Toddler & Parents








Characteristics of the Toddler

Feeding The Toddler

Appropriate Foods and Amounts

Guide for Appropriate Serving Sizes


Characteristics of the Toddler

Toddlers are finding that they can influence what is going on in their world. Your toddler will want to try everything. You must set limits and stick with them, but let your toddler have some freedom of choice within your limits.

Living with a toddler is challenging. A toddler is not an infant. A toddler has lots of energy, curiosity, speed and absolutely no judgment. It is important to treat a toddler like a separate person. He or she is able to be very assertive and the word "No" is heard often from both parent and toddler. A toddler needs limits.

Allow your toddler to "try out" the new things open to her. She needs the security of parents who will stop her before she goes too far. When you stop a behavior - don't make her feel as if you don't like her, don't be mad - trial and error is how a toddler learns. She needs to learn when to stop. The trick is to allow for exploration until it become harmful or dangerous or offensive. One study reported that parents needed to redirect a toddler's activity 9 times every hour! In that same hour, the toddler was able to choose 9 appropriate things to do which required a parent's help or admiration.

The parent of a toddler needs to offer support for the toddler's struggle between separation and security. Parents can help by teaching him to do things independently and to the best of his ability and by providing limits without taking away his self respect or individuality. He has to learn self control, but he has to do it without losing respect for himself.

Tantrums are a part of becoming a separate individual. Don't give in to her demands. Both you and she need to know you can stand firm even to her strongest feelings. Toddlers need limits to make them feel safe and to free them up to learn to live in the world. If toddlers don't get limits, they become anxious and provocative and behave more and more desperately. They begin to look like the typical "spoiled child"