Guidance for Parenting-Toddler Years

When it comes to difficult parenting, toddler years come up often. For the first two years of a baby’s life, the baby generally stays in one place, cries when it is hungry, soiled or tired and is easy to keep happy, unless the baby is very fussy as an infant. When the child turns around eighteen months, he or she is usually running around, getting into anything and putting everything into their mouth. This is the age when things like medications should be put up and out of a child’s reach, including children’s vitamins that can cause serious problems if eaten by a young child.

To be the best at parenting, toddler issues like separation and individuation must be looked at from the prospective of your own child. In other words, some children at this age have problems separating from their parents. Other children are explorative and will go away with anyone. Knowing where your child falls in this area is important. Helping your child separate from you but not excessively is part of what you need to know as a parent. Every child is completely different.

Another issue important to parenting, toddler issues around elimination are universal. Children tend to be curious about their bodies and begin to understand that they are urinating and defecating. They begin to be interested in the toilet and understand that adults use the bathroom differently than they do. This is the time to begin toilet training the child. Girls toilet train earlier than boys, who often aren’t toilet trained until after age three. There used to be extra pressure on parents to toilet train children earlier than they were ready but, in today’s time, children are toilet trained when they are emotionally and cognitively ready.

For many dealing with parenting, toddler nutrition is a very large issue. Toddlers tend to like sweets and easy finger food. Toddlers rarely prefer vegetables, leaving parents worried about their child’s nutritional status. They now make healthier snacks for toddlers and parents are encouraged to give their child a variety of foods. Eventually, they will learn to like foods that they didn’t like before and even a little bit of vegetables are better than none.

A difficult part of parenting, toddler discipline can be a stressful issue for parents. There are parents that believe in just swatting the child on the bottom whenever he or she misbehaves. There are parents who force their child into “time out” by holding them down and making sure they behave. Some parents do a little bit of both kinds of discipline or just let their child run around without doing much in the way of discipline. The best choice is some kind of middle ground that tells the child right from wrong without physically abusing them or getting frustrated when techniques don’t work. If problems arise, consider seeing a childhood therapist who can address the issues of how best to discipline a child of that age group.

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