Children of toddler age often struggle to express the depth of their feelings because they are still developing their language skills. Through play, kids can learn about and practise controlling their emotions. Your child's self-control, behaviour, and interpersonal interactions will all benefit from this.
And remember, you play a significant influence in your child's early childhood growth and play. Your young child can learn about their emotions and what causes them through play. If your toddler is upset because their favourite toy is broken, for instance, you could try saying, "Obviously, you feel bad about your broken toy. Don't worry; we have a solution."
Children, like grownups, go through a wide range of emotions. They experience a wide range of emotions, including annoyance, fear, joy, anger, worry, shame, and sadness. Young children, however, rarely have the language skills to express their emotions. They find other means of expression. Children's emotions can be communicated through their faces, bodies, actions, and play. They may express their emotions through dangerous or harmful physical behaviour at times.
The emotional abilities children need to recognise, name, and control their feelings are taught from the time they are born. They have learned this through their encounters with and connections with significant others, such as their parents, grandparents, and carers. When you're a parent, you play a key role in your child's development by guiding them to a more self-aware perspective. Emotional regulation is a skill that needs to be taught to kids. Online baby product directory at My Baby Nursery.
A Guide To Understanding Your Toddler's Emotions.
There's a good chance that your child will:
- between the ages of one and two, children develop a greater sense of self.
- feel anxiety, shame, sympathy, and envy between the ages of 1 and 2.
- become increasingly self-reliant, wanting to complete tasks without your assistance.
- be able to wait patiently and keep their emotions in check between the ages of one and two
- begin to express their emotions through words; your toddler may say "ow" to indicate pain or "I did it!" to indicate pride. For Honor at Ages 1-2
- Your toddler may begin to make comparisons between their behaviour and that of other children. For instance, they may tell you that they waited their turn while others didn't.
Along with excitement, impatience is a major new feeling for your child. You can expect your kid to:
- behave badly when they are denied their desires, such as by crying, shouting, or hitting.
- not comprehend why they can't get instant gratification for their wants and needs
- be very insistent in getting their way when they do decide to act their age
- struggle to put down their games or switch gears
- they have difficulty controlling their anger and may resort to tantrums.
Most young children experience feelings of guilt and shame by the time they are three years old. You can help your child make sense of these novel emotions by listening to them when they want to communicate and providing them with lots of reassurance and support.
Stages Of Emotional Development
Infants develop the capacity to experience basic emotions including happiness, anger, sadness, and fear. Delight, shyness, surprise, embarrassment, remorse, empathy, shame, and pride are among the many complex feelings that children experience as they mature and form their own identities. Physical responses, like a beating heart or butterflies in the stomach, and behaviour make up the bulk of a young child's emotional experience. Young children may have trouble at first, but as they mature, they become adept at identifying emotions. There is a growing correlation between their thoughts and feelings. They learn to recognise and understand their own emotions as well as those of others. Emotions consist of, among other things:
- cardiovascular, respiratory, and hormonal changes
- feelings that kids can identify and label
- cognitions and evaluations connected to emotional states
- cues to take action, such as the need to approach, flee, or fight.
- Children's verbal and nonverbal expressions of emotion can be influenced by a variety of factors.
Some of these factors are:
- Norms for expressing oneself emotionally that are instilled in youngsters by their parents and extended family
- How well kids' feelings are normally taken care of
- How children's personalities develop
- Emotional patterns adopted by kids after seeing them shown in others or experiencing them themselves
- How much pressure parents and kids are under from a variety of sources.
Why Do Young People Rely On Adults To Assist Them?
Every one of us has those moments when we feel completely overloaded. Through experience, we learn to anticipate and prepare for circumstances that are likely to trigger negative emotional responses. Over the course of our life, we develop a deeper understanding of our worries and a more nuanced toolkit for dealing with our feelings.
As with adults, children might experience feelings of being unable to cope at times, but they have less life experience from which to draw upon when learning to manage these emotions. Children learn to trust others and feel safe when adults read their cues and assist them in coping with feelings of uncertainty, helplessness, or overload. In the presence of caring, attentive, and reliable adults, children develop the skills they need to control their feelings. Focus and attention are crucial to children's growth and development, and they are more likely to be attained and maintained when kids feel safe and secure.
