5 Ways to Teach Toddlers How to Deal with Their Emotions

Join Our Family on Facebook:

Little kids’ minds are like dry sponges absorbing everything around them. While this working of the mind is amazing, toddlers may still find it difficult to express themselves and, being so young, properly convey the feeling they’re feeling. This difficulty can lead to frustration to both the parents and the child — the former will get frustrated that they can’t understand their child and the latter will go on and throw his/her temper tantrum because his/her need is not met.

It’s very important that young as they are, your little ones learn the skills needed for them to correctly say what they want or need. Here are several ways to teach them how.

Ways to Teach Toddlers How to Deal with Their Emotions 1

  1. Be a good example of showing emotional expressions.

Whenever you’re with your child, name your feelings as you experience them like saying, “I’m tired because of all the work I did today” or “I’m happy that grandma bought you a new toy”. By doing so, not only are you teaching them the expression that goes with the feeling but you may also be showing and giving names to emotions they don’t know. These will help them express themselves better.

  1. Allow them to make small choices on their own.

Toddlers want to have what they want. Tantrums are the result [mostly!] if these wants are not met or recognized. This is because smaller kids find it hard to keep big emotions to themselves. By giving them options and allowing them to choose, you’re putting them in-charge to some degree and letting them see you value their choices. Additionally, you’re honing their decision making skills.

Letting them choose what they want for snacks, for example, like “Do you want cookies or a peanut butter sandwich?” or asking them which toy they want to take with them on trip is a great start.

  1. Use play to teach them about emotions and express them, too.

Psychologists use drawing and playing to de-stress kids suffering from trauma as well as see the extent of the fear, sadness or anger they feel inside depending on their individual situations and experiences. Even if you don’t have a psychology degree, you can still use these two instruments to teach your kids good emotional expression.

During play times, you can do simple role plays to express different emotions like sadness, anger and happiness. You can also let them draw what they feel at the moment or the things that make them feel a certain emotion like fear.

  1. Read books or watch movies that talk about emotion.

Read picture books with characters that feel a feeling other than happiness with your kids like Janan Cain’s The Way I Feel. You can also watch kids’ movies that deal with emotions with them. A good example is the Disney movie Inside Out [though I personally believe this movie is for older kids and not toddlers]. Trolls is another good movie to watch with all its display of feelings from happiness to sadness to fear, scary, being loved and even sarcasm in between. My two-year-old loves it so I think it works for little kids.

  1. Load up with patience . . . lots of it and trust your intuition.

Raising little people is one tough job. So, if you have a little miss/mister in the house, arm yourself with patience – lots of it! – and get ready to ask questions at every turn.

Toddlers may have a hard time finding the right words to describe what they’re feeling as their vocabularies [and in most cases, speech skills] are limited. I have a two-year-old now who is still developing her speaking skills. I find that asking questions, as she can already speak yes and no and know their use, helps a lot in lessening her tantrums and my frustrations.

How do you deal with your toddler’s display of emotions? Are you frustrated with your little one’s frequent tantrums? Maybe it’s time to teach your little ones the right way to deal with feelings.

Join Our Family on Facebook: