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Episode Info:

How do infants and toddlers learn about emotions

How do we do the big job of teaching and supporting our infants and toddlers when it comes to emotional development? How do we reign in our own emotions when our toddlers are testing us?

On this episode of the Strength In Words podcast, Ayelet sits down with Dr. Laura Markham, a trained Clinical Psychologist, author, founding editor of AhaParenting, and a mom.

We speak about: how she came to do the work she’s doing today, how babies, toddlers, and young children learn about emotions, how expressing emotions in words helps young children, and Dr. Laura’s top tips and resources for best practice when it comes to healthy emotional development.

 

Quick access to links in this episode:

Aha Parenting.com

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, by Dr. Laura Markham (affiliate link)

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook, by Dr. Laura Markham (affiliate link)

Yell Less, Love More, by Sheila McCraith (affiliate link)

Attachment Play: How to solve children’s behavior problems with play, laughter, and connection, by Aletha Solter (affiliate link)

Understanding Your Toddler: A Month-By-Month Development & Activity Guide For Playing With Your Toddler From One to Three Years, by Ayelet Marinovich (affiliate link)

Connect With Us

Ayelet: Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube

Dr. Laura Markham: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest

The Hard Job of Parenting

Ayelet: Today I am speaking with Dr. Laura Markham, a trained clinical psychologist, author, founding editor of Aha-Parenting, and a mom. She translates proven science into the practical solutions you need for the family life you want. Her relationship-based parenting model, which she calls Peaceful Parenting, has helped thousands of families across the US and Canada. Find compassionate, common sense solutions to everything from separation anxiety and sleep problems to sass-talk and cell phones. She is the proud parent of two terrific young adults who were raised with Peaceful Parenting.

So, Dr. Laura, thank you so much for being here and welcome to Strength In Words. So, I have asked you to come onto the show today to speak to us about how infants and toddlers learn about emotions. But first, can you just tell us a bit about more about you, and how you got into the work that you’re doing today?

Dr. Laura: So, I think parents are doing the hardest job there is, and they need more support and that’s why I do what I do. And while I’m trained as a clinical psychologist, what that means is that you’re trained to look for what can go wrong inside people. And so I have that training and that’s really useful in what I do, but really what I’m always looking for is what can go right because it’s sort of an amazing thing that all parents come in to the work with – the work of raising a child with – all of us, bring our own history, our own unresolved issues, our own genetics, and then we receive a child who has their own genetics and their own way being in the world (which might be very different than ours) and we forge a relationship and that’s what parenting is.

And I find it endlessly fascinating the wide variety of ways to be human and and that love is the answer to all of the conflicts that arise from that and that struggle. Meaning, working with what is, and trying to bring more compassion to it, whether it’s inside us, inside our child, between us, even that stranger on the street who cut you off in traffic. Whatever it is, love really turns out to be the answer.

Ayelet: Absolutely. Part of this is that we… we think that there are these things called “parenting experts,” right? I think, you come into parenting and you think, okay, well somebody must know the answer. You and I both know, having worked with many families and being parents ourselves that… That just doesn’t exist. There is no “answer,” but there are bits of information that we can use to help us do the job a bit more easily or with a bit more information about that. So that said…

Dr. Laura: We’re on a journey, right?

What is the basis for emotional learning in young children?

Ayelet: Yeah. So I would love for you to tell us a little bit about what is that basis for the ways that infants, toddlers, and young children learn about emotions because as we all know, emotions are a big part of growing up, of being, of becoming our own self, our own identity and of displaying independence in many, many ways for both positive and negative. So tell us a bit about that process and what that basis is.

Dr. Laura: Well, first of all, I love that you’re asking about emotion because I think that’s the big unaddressed issue. You know, you read any parenting book and it’ll say, well, and you control yourself and then you interact with your child in a calm and collected way. It’s like “what?” You know, and there are big emotions… on both sides. Yes, it’s going to happen. And so I think, just becoming aware of emotions is a really good place to start to support our child.

