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Terrific Twos: Promoting Toddlers’ Competencies in the Context of Important Relationships

Abstract

Late toddlerhood is a time of tremendous growth during which toddlers both contribute to and learn from important relationships, such as those with parents, siblings, and caregivers. Developmental growth in self-awareness and identity; the expression of emotion, language, and communication skills; emerging self-regulation skills; and budding social interests serve as the undergirding for toddlers’ burgeoning abilities to engage with and learn from the world around them. These emerging social-emotional competencies are supported by parents’ and caregivers’ practices in the context of secure relationships within family and early childcare environments. The behaviors that promote young children’s social-emotional competencies are called “emotion socialization practices.” In recent years, our understanding of how adults’ capacities to engage in emotion socialization with toddlers and young children and the effects of these practices on young children’s development have widely expanded, providing important information about how to support toddlers’ competencies. The purposes of this chapter are to outline key developmental milestones unique to social-emotional development in late toddlerhood and to examine the ways in which family and early childcare contexts and adults’ emotion socialization practices promote toddlers’ social-emotional competencies. We also examine characteristics associated with adults’ emotion socialization practices, including methods for assessing adults’ practices in the context of adult-child relationships, in order to develop effective interventions and support programs for parents, caregivers, and the toddlers for whom they care.

Keywords

  • Emotion socialization
  • Relationships
  • Language
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills
  • Toddlers

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03110-7_7
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Correspondence to Holly E. Brophy-Herb .

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Brophy-Herb, H.E., Bocknek, E.L., Choi, H.H., Senehi, N., Douglas, S.N. (2018). Terrific Twos: Promoting Toddlers’ Competencies in the Context of Important Relationships. In: Morris, A., Williamson, A. (eds) Building Early Social and Emotional Relationships with Infants and Toddlers. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03110-7_7

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