As your little one approaches the age of 2, they start to understand who they are and who the people around them are. They start to develop a sense of self and learn to grasp cause and effect. This is because their thinking abilities have started to develop.
To understand more, let’s look at this case study:
One day, two-year-old Sara approached a door carrying a flower in each hand. She stopped realizing that she couldn't open the door with both her hands full. She put the flowers on the floor and reached for the doorknob. Then she stopped again, realizing that the door would crush the flowers as it opened. Finally, after moving the flowers to a safe place she opened the door.
This was an example of a simple act that took some thinking. Sara had to imagine the consequence of her every action. She was thinking ahead and could guess the result of her actions.
The approach and the ways to preempt changes depend on the age of the child.
For example, younger toddlers still experiment and learn: Sara’s forethought isn’t possible for them, since they still learn through mostly trial and error. They spend a large part of their day looking at and touching various objects with curiosity. “What will happen if this block is dropped? Or if this ball is thrown? Or if I turn my glass of water upside down?” Young toddlers are still wondering how things work.
However, older toddlers tend to experiment less and imagine more. As their cognition increases, their ability to remember things increases as well. They start understanding the outcome of things they want to do by imagining them doing it first, instead of experimenting straight away. This ability is what saves your little one some time, enabling them to move on to different things that pique their interest! The speed at which they try new things or toys will leave you amazed.
This phase in their lives is one of accelerated cognitive development and children first begin their reasoning and thinking during these very years. You might notice them asking a lot more questions and becoming more curious. It is important to nurture that curiosity, and not shut it down! It is an important aspect of parenting to understand and respond to their changes in thinking.