Emotions & Self-Awareness “I Can Do It:” Building Your Two-Year-Old’s Self-Confidence

From taking their first steps to learning how to read, children gain self-confidence as they master new skills. This gives them the courage to continue to explore and expand their abilities. Two-year-olds may use phrases such as "Me do it!" or "Do it myself!" to exert independence. They will often make a mess as they learn to feed themselves soup with a spoon, apply toothpaste to a toothbrush, or "clean" their room, but they will develop valuable skills as they practice new tasks and recognize their progress. 

Help grow your child's confidence with the strategies below:

Start Small

Stay alert to the cues your children are sending you that they are ready to feed themselves, brush their own hair, or climb into the car seat by themselves. Responding positively to these first steps will build a foundation for raising a capable and responsible young person. Allow children a chance to struggle, fuss, even cry before rushing to their sides and fixing the situation. Kids build self-confidence as they work on a problem until they figure it out.

Practice, Practice, Practice

In order for children to develop resiliency, they will need oodles of practice time. As parents, we need to step out of the way and allow our children to make mistakes and encourage them to keep trying. If your two-year-old made his lunch for the first time (after many failed attempts and with jelly all over the floor), pause for a moment and celebrate. This is progress! Acknowledge it and move forward to the next thing.

Go for the Goal!

Achieving a goal can build self-confidence. Help your child set and work towards a goal by creating "I Can" statements.

Do This Activity

Never Do for a Child What a Child Can Do for Themselves

Identify what tasks your children are capable of handling and let them do these. If she can put on her coat, let her. If he can put on his shoes independently, let him. Resist the urge to step in and make the process quicker. Instead, try to build in time for kids to complete the tasks.

Drive Trolley

In this fun game with Trolley, your child can be in charge, deciding where and which direction Trolley should drive.

Play This Game

Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn how to manage big and overwhelming feelings using strategies grounded in the teachings of Mister Rogers.

Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn how to manage big and overwhelming feelings using strategies grounded in the teachings of Mister Rogers.

Find Activities

Activity Finder: Learn With Your Two-Year-Old

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