Helping Children Manage Their Emotions
A child's emotional state can be transformed from one of anguish to one of safety, calmness, and readiness for constructive interaction with the world with your assistance. Take a stab at a few of the suggestions below; with time, you'll learn what works best for your kid.
- Assisting them in learning to breathe more slowly by having them blow bubbles or pretending to blow out birthday candles.
- Teaching kids to shake themselves as if they were a floppy ragdoll. They may be able to let go of pent-up stress and tension thanks to this method.
- Helping kids visualise themselves as their favourite animal while it snoozes. If children do this, it helps them learn to unwind and calm down.
- Learning to self-regulate when they're feeling overwhelmed by doing things like visualising a peaceful scene, reading a relaxing story aloud, or chatting to a trusted adult.
- Using creative methods to communicate their feelings, such as making art, playing with playdough, or enacting scenarios with toys.
- Boosting their "happy" hormones with physical activity, nice interactions, a balanced diet, and sufficient rest.
How You Can Nurture Your Child's Emotional Growth?
In order to aid your child in developing an understanding of and facility with emotional expression, consider the following strategies:
Listen For Signals
Identifying one's emotions might be challenging at times. Learn to read your kid's emotions by their body language, words, and actions. In doing so, you will be more able to assist them in recognising, expressing, and coping with their feelings.
There's An Emotion Lurking In The Shadows Of Every Action.
Think about how your child feels and what they are trying to convey via their actions. Once you understand what motivates your child's behaviour, you can work with them to develop alternative coping mechanisms.
Identify That Emotion
Give your kid a name for the emotions he or she is feeling. Teaching children to recognise their emotions begins with giving them names. Your kid can learn to express his or her emotions as he or she builds a language for doing so.
Understand The Emotions Of Others
Give them plenty of practise recognising the emotions of those around them. You could have your kid consider how another person is experiencing. In addition to facilitating conversation about emotions, reading or watching cartoons or picture books with your child is a terrific method to teach them to recognise the many expressions that individuals use to convey their feelings.
Demonstrate Exemplary Behavior.
Observing others is a great way for kids to pick up on the proper way to express their emotions. Make it clear to your child how you feel and how you cope with your emotions.
Complement With Words Of Praise
Acknowledge and applaud your youngster when they are able to articulate their feelings. It not only teaches kids that it's fine to express themselves emotionally, but so also encourages them to keep doing it in the future.
Take The Time To Hear Your Child Out
Instead of trying to erase your child's sadness, focus on comforting him or her in the moment. Help your kid understand their emotions and find words to describe them so they feel heard. Inappropriate behaviours result from suppressed or ignored feelings. Young children, unable to put their emotions into words, may behave out destructively as a result. When it comes to infant goods, go no further than My Baby Nursery. Role model emotional responsiveness for your youngster by:
- Here, we'll just take a few deep breathes.
- Seeking aid or assistance
- Getting some space and time alone
- Creativity involves looking for alternate solutions.
- Taking a breather before starting over
- Using words to describe the issue and find a solution.
- Expressing their emotions verbally rather than physically
- Sharing your feelings and concerns with an adult
- Visiting with a family member or friend, or requesting physical contact,
- Using words to explain how their body is reacting to what they are experiencing
If your kid is upset or frustrated, he or she might act out by hitting things or throwing things. When the day is over, they may have trouble winding down. Take this moment to teach your child healthy ways to share their emotions.
Activities That Foster Emotional Development In Toddlers
Young children can learn a lot about themselves and how to deal with their emotions via play. Inspiring examples of this kind of behaviour include:
- With kids of all ages, we enjoy playing and collaborating.
- Your child can engage in creative role-playing using puppets, toys, or even old clothes, such as caring for a baby doll or daringly rescuing toys from a tree.
- ritualistic chanting and rhythmic movement, as in "If you're glad and you know it, clap your hands"
- Your child will like getting dirty with sand, mud, and paints, and will have no problem slapping the sand, stamping in the mud, or slamming the paint brushes together in anger.
- The When We're Feeling series by Trace Moroney is great for this, as it features characters who go through emotions that toddlers can relate to.
- Spending time in a park or other open area where your child can run, tumble, and roll around is great for letting off steam.
