Raise a happy, healthy 2-year-old.

How to Raise a 2 Year Old Girl

by Heather Montgomery

Oh, the terrible twos, the age when toddlers exert their independence and parents are waiting for the next tantrum or calamity to strike. A 2-year-old girl can be fun, energetic, imaginative, messy, loving and tear-inducing all at the same time. A 2-year-old girl has the added challenge of learning the best way to deal with emotions, building self-esteem and instilling healthful habits. While the terrible twos can be a time most parents would rather skip, they are also one of the best times to teach your child.

1 Two-year-olds are experts at using their imagination. It is essential to help your 2-year-old girl to use her imagination by helping her come up with games, playing dress-up and other activities that help her understand why imagination is a powerful tool. Experts have found that fostering a healthy imagination in your child will lead to better social skills, cognitive development, emotional maturity and problem solving skills.

2 Toddlers are just developing the ability to get their thoughts and feelings across to you through speech. Listening to your 2-year-old girl is valuable in giving her the satisfaction of social interaction as well as the knowledge that her thoughts are valuable to you, increasing her self-confidence. Your 2-year old might not always be easy to understand, but don't get frustrated when you are unsure of what she is saying. Instead, ask her to show you what she is talking about.

3 The adage "You are what you eat" might not be 100 percent true, but what you eat can have lasting consequences. Healthful eating habits are vital to raising a healthy, happy 2-year-old girl. A 2-year-old needs 1,000 to 1,600 calories a day. Each meal should be balanced and include at least one of the major food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy. For a fussy eater, you can offer a small portion of a favorite healthful food as well as adding a new food to their plate. Some parents find the "one bite" rule helpful in getting a child to try new foods.

4 Just as eating healthful food is essential to your 2-year-old girl’s development, being active is vital. Try to allow your child at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. This activity can be running outside, playing tag, going to the park, playing a game of hide and go seek or another favorite outdoor or indoor game.

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