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Tips & Articles for Toddlers

Learning to Walk

Author: By the editors of Child magazine

User Ratings: **No StarNo StarNo Star

Your toddler is driven to mobility in part by her desire to explore those brave new worlds that lie waiting beyond the reach of Mom and Dad. Don't be too surprised, though, if, having become able to move away from you, she suddenly decides she doesn't want to.

Advances in motor development are very often accompanied by a sort of backlash that takes the form of renewed clinginess and problems with separation. This may manifest itself as you try to move from room to room, or go to work, or put your child to bed at night. She needs to reassure herself that, now that she has the power to move away, you will still be there when she needs you.

Patience and calm reassurance can help both of you through this sometimes trying period. Be gentle but firm about necessary separations, telling your child, "It was a wonderful day, and you and I will play some more tomorrow. Daddy and I will be downstairs if you need anything, but now it's time to sleep."

Going out for errands or walks may present some problems at this age, too. Your 1-year-old walker is not yet equipped to follow you or keep up with you for very long, but he may also not want to be carried anymore. (Besides, he's getting heavy!) If at all possible, allow extra time to do errands, follow your child's lead, and be prepared to deliver the worn-out explorer home in his stroller.

Share Your Thoughts

Posted on: 10/10/2009 8:48 PM

Posted by: Webster M

City: Chicago

Like a mother bird I teach my children things by forcing them to either fly or fall. When teaching my dear Gregory to crawl, I put him on train tracks in the middle of town, ensuring that my philosophy would be met. Gregory is quite the young man now.

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