Self Regulation of Emotions in Toddlers

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Parents are often disappointed by the lack of control of their toddler on his or her emotions. However, studies prove that in a 3-year-old emotional development can take its own course of time. With a little support from parents, toddlers can achieve this in a better way.





Have you seen your toddler vent his anger on a child younger than him or on a pet? This generally happens because the child finds certain emotions extremely overwhelming and has no idea how to vent them. Giving a helping hand would help your tot learn self-regulation of emotions.

What is Emotional Regulation- The Underlying Meaning

This refers to one’s ability to control his emotions in any given situation. The emotion could be anything from happiness to grief, excitement to fear. The way a child copes with these emotions in a circumstance without letting them overpower his thoughts is known as emotional regulation.




What are the Signs of Emotional Regulation in Toddlers?

  • Too many tantrums
  • Fighting with children of his age for no apparent reason
  • Not following instructions
  • Hitting and spitting at others to show disagreement
  • Worrying too much for inconsequential things
  • Becomes easily upset
  • Anxious
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Does not confide in you

How to Teach a Child to Control their Emotions

1. Setting the Right Example

Child psychologists believe that most of the toddlers who lack self-regulation, generally have parents who lack these skills too. So, before you start teaching self-regulation to your toddler, make sure that you know how to control your emotions also. If you yell at your child often or meltdown for no reason, there is no way you can teach controlling emotions to your tot. After all, what he sees is what he follows.

Setting the Right Example

2. Lending your Ears

Most toddlers find it hard to regulate their feelings because they feel if they put them in words, their parents might not pay attention. So, one of the best emotional regulation strategies for children is to ensure you are all ears. Once your tot realises you pay attention to his feelings, he will find it easier to control his emotions.





3. Be More Accepting

When handling emotional regulation in toddlers, it’s not possible that you would agree with all your child’s feelings and emotions. However, blowing your top would just not help. Instead, try to be as patient as you can and explain to your child the outcome of his behaviour. Tell him that it’s okay to feel that way at times and teach him the right way to cope with these emotions.

4. Keeping your Cool

It’s important that you keep your cool when your toddler is undergoing an emotional meltdown. As long as he doesn’t hurt himself or anyone else, just try to be patient and comfort him. This will make your tot feel safer and encourage him to confide in you. This is a great way of helping children learn to regulate their emotions.




Punishing your toddler for emotional breakdowns is not going to help. So, be compassionate and extend your support at all times. After all, if not you who else will your child expect comfort from?