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Living Exuberantly

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At this age, your child's movements are becoming smoother every day. She can do all sorts of exciting things by herself — run upstairs, walk backward, hop, jump, and maybe even ride a Big Wheel. She'll need lots of wiggle time each day, so plan on trips to the park, walks around the block, or other regular outings.

Enjoy the delight and sense of adventure with which your child approaches this newfound physical independence. Remember, though, that it's your responsibility to keep her safe. She can't anticipate danger very well at this age, so set very specific, clear rules, such as "two hands on the swing," "no running in the street," and so on. Vague commands like "Slow down" or "Take it easy" make no sense to your child, so she's likely to ignore them.

FYI: In general, be as clear and specific as possible when you're giving your child commands. She's not good at figuring out what you mean unless you spell it out. (For example, "No bikes in the bathroom" or "No paint in your brother'™s hair.")


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