But you asked how children learn. They learn from us, they learn in the context of relationship. It doesn’t happen outside of relationship. So really when children, when babies are born, they’re born looking for someone to interact with who will, as you say, “be that expert” – only, they’re not looking for a parenting expert, they’re looking for a life expert. They’re looking for some to explain to them what that feeling is inside them, who can help them get food when they need it, you know, give them food.

In the beginning it’s all, it’s all… they can’t even control their arms and legs. Right? It’s all us giving, and then eventually modeling how to get things for themselves, how to find what they need and meet their needs while not trampling on other people, right? I mean, that’s sort of the basic human lesson because none of us, no one would ever be happy because that’s how humans are designed and so they’re coming into the world looking for that relationship and they learn about emotions by experiencing them in the context of the relationship and learning… it’s not just that they learn what to do with them as if it’s an intellectual thing. Their actual neural pathways are formed as they interact with us because the brain and the neurology, neurology, it’s not just your brain, right? The neurology that – the heart has neurons that are throughout our entire body.

There is neurology and it’s all pretty unfinished when we’re born. And there’s a reason for that, which is that then we’re very adaptable. Humans are amazingly adaptable, right? So when you’re born in a war zone, you’re going to need a different neurology than if you’re born on a farm in a peaceful, you know, beaucolic countryside, right? So, and, you know, we know that different humans come into the world with genetics that have been modified by past experience of even our parents and grandparents. We… it turns out that genes get turned off and on, you know, epigenetics shows us that it’s not just nature – nurture, it’s all so interwoven, right? So they are born.

So you ask, how to babies learn about emotion? They cry – express automatically, because we’re designed to, they express what they’re feeling and how do we respond? We might respond by reassuring them and saying, oh sweetheart, it’s okay. What do you need? Do you need to be fed? You need to be held, do you need to be changed, you know, or we might respond by yelling at them to be quiet… Or it might drive us so crazy that the baby’s crying because we can’t handle it, that we might shake the baby, right? And terrify them, right?

There’s all kinds of things that can happen to that baby at that moment. And that’s the most basic lesson there is about emotions and how, whether emotions are safe, whether there are ways to get what they need, you know, and gradually over time, kids hopefully are going to learn from us that having those feelings, it’s not an emergency and it’s a safe universe that will help them. And they can trust that they’ll be taken care of and that their needs will be met and therefore they don’t become drama queens, you know, they, they become able to express their emotions in a way that’s respectful of other people to still get what they need in the world, right? Right. So that’s the basic lesson of emotions. And of course it’s much more complicated, but it’s very simple…

Ayelet: Right, exactly. They learn from us, essentially. So, I think many of the parents, caregivers, and professionals out there listening right now would love to hear a little bit about, obviously, not just the tips or helping our children with their emotions, but also helping ourselves to self-regulate. And we’ll definitely get there in a few minutes, but one of the things that we’ve talked about previously on the Strength In Words podcast, because this is what much of the research indicates, is that that act of expressing our emotions in words, right? When we do have those big emotions that labeling what those are, whether they’re from us, whether they’re from our children, whether they’re from the environment. Can you talk a little bit about, how does that act of expressing emotions in words help our little people?

Dr. Laura: So, it’s so interesting you say that, because I think there’s some misconception of the research. So the reason I know about is done on adults and it turns out that when we as an adult are able to articulate what we’re feeling, then the feeling begins to dissipate. That’s really important for us to notice because regulating our own emotions certainly isn’t about repressing them, right? It isn’t, oh, I’m not angry because then we know what happens. You’re stuffing down the anger and it’s gonna explode, right? You’re in some way letting the emotion out by recognizing it. Right, but you’re also getting message. You know your emotions are there for a purpose. It’s giving us the message that something’s not working for us at that moment and when we get the message, our body doesn’t have to keep giving us this sensation of discomfort, which is that frustrated feeling because we already got it.

We’ve got the message and we’re ready to take some action on it. Then our body doesn’t have to keep sending it to us and saying, pay attention. Right. Okay. But for children, so this is really interesting. There’s a whole assumption that therefore if we tell our children what they’re feeling, they won’t feel it. I don’t think that’s true. If we… Maybe it depends on how you say it, right? If you say, oh, that is so frustrating, they’re gonna feel understood probably, but when you say you’re getting frustrated, now, stop and control yourself. Your kid’s gonna wanna smack you, right? Because they’re, they feel judged. They don’t feel understood. Children like the rest of us, once they can express something, they feel better. So rage only really begins to dissipate when it’s acknowledged, right? When they can name it themselves, it has the same good effect as it has for us, but it’s not to be told what you’re feeling.

Ayelet: No, certainly not. And I absolutely agree, and I agree that the research says otherwise. I think what we’re talking about here is the ways that our infants and toddlers learn about emotions and about using emotional language, so that’s more about the kinds of research that I’m talking about is using the, “Oh Look, look at that child’s in the playground. She is crying, she is sad,” or “I am yelling at you. I need to take a breath. I’m going to take a moment so that I can feel better because I’m frustrated.” Or “you look really frustrated because you’re struggling with that toy. I wonder what we could do to help you feel better.” That’s – so I think we got a little bit off track there, but, so that kind of emotional language is more what I’m talking about.

Dr. Laura: I think you’re right. It’s a different thing when they’re first learning the language and it’s such a relief to them for us to say, “You’re so mad,” right? They’re like, yeah, mad, that’s what I am, and it helps them to express it.

Ayelet: Right. Yeah. So, and you were saying a little bit about they are going to learn how to use those words. So in your mind, what are the ways that we can do the job of teaching them how to use those words?

Dr. Laura: I think exactly what you just modeled is beautiful so that when we’re in interaction with our child and they’re frustrated with something or when we’re frustrated with something. I think so often we as parents feel a responsibility and a delight in teaching our children, “oh, this is red and this is blue and this is green and what color is this?” And what we don’t do is say, “and this is mad and this is sad and this is frustrated and” – right, and so I love that – it’s just part of life. There’s nothing dangerous, there’s nothing bad, there’s nothing that has to be done. We can just notice how we think and feelings changed and that’s good too.

Ayelet: Yeah, exactly. So that is the way that we can use that expression of emotions. That’s wonderful. Thank you Dr Laura. All right, we’re just going to take a very brief break to hear a word from our sponsor and then we’re going to hear a few tips from Dr Laura about practical everyday things we can do to raise these healthy and emotionally intelligent young children, and then as well as a few of her favorite resources for families interested in learning more about this topic.

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If you are a parent or caregiver with an infant and / or a toddler, we are both an early parent support and parent education hub. We’re a group of families connected by the shared experience of early parenthood and strong believers in the notion that having a positive, nurturing place to discuss all things early parenthood and early childhood can make us each stronger. The Community LAB is an all in one resource that is not one size fits all. Join us in finding more joy in the mayhem at community.strengthinwords.com.

Tips and tricks to stay grounded

Ayelet: Okay, Dr. Laura, we would love to hear a few of your top tips for raising these emotionally intelligent beings. And again, talking about starting from day one and if we haven’t started from day one, from year two, where it is. Because of course, again, this is not about guilt. Oh my gosh, I screwed up my kid from day one because I haven’t been doing this until, you know, year two. And of course a lot of times we have, we get sort of thrown into toddlerhood when that sort of parenting portion of parenting starts, right? So what kinds of tips can you give to our parents of infants and toddlers to help them with that day to day practice?

Dr. Laura: Well, you know, you mentioned that transition from infancy to toddlerhood and with infancy, we’re just meeting their needs. So the most important thing to do in infancy is to meet those needs and to allow all of the emotions. So there’s research showing that children form a working model of relationships. In fact, they form more than one, based on all of their important relationships and they have an expectation of how the world will treat them based on those relationships and how… you know, It determines, unless there’s a significant change that first year trusting, knowing your needs will be met, knowing that people will allow you to be who you are and still love you.