- Playing at your toddler's pace. While it's great that your child wants to take charge, you still play a crucial part in ensuring that he or she is able to handle difficult feelings like anger and sadness.
How Can You Help Your Kids Manage Stress?
Taking Control Of Your Anxiety
The most crucial is learning to control your stress levels. The parenting style of stressed out parents has been shown in studies to be less nurturing to their children. Job discontent (try to keep work and home life distinct), marriage dissatisfaction (be upfront with your partner about your thoughts, and consider couples counseling), and the perception of home disarray (particularly for mums) are all factors to keep in mind (put a routine into place, ask for support).
Get some rest so you can be there for your kids. Pursue pursuits that help you unwind and forget about your worries. Demonstrate to your kids that this is a coping mechanism for dealing with emotional pain and trauma. They'll take your word for it and learn from you.
Keep your cool and maintain emotional control whenever a distressed child seeks comfort from you. In some cases, this can show your kid that:
- They know they can confide in you whenever they're having trouble, without worrying about your reaction.
- It doesn't matter how upset they are, they can always count on you (their parents) to be there for them.
- Even though it's difficult, you should try to keep your cool and not let your emotions get the best of you.
- Because it's preferable to respond rationally and quietly when strong emotions like rage or worry arise.
The latter two may be associated with setting an example for others by acting in an exemplary manner. To give just one example, if your child were to express anger towards you and then spoke to you, it's possible that you may experience a similar emotion. This is a great opportunity to show your child how to control their emotions and communicate effectively.
Talk To Your Youngster.
The most important thing you can do to help your children make sense of their experiences is to talk to them about their fears and concerns. Communicating their concerns and worries to someone else can help children feel more at ease and normal as they learn to deal with their environment. Note that we said to have a conversation "with" your kid. This does not involve giving instructions or advice but rather active participation through listening and replying.
If you want to encourage your child to open up, you should strike up a conversation with them when they are in a talkative mood. They may have to come to you if you don't go to them. You can learn a lot about your child by paying attention to the smallest of their comments.
Let them express whatever they’re thinking. If you give them an opportunity to do so, they will; you may need to resist the impulse to solve their problems for them, interpret their actions, or offer suggestions. Stay out of their way. Keep the conversation going with few prods and let them finish before you answer. You can show that you are listening and checking your understanding by reflecting back to them what you have heard.
All a person needs sometimes is to know they are being heard. It's like having someone look you straight in the eye and say, "I know." This may prove considerably more helpful than any "quick fix" your suggestions could entail. But don't take that to mean that your input is useless. Help them develop their own approaches to the problem. Don't forget to reassure them that you're here for them 24/7.
Create A Secure Environment At Home.
Coming home is like taking a break from the world. Attempt to make the house a safe refuge where everyone can relax and feel secure. All children, regardless of age, benefit from having a consistent daily and weekly routine in place. Organize a night where the whole family does something together. Even more so if you lead hectic schedules, this might help you stay connected with your loved ones. However, if your child needs some quiet time, they should have their own space that they may retreat to.
Keep An Eye On How Your Kids Are Feeling Emotionally.
Parents have unparalleled insight into their children. Always be on the lookout for indications of tension, worry, or anxiety. If there has been a traumatic occurrence or the family is under stress, or if you suspect something else is going on, this is especially crucial. A child's behaviour shifts when they're going through a tough emotional time. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
- Stomach aches
- Trouble focusing.
- Changes in appetite.
These are common reactions to stress or trauma, and your child should start to feel better within a couple of months. Let your kids know it's okay for them to talk about how they feel; doing so will help them cope. Encourage your kid to talk about how they're feeling. Journaling can be a useful first step towards talking about something that someone isn't yet ready to discuss. Creating visual representations of their emotions can be therapeutic for some kids. If your kid isn't comfortable expressing his or her "creativity" in these settings, a simpler approach is to help him or her find some music and lyrics that reflect how he or she is feeling. It doesn't really matter how it's done. Your child shouldn't keep everything within.
How Parents Can Encourage Their Kids.
When your kids want to talk to you, take the time to listen to them. Your kids can tell if you're paying attention if you do any of the following:
- Address them directly.
- Let them finish.
