How 2's Think
The one thing we know is how they DON'T think. They don't think verbaly. They may know a lot of words, but they don't have a big enough vocabulary or grammar to THINK with words. And their brains are not ready either. Most people find it hard to imagin how someone could think without words. Do 2s think in pictures? Emotions? Movement and touch?
Making decisions must be a very different process for someone thinking nonverbally! Understanding others is pretty rough too.
- talk normally with a two year old a lot, but when you are teaching them something - speak slowly and clearly and keep your sentences short.
When you are telling them something important:
- get their full attention
- use simple word they understand
- use very short sentences (3 to 5 words)
- speak slowly and clearly
- repeat important points
- Tell them what TO do, not what NOT to do
(Words like no, don't, never are really hard to understand visually or apart from words, so try not to use negative words when giving warnings or instruction. Practice putting instructions in the positive - it's not easy at first, but it is so important in easing the frustration in your child's life - and so the frustration in YOUR life!. You CAN learn to do this - begin by listening to yourself, and catching yourself every time you use the word "don't" and changing your words to a sentence telling them what you want them to do instead.)
What Motivates Two Year Olds:
Two year olds are driven to learn. Each of us was born into a part of the world needing to learn the language and customs, and all about our part of the world. A person living in a mud hut in Central Africa and someone growing up in the USA will be living very different lives. Each person needs to learn how to fit in, communicate, get around, to survive in the culture where they live- and a little baby is ready to for the task. Usually, by age two a child has gained the ability to move without having to think about it. Now - ready to start investigating everything in reach - two year olds become obsessed with learning. They don't need a teacher and lessons - their own brains tell them what they need to study.
Their play is beyond 'important' it is essential for survival, and deep down there is a part of them that knows this.
Table of Contents
2 What Motivates Two Year Olds?
3 How They Think
4 How To Communicate with a Two Year Old
5 Helping Them to Be Good
6 Two Year Olds Watch Us, Then Copy Us
7 Twos Find Everyday Chores Exciting, If They Get to Help
8 Eating, Sleeping & Potty
9 What to Do About Tantrums
10 Having Fun with Two Year Olds
11 Enjoying Two Year Olds
Resources and References