The National Association for the Education of Young Children defines early childhood as ranging from birth to age 8. Parenting practices strongly shape a child's behavior during this time, including from the first days of life. In the first year and a half of life, how often and well parents engage infants and respond to their needs helps define the parent–child attachment. In the second year of life the emerging toddler develops a sense of self. Shortly after self-recognition occurs, toddlers realize that their wishes and desires sometimes differ from those of their mother and father. This initiates the stage sometimes called the “terrible twos” and places a new requirement on parents: to promote toddler compliance and to prevent and respond effectively to noncompliance. The ...

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