- Saying, "It sounds like you are feeling worried about..." clarifies what they are saying and how they feel.
- Ask them what will make them feel better.
- Listen to what they say to determine if they need a hug, comfort, or additional information.
Demonstrate Exemplary Behavior.
Young ones pick up a lot from listening in on family chatter and eavesdropping on parent-to-parent discussions and seeing their parents' body language (posture, facial expressions, tone of voice, and choice of vocabulary). Keep in mind that your kids are watching how you handle stress. When tensions grow amongst youngsters, it is best if they can talk things out in a calm manner and then agree to take a break.
Collect Your Friends' Support
It also helps if you and your kids stay active in local sports and other social groups. It's a chance to show your kid that the drought isn't all about him or her, and that it's okay to forget about it for a little so everyone can have some fun. Having meaningful social connections is good for your mental health and your relationships at home.
Permit Feelings To Be Expressed.
When children go through difficult emotions including grief, rage, worry, and stress, they may show their feelings in a variety of ways. Listening and assisting your child in recognising their emotions is the best approach to show support during these times. Give them hugs and reassure them it's normal to feel sad and that they can express their emotions however they like.
Take Time For Yourself
Focus on what you're feeling and thinking right now. Manage them immediately by disclosing them to trusted loved ones, a family doctor, or a community organisation. If you can keep your cool and your perspective, it will be good for you and your kids.
When Should You Get Your Child Help?
Please take note if your child is:
- Turning inward and losing interest in being among other people.
- Having less interest in things that they usually want to do.
- Observing shifts in one's normal patterns of eating and sleeping.
- Receiving bad grades in school.
- Irritable compared to normal levels.
The time may have come to consult an expert.
Emotions such as frustration, fear, excitement, wrath, concern, embarrassment, and grief are all experienced by toddlers. Kids can learn and practise self-regulation of their emotions through play. This will help your kid be more in control of his or her emotions, behave better, and get along better with others. Young children feel a spectrum of basic emotions, from joy to rage to sadness to fear. By the time they're three years old, the vast majority of kids have already experienced their first bouts of remorse and shame.
Help your child make sense of these uncharted feelings by listening to them when they want to talk. You'll discover advice on how to support your kid's emotional growth and figure out what works best for your kid in the following pages. Repressing or ignoring emotions leads to inappropriate behaviour. Young children, unable to verbalise their feelings, may act out destructively. Take a deep breath with a trusted adult and ask for assistance to show your child that you know how to respond to their emotions.
Role-playing, along with other activities like playing and coordinating, can teach toddlers a great deal about how to handle their emotions. Don't let your kids see you stressed out and don't make them nervous to tell you anything. Children can feel more at ease and normal as they learn to interact with their environment if they can talk about their fears and concerns. When a child comes to you for consolation, do your best to keep your composure.
- Kids can learn and practise self-regulation of their emotions through play.
- This will help your kid be more in control of his or her emotions, behave better, and get along better with others.
- Always keep in mind that you have a major impact on your child's development and play in the first few years of life.
- You can help your young child understand their feelings and what triggers them by encouraging them to engage in imaginative play.
- However, young children's limited linguistic competence makes it difficult for them to articulate their feelings.
- They develop their own individual styles of communication.
- Expressions, movements, and behaviours in children's play might reveal their inner states.
- Emotional skills such as awareness, identification, and regulation are instilled in children from birth.
- As a parent, one of your most important responsibilities is helping your child develop a healthy sense of self-awareness.
- Children require guidance in learning to control their emotions.
- Between the ages of one and two, children typically develop a stronger sense of identity.
- toddlers between the ages of one and two start using words to convey their feelings, such as "ow" for pain or "I did it!" for accomplishments, and are thus better able to wait their turn and control their tempers.
- It's possible that your toddler will start to draw parallels between their actions and those of other kids their age.
- Your kid probably also feels impatience for the first time, which is a huge new emotion.
- By the age of three, the vast majority of youngsters have already experienced their first bouts of remorse and shame.
- Listening attentively when your child wants to talk and offering lots of reassurance and support can go a long way towards helping them make sense of these unfamiliar feelings.
- A young child's emotional experience is mostly manifested in physical responses like a racing heart or butterflies in the stomach and behaviour.
