Common Concerns during the Toddler Period

Another marker of readiness for toilet training is when the toddler begins to be uncomfortable in wet diapers. This is demonstrated by pulling or tugging at soiled diapers and the toddler bringing a parent a clean diaper after they have soiled so they can be cleaned and changed.

Some toddlers are also fond of smearing or playing with feces or stools often at about the same time that toilet training is started. The parents should be educated that this is just normal as the toddlers are becoming aware of their body excretions and have no adult values in them. Stools seem a little different from the modeling clay that they play with. Parents can minimized or avoid this activity by providing toddlers with play substances of similar texture and by changing the diapers immediately after defecation.

As a nurse you have to stress out to the parents the importance of toilet training to their toddlers – TOILET TRAINING IS AN EXPRESSION OF AUTONOMY.

Ritualistic Behavior

One of the most common traits of children during the toddler period is enjoying ritualistic patterns and behaviors. These children never leave the house unless his or her mother or father locates his or her favorite cap. Some never goes to sleep without singing their favorite nursery rhyme. Others never eat without their favorite spoons. These behaviors are common to toddlers and it is their way of expressing their autonomy.


One of the characteristics the toddler possesses is showing negativism. Typically, toddlers go through a period of extreme negativism as part of establishing their identities as separate individuals. They refuse to do what their parents want them to do. Being negativistic is demonstrated by a toddler replying a vey definite “no” to every request ask to them.

Here are some points to educate parents about their toddler’s extreme negativistic behavior and ways of dealing with it:

  1. Parents should never think that the negativism of the toddler is a way of questioning their authority or becoming disrespectful. When parents approach the negativistic behavior this way, they may become frustrated and always irritated. The parents should realize that this is a normal phenomenon of toddlerhood and at the same time a positive stage in development.
  2. This change in a child’s behavior is an indication that a toddler has learned that he or she is a separate individual with separate needs. It is essential that toddlers do this if they are to grow up to be persons who are independent and able to take care of their own needs and desires.
  3. The more parents try to make their negativistic toddlers obey, the more they resist.

Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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