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Human beings go through different stages of development that are necessary and thus very important for a health growth. Among these stages of development is the toddler stage. The toddler stage can be defined as a stage in human development that begins at between the ages of 12 months to 18 months after birth continues to about the age of three years in a child. In reference to White (2005), this stage of development varies among different children with some reaching this stage on attaining 12 months after being born while in some cases, the stage is delayed until the age of 18 months or simply put, this stage begins at between the age of one to one and half years in a child and continues until the child is about three years (p.187).
Characteristics of the Toddler Stage
One of the factors that are employed in nearly every area of life in differentiating various objects and issues is the characteristics of these objects and issues. Stages in human development are not an exceptional. In this regard therefore, there are various characteristics that are associated with the toddler stage of development in a child. Among the characteristics that are revealed during the toddler stage is an enhancement in mobility. Immediately after birth, a child’s mobility is restricted and most of these children cannot be able to move freely. However, this limitation in mobility changes when the child gets to the toddler stage. At this stage of development, the child learns how to walk and move around freely like a grown up human being rather than depending on crawling as a way of moving around (Human Kinetics-Organization, 2005, p.231).
At this stage too, the child learns how to pronounce out specific word and learns the language of his or her people. Whereas in most cases a toddler will babble with words, there are specific words that he or she will learn very fast and begin pronouncing them clearly. Similarly, tantrums most of the time characterize this stage. In reference to White (2005), this is as a result of the fact that children in this stage are determined to be more autonomous or rather independent from their parents (p.187). Therefore, as parents try to restrict their children from exploring such freedom, these children have been found to react violently towards their parents. Similarly, there is an increase use of ‘no’ in the lives of toddlers, especially when they are doing something that they find interesting. There is also a heightened curiosity among toddler. In most cases, they are curious to discover the world around them.
Biological Changes in the Toddler Stage
There are various biological changes that take place in the lives of the toddlers or rather during the toddler stage. To begin with, there is the shedding off of the infant fat that in most cases would cause an infant to appear as if he or she is plum or fat. As they shed the infant fat, the toddlers grow strong with their muscles developing to be able to support them as they break from a state of immobility. Despite the fact that there is a reduction of body fat among toddlers, there is a substantial increase in body weight. This is attributed to the fact that their bones are in the process of being strengthened and this contributed to an increase in the overall body weight. There is also the hardening part of their skin to be able to dwell in an environment that is a bit rough to an infant. As a result of this, toddlers can play in dirt and rough places without being affected much.
Cognitive Characteristics in the Toddler Stage
The toddler stage also goes through a process of cognitive development. The cognitive development among toddlers involves the development of the learning skills, thinking processes, the processing of information, judgment and awareness, etc. Jean Piaget argues that toddlers undergo various cognitive learning activities and development that match their appropriate developmental. According to Pillitteri (2009), the toddler stage is the last stage in sensorimotor development period (p.800). In this stage, a toddler will begin developing certain thinking processes that are egocentric in nature. In this regard therefore, a child will be too possessive, demanding to be given everything whereas on the other hand unwilling to give out he or she has.
There is also the development of a thinking process among toddlers that is geared towards providing solutions to the problems they are facing. To begin with, the toddlers will hold onto chairs and tables and other objects in the house that can support them and help them to stand and be able to walk. While aware that they cannot walk on their own, holding onto these objects acts as a solution to their walking problems. This is done for a certain period of time and before they are able to be able to walk on their own (Pillitteri, 2009, p.800).
During this period, toddlers are able to draw conclusions from certain events in their lives. For example, since a toddler had seen his mother packing the previous day and she went away, when he sees her packing again, he knows that she is about to go away. Therefore, toddlers learn to interpret certain events in their lives and come up with conclusions that are nearly perfect just as an adult would do. Another area that is enhanced in toddlers is their ability to learn. Most of them can follow certain patterns when they are taught by their parents and as a result be able to retain up to a certain level of knowledge and skills that they are taught (p.800).
Psychosocial Characteristics in the Toddler Stage
Psychosocial development refers to the development socially acceptable characteristics in a human being. There are different psychosocial characteristics that are seen in toddlers. To begin with, toddlers have been found to begin a process of making choices in their lives. For example, when a toddler is doing something and an adult tries to restrict him/her from doing this, the toddler with cry and become violent. Some of them with roll themselves on the ground to shows the adult that they are not happy with what the adult are doing to them by restricting them from carrying out activities of their choice (Miller & Stoeckel, 2010, p.133).
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The toddler too reveals some form of socialization among children. In this regard, toddlers will depict either negative forms of socialization whereby he or she will feel ashamed or rather shy to relate with other children or be hostile towards other toddlers and people in general. On the positive side, these toddlers will interact freely with other children through play and sharing of what they have. Both sides of these characters are enhanced through the reaction that these toddlers receive from their parents or the people they are with. For example, if a toddler interacts with other toddlers and her mother restricts him or her from doing this, he or she will develop into a shy person that is not able to interact with other people freely (Miller & Stoeckel, 2010).
In this regard therefore, there are various characters that are revealed among toddlers as they as they pass through this stage. These characters are very important for the overall development of the toddler. However, it is important for one to come to an understanding that some of these characters are enhanced by the environment that these toddlers are exposed to.