Your toddler is no longer a small baby whom you can control and make him sleep in your lap. But he is not a child either who can take care of himself and take responsibilities of his actions. A toddler is aware that he is an individual. At some point of time, he demands to do things on his own like eating, fighting for what he wants. On the other hand he may come to you for small things like holding him, feeding him etc.
A toddler develops likes and dislikes of his own. Yet he needs you at all times and depends on you. You have to find a middle road. Do not always treat him like a small baby. Let him learn from his experience. Do not hold him back and let him try new things, do not stop him unless he is doing anything which can harm him or anyone else.
Let him explore new things, but be there for him if he falls or makes mistakes. The most important thing to do as a parent is to establish a safe environment. Make your home “toddler proof” by locking medicines, chemicals, breakables etc in a cupboard.
As your toddler jumps, plays and runs all the time, he needs something to eat at regular intervals. Toddlers need sleep at reasonable bedtimes. So establish a regular routine to avoid cranky behavior.
When you find your toddler doing something unacceptable or making unnecessary demands, the best thing to do is distract his mind somewhere else. Try to make him play with some other toy sing a song for him.
The important part is to understand the reasons for a particular behavior and then taking necessary steps. Toddlers love to imitate. So you can easily teach them what you want to by just following it yourself. For example, if you want them to brush their teeth regularly, just make them stand with you while you brush your teeth and tell them the benefits of oral hygiene.
Handling a toddler is not easy and you may sometimes you may feel that you are not going in a right direction. But remember that you are a human being.