18 - 48 Months+

Toddlers and Their BIG Emotions

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“Why is my toddler so emotional?” Do you ask yourself that a lot? Because we do. These little humans of ours are processing so much about this fascinating world they live in. They are realizing that they are capable of so much more—physically and emotionally. 

Their brain is working twice as hard as yours and is in constant overdrive. There are so many more connections in a child’s brain than in an adult one. They have a lot to process. And with that, comes a lot of new, BIG feelings! 

Toddlers don’t quite know how to communicate these big feelings. They also don’t fully understand how and why things work. This complex combination leads to a pretty emotional little human. ⁣

Dr. Dean Burnett, neuroscientist and author, says, “Everything for toddlers is new and exciting; they don’t have a wealth of experience on how to judge things.” He adds that, “all the connections in their brains aren’t made yet. When their expectations aren’t met, toddlers have lost control. They don’t know how to react, so they get distressed and sound the alarm bells.” ⁣

Can you really blame them? Remember all the times we have been overwhelmed or when our expectations weren’t met, and we lost it as grown adults? And that’s with decades of more experience than our little ones have. ⁣

“Temper tantrums are some of the most crucial life experiences in sculpting the brain. To help our little ones control their strong emotions, we have to help them develop connections between the logical brain and the emotional brain.” – Parenting for Brain ⁣

From the moment they’re born, children need reassurances that a range of feelings is normal, and that emotions come and go.

We completely understand how hard it is to remember all this during meltdowns and we don’t expect anyone to! But when handled with care, tantrums can become an invaluable life lesson in emotion regulation which has been linked to resiliency, social competence, and academic success.  So remember that not only are temper tantrums normal and reasonable, but they’re actually helpful in helping toddlers’ emotional development. ⁣

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Posted in: 18 - 48 Months+, Child Development

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