The children continue to amaze me everyday! They are gaining more independence in our regular routines and grow each day. We have been singing our t-shirt song, along with a good morning song, Wheels on the Bus, 5 Little Ducks and more. We sing songs in repetition so the children have a chance to participate and learn the rhythm and words. Many of the children in the classroom have turned two-years-old or are about to turn two-years-old. Around 2 years of age is the time of Self Affirmation. At 2 years of age the child peaks in the explosion of language, when the brain advances to the ability to use grammar and syntax. The child is taking another great step in discovering him/herself. He/She is in the language explosion and now uses “I” instead of “me.” “No” is his/her favorite word because he/she wants choices.
During this time the adult can be prepared by:
Offering the child 2 choices. The choices need to both satisfy the adult so no matter which the child chooses it is a win-win scenario: the child gets to make a choice and the choice is something that the adult can live with. For example, 2 choices of clothing for the day, 2 choices of vegetables for dinner, 2 choices of routes to take on an afternoon walk, etc.)
Respect the fact that the child needs to make choices and be involved with the family at a new level.
When we offer the child choices we are really offering the child respect. Respect is extremely important to any individual and it goes a long way to how the individual feels psychologically. Providing choices also helps to teach thinking, for making a choice requires thought. Since choices will be offered throughout life, providing them during this time of affirmation also helps to prepare the child for choices later in life.
Of course, the adult must recognize there will be times when there is not a possibility for choice. The adult must have clear, reasonable boundaries to set limits for the child. There are times when a choice is not safe or not appropriate. There are some things that are the responsibility of the adult. Giving choices within limits provides a positive path to affirmation.