- They develop an awareness of and comprehension for their own and other people's emotional experiences.
- Children's emotional displays, both vocal and nonverbal, can be influenced by a number of circumstances.
- We get the ability to foresee and counteract situations that are likely to cause us to feel negatively as a result of our life experiences.
- As we age, we acquire a more complex set of skills for managing our emotions and a more thorough comprehension of the factors that contribute to our concerns.
- Even though children, like adults, may occasionally feel overwhelmed, they have less life experience from which to draw when developing strategies for coping with these feelings.
- A child's sense of security and trust in others grows when adults can read their indications and help them manage anxiety, helplessness, or overload.
- A child's ability to regulate their emotions is honed in the company of trustworthy adults.
- Children's development relies on their ability to concentrate and pay attention, and research shows that when youngsters feel safe and secure, they are more likely to do so.
- Motivating Children to Take Responsibility for Their Feelings With your help, a child's mental state can shift from one of distress to one of feeling protected and peaceful, and prepared to engage positively with the world.
- Assisting children in imagining that they are their favourite animal when it sleeps.
- You may help your child learn about and express their feelings by using the following techniques: Keep Your Ears Open It may not always be easy to put a name to one's feelings.
- Keep in mind how your kid is feeling and what he or she is trying to say with their actions.
- The key to helping your child change their behaviour is figuring out what drives them in the first place.
- Recognize That Feeling Help your child cope with their feelings by giving them names.
- Identifying feelings in children begins with giving them names.
- Read People's Feelings Encourage children to develop an acute awareness of the feelings of those around them.
- Children can learn a lot about appropriate emotional expression by watching the adults around them.
- Don't be afraid to tell your kid how you really feel and how you manage your feelings.
- Listen to your kid out. As a parent, your priority should be to offer immediate solace to your child rather than to try to prevent him or her from feeling sad.
- In order to make your child feel heard, you should help them become familiar with and able to articulate their feelings.
- Set a good example in terms of showing empathy to your child by Just a moment of deep breathing while we wait.
- They may have difficulty relaxing at the end of the day.
- Now is the time to start teaching your kid how to talk about their feelings in a constructive way.
- Toddlers' Emotional Growth-Promoting Activities To a great extent, young children learn about themselves and how to handle their emotions through play.
- Motivating illustrations of this type of behaviour include: we enjoy playing and working together with kids of all ages.
- Your kid can put his or her imagination to use by playing make-believe with puppets, toys, or even old clothing, as by taking care of a doll or by daringly rescuing toys that have been thrown from a tree.
- Your child will benefit greatly from some time spent in a park or other open place where he or she can run, tumble, and roll around to release pent-up energy.
- Taking a toddler's playtime seriously.
- It's wonderful that your kid wants to take the lead, but you still play a critical role in making sure he or she can deal with negative emotions like anger and despair.
- Managing Your Worries Stress management skills are the most important to acquire.
- Rest up and be there for your family in the morning.
- The best way to help your children cope with emotional pain and trauma is to show them how to do so.
- Try Not to Freak Out Whenever a troubled youngster comes to you for consolation, it's important to be calm and in control of your emotions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Squat down next to your child.
- Take your child somewhere quiet, if you can.
- Tell your child you understand.
- Hug your child or hold your child on your lap if they want you to.
- Firmly but gently stop your child from hurting other people or breaking things.
At this age, they just don't have much control over their emotional impulses. Their anger and frustration tend to erupt suddenly in the form of crying, hitting or screaming. It's their only way of dealing with the difficult realities of life. They may even act out in ways that unintentionally harm themselves or others.
- Persistent sadness that lasts two weeks or more.
- Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions.
- Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself.
- Talking about death or suicide.
- Outbursts or extreme irritability.
- Out-of-control behavior that can be harmful.
Children cry when they're hungry, tired, uncomfortable, in pain, frustrated, angry or upset. Children cry less as they get older. They're more able to use words to express their feelings. If your child is crying, check they aren't sick or hurt.
Feelings of sadness, loss, or emotional extremes are part of growing up. Conflicts between parents and children are also inevitable as children struggle from the “terrible twos” through adolescence to develop their own identities. These are normal changes in behavior due to growth and development.