As children grow rapidly into the older toddler stage, the ability to emotionally regulate oneself becomes a central focus of development. At this developmental level, one intense emotion could overtake a child’s ability to hold onto the feeling of another emotion. Another developmental characteristic emerging at this time is the awareness that others have thoughts and feelings that may be different from their own.
Therefore, Condell’s teachers take on a more demanding role of socializing the children’s behaviors and helping them continue to cope with emotions. Through sharing and dictating feelings, as well as negotiating and setting limits, children at this stage become more aware of their own emotions and start to appreciate the feelings of others around them.
Our two-year-old curriculum focuses on building a feeling of community within the classroom through language and relationships. In the course of every day routines and activities, children further develop their language, cognitive, physical, and social/emotional skills, all while learning about themselves and each other. In order to support social/emotional skills, which are the building blocks for development in all other domains, Condell teachers help children recognize, verbalize and manage feelings of self and others. Furthermore, through daily work on children’s ability to listen (receptive language) and their ability to speak (expressive language), children become better prepared for expressing themselves, understanding oral directions, listening to stories, answering and asking questions, and participating in conversations. As language abilities grow during this stage, and emotional self-regulation develops, children are also better able to use problem-solving and critical thinking during simple and, eventually, more complex tasks.