The Emotions of Toddlers

Feelings add spark to life. They can be both satisfying and upsetting. Feelings try to tell us something, usually about what we need to feel content.

Your toddler will tell you what is going on by expressing strong feelings. She will shriek with joy or scream in anger. Your toddler has an uncontrollable desire to find out about herself and the world she lives in. She looks for protection and closeness from you, the most important person in her life. At the same time, she clearly tells you: “I am not you. I can do things all by myself.”

As a parent, you also have strong feelings: joy, frustration, rage and anger. Underneath these feelings you may be looking for information about parenting and support from others. You absolutely have to know your child is safe. You want to protect him and give him all your love.

You may find it difficult at times to remain calm when your two-year old is “throwing a fit”. You become embarrassed or remember difficult childhood scenes. You may be feeling the pain of harsh comments for not raising your child “the right way”. When you notice your own feelings and talk about your own needs, you become better at helping your toddler get through those “terrible moments”.

At United Way of Santa Fe County, we honor you, the proud parent of a toddler. We celebrate your strength in everyday situations. And, as a family, we respect all the feelings we can communicate in a healthy way.