to handle this growing, independent toddler
  • Feel a growing comfort that you don’t have to be a perfect parent—because no one is—but still worry about parenting the best you can
  • Laugh more about things that don’t go quite the way you planned—that’s part of parent flexibility
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