Report Cards For A Two Year Old?

by Debbie Twomey on December 13, 2012

Does your preschool program have report cards for your two year old? Let me just go on record as being totally against this for many reasons. I may be objecting just to the use of the word Report Card versus Progress Report. I accept parents may want to be notified if there are some serious deficits, but a report card on every activity seems restrictive and lacks a certain level of encouragement so important in the first few years of a child's development.
 
The two year old is still in the various stages of development and to lump them all together in progress just seems wrong to me. It is enough that 3-4 and then 5 year olds are now expected to have certain educational skills to keep up with the concerns of our nation that our children are behind other countries such as China. 
 
We have programs such as “no child left behind” (do not even get me started on that one) and Success by 6 that address concerns that our children lag behind too often. I still believe some of this responsibility lies in the home and boundaries and expectations that may not be set for a child.
 
2 year olds are discovering their independence, their imagination and their physical prowess. Yet, it seems now 2 is not too young to get into a structured classroom—to give them a head start. Is 2 the new 5?
 
I totally believe in structure and boundaries and they should begin in infancy—in your home. I would not think to create a report card in that setting, they are toddlers and change is what they do.
 
I also believe toddlers need freedom to develop and discover. But I am not so convinced a classroom setting is the best for a 2 year old. Yes, they need to follow rules and learn to pick up after themselves. They need to settle down at certain times for reading or small motor skill activities, but I think the jury is out on how long these activities should last at this age.
 
Parents are already stressed if they believe their child has not reached a major milestone at the suggested age, so does it make sense to add the pressure of expecting your 2 year old to always be just like the next 2 year old?  And let's add a report card to that pressure.Let's just put all 2 year olds on notice, you will be receiving a report card and if it is not up to standard, you will lose privileges. 
 
In this overly politically correct society we live in, there is always an intensive search for a child who might display signs of trouble (i.e. autism ADHD etc. lest they be overlooked and then the future school be held responsible). But there must be a more encouraging and evolved less offensive way to assess your child's progress.
 
What if the next step is to have a report card for your infant?
 
Smiling -check
Crawling- nope demerit
Cooing– hmm not sure what that noise is, should I be concerned?
 
I understand the premise behind report cards and if your child were “lagging” or displaying a major deficit parents need to know. It only makes sense that if it is something that significant, they already do? But it is 2 for goodness sake.
 
I think it is a great idea to expose your child to group settings especially if you plan to home school. Children need to learn to interact and even meet a germ or two (to build up their immune system). We live in a social world and it will benefit a child greatly to be exposed to social and play settings.
 
Nursery school is a wonderful place to help your child learn to interact with others but without all the expectation of a formal education setting. At least they used to be but now things are going so fast and competitively that it seems to be overshadowing the true learning that can take place—imagination, interaction and individual growth.
 
Here are some of a 2 year-old milestones. This is flexible as every child grows differently.
 
Large motor skills
• can walk up and down stairs and knows how to hold railing
• can squat
• able to stack object of between 2 to 4
• use a spoon for feeding self
• plays by pushing or pulling
• handles crayons and can scribble
• toileting as abstract concept—(some kids will catch on quickly others more time, this becomes a control issue for many)
• walks unassisted or backwards
• able to turn the pages of a book
• throws or rolls a bigger ball
 
Social skills

·         Can play with others but usually will just play alongside

·         Can be shy around strangers

·         Imitates adults such as parents

·         Easily frustrated

·         Can be very affectionate—or extremely aggressive or have tantrums due to lack of ability to express feelings or needs

·         Very active and not able to sit still for any length of time

·         Shows an interest in activities such as brushing teeth, or helping with chores as a way of being with parents or washing hands

·         Easy to anger and can be destructive to objects

·         Demonstrates jealousy and may become possessive about loved ones

·         Plays make believe and imitates others

·         May have nightmares

 
Remember that all children develop at different rates so these are general rules, not absolutes. It is good to keep track of such steps but I guess I draw the line at keeping a report card
Report cards for a child's second year– I just cannot grasp it.
 
I suggest you enjoy your 2 year old while you can because all too soon, they will be pressured into becoming a 3 year old (smile).
 
 

"I have dedicated my life to the care and welfare of children. I feel privileged to share what I have learned with you. I am also committed to continuously learning.  I will keep informed of the latest information in parenting children from newborns to teens and pass it on to all of you.”   I will also use that same passion to help you create a dynasty generate increases in your business with straightforward and specialized media managing skills that guarantee your connection and scope will grow. Keep up to date reading our posts and discover valuable insights that can make parenting and succeeding in the business of the blogger– the most exciting adventure. (Debbie Twomey)

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