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On the grow: Month 27

Little ones are hardwired to explore and learn. But persistence isn't necessarily a trait children are born with.

Even so, coping with frustration—and sticking with challenges—is a skill you can help your little one develop. Here are three tips for raising a child who doesn't give up:

1. Don't rush in. Ask questions to help your child problem solve independently. For example, if your kiddo's stack of blocks keeps falling because the bottom one is too small, you might ask, "Hmmm. What do you think we should do?"

2. Think small picture. Instead of waiting to praise success, point out their smart decisions over the course of playtime. A case in point: "You made a big base for your block tower. That was clever!"

3. Encourage new challenges. Does your 2-year-old seem ready to tackle unzipping a jacket? Be a cheerleader. Acknowledge that it may take them a few attempts. But let your child know they'll ultimately be successful.

How your child's changing

Here's a look at what to expect in the coming month.*

Fine work. Your child's fine motor skills are beginning to kick into high gear. Very likely, your little one will be able to manipulate small objects with ease. Watch for these accomplishments:

  • Turning the pages of a book.
  • Building a tower of six blocks.
  • Pulling off shoes.
  • Using a cup with one hand.
  • Unwrapping paper from candy.
  • Turning a doorknob.
  • Unscrewing a jar lid.

Home, safe home. At this point, children's self-control and judgment are nowhere near the level of their increasing dexterity. You have to protect your child from accidents and poisoning.

So be sure to keep potential dangers—such as cleaning products, medicine and pesticides—in locked cabinets or containers and out of sight and reach of your curious kiddo.

Did you know? Moms and dads often report that their children's challenging behaviors peak at 27 months. And whining tops the list of issues.

If you're nodding in agreement, it might help you to know you're not alone. Do your best not to give in to whining. Rewarding such behavior is a short-term fix that's likely to encourage more whining later on. Instead, start by telling your child that you know they want something but you can't answer them until they use their big-kid voice. Explain the situation in a clear, factual way. Offer a distraction or give them a task to help you.

*Keep in mind, no two children follow the exact same path when it comes to development. There can be great variation from child to child. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your child's development.

Reviewed 3/16/2023

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