Is a 2 Year Old Too Young for Preschool?
As children approach their second year, they struggle with the conflict between wanting to be “big” yet still needing their basic needs met. This internal conflict has become commonly known as the “Terrible Twos;” as it is marked by tantrum-like behavior, plenty of emphatic “NO!’s,”and power struggles galore!
When parents ask if 2 years old is too young-I respond with an emphatic and toddler-like “NO!” As a former two’s teacher, I believe in toddlers, I embrace their process and approach their behaviors with a sense of humor. Quality preschool programs for 2-year-olds embrace this unique developmental stage in early childhood and address it by paying extra attention to the social and emotional needs of a toddler. Teachers work hard to arrange environments that afford small children the opportunity to take risks and challenge their growing capabilities. They help them to feel competent and successful in peer groups that foster socialization, expand language, and nurture curiosity.
It is important to look for two’s programs that fosters a collaborative environment, to ensure healthy separations and strides towards independence. A two’s program needs the resources to allow children the space they need to explore, the materials that will help them to learn, and the peer groups that foster friendships, socialization skills and respect for other people.
While all children develop at their own pace, a 2-year-old’s development is especially spotty- a rollercoaster of highs and lows driven by an innate desire to grow into a more independent child. Find a program that celebrate that goal and welcomes 2-year-olds to be as “terrible” as they need too!