Emotional Development: 2 year old

Laughing one minute, crying the next, often for no apparent reason. That's what you can expect from your emotionally fragile 2-year-old. These seemingly bizarre mood swings are simply the result of your toddler's struggle to take control of his actions, impulses and feelings.

Your toddler wants to learn how everything works. However, he still lacks many of the skills necessary to accomplish this task without inflicting harm on himself or others. As a result, the bulk of his exploration time is spent testing limits -- yours, his and the environment's.

Although it may not seem that way often, slowly but surely, your 2-year-old is learning self-control. But don't be surprised if he saves his worst outbursts for you. Your baby-sitter may report that your child rarely acts up for her. It's not because she has a better rapport than you do. Quite the opposite. Your toddler doesn't trust other people the way he trusts you, so he waits until you arrive to push the envelope.

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