Small body, big feelings

Toddlers can have outsized emotions. Try our 5 tips for helping toddlers understand and manage these big feelings. 

Learning Stages

Toddlers can have outsized emotions. Try our 5 tips for helping toddlers understand and manage these big feelings. 

  • Use a mirror to mimic feelings and facial expressions. Ask toddlers to name things that make them happy and describe what they do while feeling that way. Continue with more emotions, such as sadness, fear and anger.
  • Snuggle up with a good story and talk about feelings. As you read, point out details in the illustrations or words in text that suggest different emotions.
  • "Mine" seems to be the work of choice for most toddlers. Set up play dates to give your child occasions to learn to share. It's OK to put away any special toys, but be sure there are lots of toys available.
  • To help encourage empathy, bake cookies together to surprise a relative or offer to take care of a friend's pets. Be sure and give praise when your child reaches out to others.
  • Learning how to control and channel emotions will boost a child's feelings of self-confidence. Teach simple strategies like counting to 3, taking 3 big breaths, and using words to describe feelings.
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