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5 things you can do right now to help your very emotional toddler

He has a spicy personally. He’s very spirited. Oh yes, he’s my wild child. All of these things I have used to describe my third child. Maybe you can relate; he screams at the top of his lungs in both in excitement AND anger (there’s a lot of screaming that goes on), he bangs his poor little head against the wall or the floor when he gets upset, and he is go go go all day. A little person with extra big emotions, and if you have one in your home, you probably know by now that simple reasoning when they get upset just doesn’t work.

So what has worked for us? There are a few things that do tend to help when he is going through a tough time. That isn’t to say that these things work all the time every time. But for the most part, they have helped for us, and hopefully will help for you too.

  • Go Outside: It’s truly unbelievable the power of the outdoors. No walls, less limitations, more freedom, fresh air, nature…. I have noticed that my little guy has FAR fewer frustrations/outbursts when we are outside. In the warmer months, we are outside pretty much all day. Try it, next time your little one is melting down, bring them outside, go on an adventure, walk, play, jump, run. You will see it even does wonders for your own well-being.
  • Sing Your “Special Song”: I got this idea from a follower on instagram who suggested it to me and it has worked well for us. I made up a little song with a slow and relaxing melody that I will sing to him when he’s upset, and even when we cuddle before bed so that he associates it with positive feelings too. It goes something like “Mama loves Henry yes its true…”I repeat that line three times and end with “I love you”. It’s slow, calming, and it reaffirms my love for him in the hopes of making him feel safe and secure.
  • Read a Favourite Book: Grab your child’s favourite book and try cozying up together. This will sometimes work for my little one, especially with his favourite picture books. You could even try having a basket of “special” books that are not out and available at all times to take out during a “time of need”.
  • Listen to Some Music: So this has actually worked for me quite a bit. Grab your phone, ask Alexa, fire up youtube, whatever you need to do to get some tunes going. I will put on some of Henry’s favourite songs such as Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, If You’re Happy and you Know it, etc. These songs always get him bopping up and down in the cute little toddler dance and help change his mood.
  • Physical Touch: Take that little ball of emotional turmoil and give him/her a big hug. Rub or scratch their back, rub their face soothingly, and just basically let them feel safe and loved in this time of need. This doesn’t work all the time; sometimes mine will run away from me screaming “NOOOO”. But often he will return to me looking for some loving, or be open to it from the start. I will often ask him “Do you want a nice back scratch?” (his fave) and he usually responds “yeah…”.

That’s it! Try one (or more) of these things next time your larger-than-life little one is going through an emotional rough patch in their day. Some days, one or two of these things may work for you, and the next day, it may be others!