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2 y/o - should they be counting/colours/reciting whole songs?

(41 Posts)
Poppytime Thu 23-Jul-15 11:51:41

Ok so this may be me overreacting, and possibly pregnancy hormones playing a part...but I am getting increasingly worried/upset/guilt ridden over this. Recently my baby group from DD (23m) have been circulating more and more videos of their similarly aged toddlers reciting the full ABC song, counting to 20+ in various languages, singing whole songs etc... DD doesn't do any of these things sad - she is getting along pretty well verbally I thought - has some 2/3 word sentences, understands a lot - but we don't have counting, we don't have colours really, and no full songs being sung!! She is in nursery full time at the moment, and I am beginning to wonder if I should be spending all the free time with her teaching her these things? Am I failing somewhere? I just don't find I have much time with her after I pick her up in the evenings after work, its just dinner, bath bed...its making me upset just typing this, as I said, I suspect pregnancy hormones aren't helping! Potty training is another thing! No progress there, yet apparently her peers are all getting towards being dry in the day? I just feel like I am failing my DD, and with a new baby due in a couple of months, I will have even less time to focus on her development. Can anyone offer some words of wisdom/reassurance - is there anything I need to be worried about here, and what can I do?

Kittykatmacbill Thu 23-Jul-15 14:42:28

Gosh you must have very advanced friends babies... Doesnt seem very typical!

BathtimeFunkster Thu 23-Jul-15 14:49:39

I am beginning to wonder if I should be spending all the free time with her teaching her these things? Am I failing somewhere?

No and no. smile


You are already spending all your time with her teaching her things.

She is learning so much from you, don't ruin that by giving her lessons in pointless things.

Honestly, my kids were the ones saying rhymes and counting early. They're great kids (unbiased wink) but you wouldn't look at them and their friends now and go "I bet he could count early" grin

Enjoy her and let her follow her inclinations. smile

As for potty training - she's not even 2 yet. You've loads of time to think about that.

PosterEh Thu 23-Jul-15 14:50:12

They're just party tricks. I expect your dd could memorise a few bits to if you say down and taught her but it doesn't really mean anything.
Being able to recite things isn't the same as understanding. It might demonstrate a good memory, or that the child is particularly interested in something (or has spent a bit of time being coached it by someone). For example, reciting the numbers is very different from actually being able to count objects.

I found with colours that they suddenly "get it". My dd is quite bright but didn't get colours until after most of her friends.

And don't get me started on potty training...

bakingtins Thu 23-Jul-15 14:50:20

Find some less boastful friends. Honestly, parents like these will never stop, at 6 they will be publishing their first novel.

HV checklist for 2 yrs old no mention of counting, colours, whole songs or first symphonies.....

BathtimeFunkster Thu 23-Jul-15 14:59:54

They're just party tricks.

Yes, exactly.

My middle child used to impress people with his fluent speech at 2.

I knew (and said, although they didn't believe me mostly) that he was just reciting things he'd had read to him out of books or heard on the TV.

It was just babble. His comprehension was nowhere near that of his peers, but he sounded advanced. If you weren't his mother.

There is a massive variation in how 2 year old (and not quite 2 year olds!) are.

Some have just started walking, others have been on their feet for a year. In the end, most of them will walk to school just fine.

PosterEh Thu 23-Jul-15 15:07:40

Haha Bathtime. My dm thinks dd has an amazing imagination... I hate to tell her that she's mainly acting out episodes of Dora the Explorer.

PosterEh Thu 23-Jul-15 15:08:21

Should add that dd is 3.5, OP before you start worrying! grin

MRSJWRTWR Thu 23-Jul-15 15:42:25

Not really. DS1 could count and knew all his colours by age 2. Totally uninterested in singing anything though. DS2 couldn't say a word at this age and we had to get involved in speech therapy. Now at age 16 and 9, their maths is fine (well DS1's better be as he wants to do maths A Level) and only DS2 is any good at singing.

LovesYoungDream Thu 23-Jul-15 15:47:47

Please don't worry about your dd's progress, I'm sure she is progressing well for her age. She isn't even 2 yet (each month makes a big difference at that age). Some parents are really competitive, others fake it till they make it. I used to be so stressed listening to boasting parents about how my dc should be able to do x, y and z but I have learnt to just nod and smile at them and let my dc progress at their own pace. Some things happen sooner, some happen a little later but they usually balance out eventually. Toilet training can take ages and your dd is very young yet (give it another 6-12 months), my dc is 2.5 and still not ready.

Poppytime Thu 23-Jul-15 15:49:36

Thank you for all the responses so far - all very reassuring and what I was (secretly) hoping for - there is always the niggling worry someone will say, "oh what, your DD isn't doing that yet?!" etc...

They are NCT friends and generally all nice people, so I am not sure if it is intentional or not, but most are pretty quick to send round such videos. Often on the pre-text of showing something else though, e.g. from the "walking" stages, one was sent with the caption "look at her rubbing her tummy haha", when the then 10 month old was clearly basically running across the else was walking at that stage...

Maybe I am too cynical!

Quinandthem Thu 23-Jul-15 15:52:15

Thanks for the hv 2yr check list.

My dd is 24m and just like op's.

PosterEh Thu 23-Jul-15 15:54:01

It's just insecurity. I was a bit braggy about dd's talking but in my defence she was a late mover and I wanted to show she could do something on time/early. Seems silly now.

