• Know what frustration looks like on your child. Does she make a funny little noise? Scrunch up her face? Cry? Until your child acquires language, you'll have to rely on facial expressions and body language to gauge her need for assistance.
• Know your child's tolerance level. Some types of children have more perseverance than others, more patience, and therefore, a higher tolerance for frustration. A Grumpy or Touchy Toddler, for example, might try a puzzle once or twice, but failing to "get it," will move on without giving it a thought. Angel and Spirited types tend to have more staying power. (If you're not familiar with these types, take the What Is Your Toddler's Temperament? quiz to learn more about them -- and discover which one your child is.)
• Know what your child is developmentally capable of. With any type of child, you need to ask yourself, "Is my toddler ready for this activity?" If the task at hand is age-appropriate, you're less likely to step in prematurely.
Next page: Living with limits
L: Living with limits
By limiting, you are properly asserting your role as the grown-up. Keep your child within safe boundaries, help her to make appropriate choices and restrain her from situations that are physically or emotionally harmful.
There are six different types of limits you must keep in mind now that your child is mobile and her cognitive abilities are growing by leaps and bounds.
1. Limit stimulation: It's great for children to get excited, to run around and to listen to lively music. But too much of anything can lead to fatigue and often tears. Try slowing your child down or leaving the scene altogether before she reaches the breaking point.