Toddlers have big emotions and lack the language to articulate them clearly. Crying is a way to convey their needs. Saying “don’t cry” must feel awful to a toddler. What if we made a conscious decision to notice when the thought “stop crying” pops up, and instead we said:
- I see how upset you are.
- I see that this is hard for you.
- Let’s solve this problem together.
- It’s okay to be sad.
- I see you want some space. I’ll stay close by so you can find me when you need me.
The way we react to their distress will make an impact on them as a human. Validating the feelings of children helps them to feel understood. Being understood is an essential ingredient to feeling connected and supported, and it also helps toddlers to give words to their feelings.
Learn more about our holistic approach to learning with Toddlers at Only About Children.
Plus, learn more from our in-house Children Services Curriculum Advisor, Jenny Kable: Respectful Nappy Changes.