A Guide to Developmental Considerations at Various Ages and Stages of Development of Children.
Part Four: Two to Three Years
Child’s Developmental Considerations
Developing fine motor skills (drawing, coloring, using scissors).
Increasing gross motor skills and coordination (throwing and kicking a ball).
Developing language to four- to six-word sentences.
Exploring the world through play.
Developing self-control, such as calming themselves when upset.
Continuing to develop a sense of independence, which may include saying “no” or not cooperating.
Increasing desire to do more for self, such as wanting to use a fork or wanting to pick out what to wear.
Understanding simple two-step directions.
Engaging in imaginative and pretend play.
Expressing feelings in a physical way such through tantrums.
Wanting to control their world or environment, which may be seen as resistance to all change including transitions between parents.
Beginning potty training.
Continuing to use parents and other important caregivers to help manage their emotions and stress, and to help them increase their comfort with new experiences.
Learning rules, limits, and boundaries set by caregivers.
Tolerating longer separations from each parent.
Parenting Time Considerations
Children need patient, consistent, loving, and supportive care by creating an environment with clear structure and consistent, predictable routines.
Children benefit from reminders that the other parent has not disappeared, will return, and continues to love them.
When stressed, children may return to using behaviors from an earlier age or be unable to learn new skills. For example, a child who recently learned to walk begins crawling again, or a child who is toilet trained begins having accidents.
Major changes in the child’s life or environment can impact the child’s readiness for and success at learning potty training.
Moving between parents’ homes may be difficult for some children at this age, and they may become upset. This does not necessarily mean that the other parent isn’t a good parent or that the child doesn’t want to be with the other parent.
Frequency of parenting time continues to be important.