Poppytime Thu 23-Jul-15 15:57:50

Yes 2 yr checklist v interesting - thanks!

andadietcoke Thu 23-Jul-15 16:09:08

My DTs will be 2 at the end of August. Neither of them are joining words together or doing any of the other things your friends' children are doing. They'll get there. Nursery aren't worried. They understand everything though, and are excellent at following instructions (or ignoring them)

BernardBlack Thu 23-Jul-15 16:17:00

God, that sounds depressing! My ds is the same age as the op's and has zero words, unless you count the phrase 'oh wow'...

dietcokeandwine Thu 23-Jul-15 17:54:52

There is nothing you need to worry about OP and best advice would be either find some new friends to hang out with or - if you actually like the NCT lot other than their tendency to post boastful videos - just smile and ignore.

This kind of precociousness at this age usually means nothing more than parental led party tricks, as someone else says. The fact your DD isn't doing any of it simply means that you haven't coached her to do any of it.

You and she are doing fine!

Strawberrybubblegum Thu 23-Jul-15 21:04:54

I love the term 'party tricks' - that really is exactly what they are! I'm surprised your friends' children are all doing those things though - even with coaching, that seems unusual for not quite 2!

I am beginning to wonder if I should be spending all the free time with her teaching her these things?
Please, please don't. Those things won't help her development at all. What you both need when you pick her up from nursery is to reconnect and enjoy being together.

If she already has 2-3 word sentences before 2, she's doing amazingly well! Language aquisition is the one 'academic' type skill that is worth making sure you're helping her with - and you clearly are. Sure, mention the colours of things, count things out, point out big/little/more/less as part of your normal conversation... but whether she starts saying them back doesn't matter in the slightest.

And as for counting to 20 and reciting the alphabet song - just think for a minute how meaningless that is! The letters of the alphabet aren't phonetic, and the order they are in is just something someone once made up! While it will be useful for them later to know the alphabet, it doesn't show any kind of pre-literacy skill to know it now! (Don't judge the parents too harshly, though - for some reason, kids do sometimes just pick it up, even though it must just sound like a stream of gibberish to them to the tune of twinkle twinkle ).

Sunflower1985 Thu 23-Jul-15 21:24:53

Much prefer a toddler to a performing monkey. smile

daluze Fri 24-Jul-15 20:52:02

Actually, when my DS had his developmental assessment by paediatric neurologist (he is fine, but had problems after birth and had detailed follow ups until he was 2), we were specifically told NOT to teach him these things. They are of no use, and toddlers pick it up later anyway. Much more useful is to talk to them about what you do, what you see, how they feel, etc. And much more fun smile and none of the detailed assessment tests at 2 yeats involved any checks of his knowledge of colours, numbers, etc. Btw, my DS language only started taking of at 22 months, now at 2.6 years he never stops talking and singing. Children develop at different speeds, and it is not linear, there may be what seems quieter periods, and then sudden leaps. You DD sounds lovely, btw.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 24-Jul-15 20:58:05

Oh that's interesting, daluze.

It can be nice to have your prejudice (no! don't be teaching toddlers bloody counting all the time!!) gets backed up by people who know what they are talking about. grin

Poppytime Sat 25-Jul-15 11:18:08

Very interesting daluze and thank you strawberry thanks we are down and my parents this weekend and she is having such a good time I don't know why I was worrying - she seems like a normal toddler to me and just wants to have fun. To be honest I don't want to spend all my free time with her reciting the alphabet and counting - so the idea that I should be made me a bit hmm there will be plenty of time for that when she starts pre school next year and beyond!

I really do need to step away from the baby group sometimes and get some perspective...

slithytove Sat 25-Jul-15 11:23:26

DS is 28 months

He can count 1 2 3 4 5

Knows red blue green and yellow

Sings the odd line of wheels on the bus or baa baa black sheep

And the odd letter of the alphabet song

All this came very recently. His peers are the same, some better at counting but have no colours, etc etc. don't worry. He knew none of this at 23 months. Was barely talking then.

slithytove Sat 25-Jul-15 11:25:47

And no interest in the potty other than somewhere to read! just like his dad

Goldmandra Sat 25-Jul-15 11:35:53

Think about the toddlers who are reciting the ABC song. What are they learning from it? Is it in any way meaningful to them? Do they have any idea that the sounds they are making are in some way related to text? Do they even know what text is?

One of my childminded children could spell his short name before his second birthday, except he couldn't really. What he could do was regurgitate a series of sounds that were made at him several times a day for the whole of his life. It was meaningless to him. They weren't even the letter sounds he learned later on as a preschooler - they were the names of the letters, i.e. 'ess', not 'sss'. He's now doing reasonably well at school but that's because he has a stable family, interested and supportive parents and no additional needs. It's not because he was taught to spell as a toddler.

Two year olds are naturally driven to learn and all you need to do is give them a world to explore and a responsive adult to engage with them and offer a running commentary full of names, questions and suggestions.

Stop feeling guilty and enjoy the time you have with your DD. Toddlers can learn lots from seemingly repetitive routines like bedtime and your DD will be learning lots at her nursery too from playing with paint and mud, taking turns, watching others, tidying up, sharing mealtimes, etc. None of those can be used as party tricks but your DD isn't a performing seal. She's a person who is learning about the world in her own way which is exactly as it should be.

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