13 - 15 Months

Why it’s important to allow your toddler’s big emotions 

Toddler upset while their mom tries to play

When your toddler gets upset, your first instinct may be to say, “You’re okay!” in an effort to reassure them and put an end to their tears. But allowing your child those big feelings is important for their social-emotional development.  

Managing emotions is a lifelong challenge for all of us—and the earlier your toddler starts to learn, the better. You can help them learn emotional regulation by acknowledging rather than downplaying their feelings. Taking the time to do this now will pay off in the coming years, when your child is better able to cope with their feelings.

3 ways to help both you and your toddler manage their emotions

Recognize that their feelings are real to them. Your toddler’s big feelings could be triggered by anything from your partner leaving for work to a banana being sliced into too many pieces. Try to remember that the cause matters to your toddler, even if it seems insignificant to you. Letting them know you understand how they feel is the first step to helping them learn to regulate their emotions. 

Create a culture where all feelings are valid. Research suggest that children capable of expressing and managing a wide range of feelings have an easier time getting along with others. Validating your toddler’s full range of emotions—including happy, excited, sad, angry, jealous, and frustrated—lets them know that all of their feelings are okay ❤️

Know that big emotions don’t always look big. Toddlers experience and show their feelings in different ways. One child may freeze at a new daycare and another may cry and cling to a parent. Big feelings can sometimes look big and loud, but they can also look like hiding, freezing, or disengaging. Avoid comparing your toddler to others and tune into the way that they express their feelings. 

Learn more about the research

Bridgett, D. J., Burt, N. M., Edwards, E. S., & Deater-Deckard, K. (2015). Intergenerational transmission of self-regulation: A multidisciplinary review and integrative conceptual framework. Psychological Bulletin, 141(3), 602–654. 

Eisenberg, N., & Sulik, M. J. (2012). Emotion-related self-regulation in children. Teaching of Psychology, 39(1), 77-83.


Team Lovevery Avatar

Team Lovevery

Visit site

Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Social Emotional, Behavior, Lovevery App, Parenting, Child Development

Keep reading