The Toughest Parenting: Toddler Years

For even those who know about parenting, toddler issues are especially difficult. This is an age when the child learns to separate from the parent in such a way that the parent finds the toddler always saying "no" and running away from the parent, only to run crying back to the parent when something scary happens. Toddlers tend to be messy, scream at appropriate times and finally learn they have a voice.

Parenting a toddler is much harder than parenting a baby. Babies tend to be rational about what they want and their needs tend to be related to eating, sleeping or voiding. Toddlers are more complex. They may want to eat but will be picky about what dish they want to eat out of. They may be sleepy but want their special blanket or simply run around acting out of sorts. Toddlers have a voice but it is not always clear what it is they want and this often frustrates parents.

If you know nothing about parenting, toddler parenting issues can seem overwhelming. Toddlers are too big to just handle when they get out of control. They sometimes need to be held down in order to control them. Parents lose the ability to just pack up the baby and go shopping. More than one parent has left the mall or grocery store because of a screaming child who did not get what he wanted.

If you feel you need help with parenting, toddler specialists can work with you to bring your house back to some semblance of normalcy. You can attend a class for parents of toddlers. You can see a child therapist who can give you advice on sleeping problems, anger issues, separation anxiety and problems with daycare. In fact, one specialist you may not have thought of is your childcare provider. He or she knows a great deal about raising toddlers and can be a great source of encouragement for you.

In one of the worst issues of this kind of parenting, toddler bladder and bowel control often comes before we are expecting it. Very few toddlers will easily toilet train and many will resist using the child potty versus continuing to use diapers. This is why there is such a big market for diapers that just pull up by the child. The pull up can be changed if the child soils it by ripping the sides of the diaper. The child can gradually gain independence in toileting by using these pull ups without the risk of soiling clothes. Many children have been successfully weaned to toilet training using this type of diaper.

Another issue of parenting, toddler nutrition is a close second to toilet training. It seems toddlers are quickest to toss away the healthy food in favor of sweeter or more processed finger foods. Toddlers graduate from baby food to other food and they are not always happy about it. Parents must think of creative ways to feed their toddler so that he or she gets the proper kind of nutrition to help them grow and develop normally.

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