The Toddler Years

During the toddler years, your child is undergoing rapid brain development as well as intense physical, emotional, and motivational growth and experiences. Additionally, they are experiencing a flood of overwhelming feelings while simultaneously learning and reacting to their environment, especially the responses they perceive from their loved ones. Neuropathways are developing in their brain and becoming part of who they are, influenced significantly by what they overhear and observe from parents' role modeling, behaviors, and reactions.

 

During times of stress, it is essential to show your toddler empathy. The definition of discipline is to teach. Once your child is calmed (see my page about Jennifer Kolari's CALM technique), teach them appropriate ways to express, accept, manage, and embrace painful feelings.

 

Avoid comments, facial expressions, and body language likely to send the message to your child to feel ashamed or guilty for how they express their feelings. Instead, recognize that their behavioral expression demonstrates the limit of their capacity in that moment. The child's exhibited behavior shows a parent the skill the child needs their help to develop. 

Diana Kierein, LICSW

Watertown, MA 02472

DKFamilies@gmail.com ● 617-467-4611 office ● 509-362-9656 fax

© 2020 Strength-Based Counseling