That determines the kind of marriage you’ll have or partnership later in life and the kind of parent you will be, which is pretty amazing because when they assess this at 14 months, the child has almost no language, but they demonstrate what working model they formed, right? So in that first year, it’s all about meeting needs and allowing the child to be who they are. So and, and acknowledging like we’ve noticed that some parents can’t handle anger from their child, so they’re very good at, “Oh, you’re sad you’re hurt.” But when the child is like, “Agh!” they don’t, they don’t want the child to be angry and they can’t acknowledge the anger. So part of it is just acknowledging and allowing that you are so mad you wanted that. You’re sad. You didn’t get it, now you’re mad, right? And, and feelings are all tangled up, right? You’re sad and then you get mad, right?

Because you’re sad, for instance, but when kids become toddlers, what happens is suddenly we’re in the business of setting limits, you know, we’re not just meeting needs! Because, before that, you basically are meeting all needs, but – I mean, obviously you know, you’re not letting your child touch the hot stove that they’re reaching for, but basically you’re, you’re meeting their needs all of a sudden as a toddler, they have a million needs that they’re very forward and advancing and many of those needs are for that cookie or whatever, you know, climbing to the top of that thing… We’re not going to let them do because it’s not safe for them or not good for other people if they’re climbing over the top of the seat into the airplane and it, in somebody else’s face, right? So we have to learn how to set limits while still acknowledging and allowing emotions. And I think that’s where most parents, most parents of toddlers find it’s a big challenge.

How do you acknowledge the feelings and say you wish you could climb up in that space but that’s somebody else’s space, right? Or you know, you really want that cookie. You’re so hungry. We’re not going to have a cookie right now, but how do you allow the child to have the emotions not make them bad, not make them feel like a bad person, but still teach them appropriate behavior?

You asked of tips for how to do that. I think the answer is exactly that. You set limits, but you set them with an understanding of why the child wants to do it. You know, you’re feeling so you’re, you’re, you’re tired of being in one place. You’re feeling stir crazy. Let’s get up and move around. You’re so hungry to find something healthy to eat. So you’re also helping them solve their problem. So you’re understanding what their problem is. You’re seeing it as it’s not a problem. It’s just a challenge we have to solve. And you’re giving your child the message it’s not an emergency. It’s okay to have those emotions, even if they’re very upset, but they, they’ll get through it. You’ll help them through it, you’re their backup and you’re even gonna help them solve the problem they’re having.

Ayelet: Right, and in fact meeting those needs, you are seeing that they are challenged, you’re acknowledging that they are challenged, and you are finding a way to acknowledge that and then meet the need. So I think for many parents it’s all about figuring out what the need is because I think it can be very… Obviously, especially with those little ones who are pre-verbal or just emergently verbal. We have a lot of – it’s really about being a detective as a parent and figuring out, okay, what’s the basis for this frustration? And sometimes it’s more obvious and sometimes it’s not. So that, that figuring out what the basis for that big emotion is, I think is often… that is the what a great takeaway.

What about as far as for the parents? Because I think a lot of us do struggle with that self regulation piece, and, like you said, we all do it. None of us is a perfect parent or a perfect human all the time because that is inherently impossible. So what, what are some of the recommendations that you can give to families who, to parents who are struggling with that and who would like some tools?

Dr. Laura: So, you have tools in the moment in your life in general that allow you to self regulate better if your life is set up in certain ways. Obviously the more stress you’re under, the harder it’s going to be to self regulate. That’s just the way it is. So the more you can look at your life and say, okay, do only what’s essential, I have little kids, there’s no way I can get everything done. There’s no way I can have a perfect life. And there’s no reason to be judging myself for… I’m just doing my best to show up and you really can postpone almost anything but love, you know, so I’d say start with the stress level and the amount of sleep you’re getting. But then, self regulation itself, we have seen that meditators, their brain will change.

Now, by the time you already have a kid, you don’t have time to meditate. That’s the problem with this. By the time you realize you need it, you have no time to do it, but I highly recommend that if you have little kids who sleep, that while they’re sleeping, you don’t catch up on work, which is what we all want to do, right? And you don’t get lost on Facebook, but you don’t even do the dishes. You know, you, you find a way to do the dishes while your child’s awake, standing next to you at the sink, making it take three times as long and make three times as much mess. But you at least you’re doing that while your child is there because A, that’s good for your child, and B, then you’re getting the dishes done without doing it on sort of your own time.

Your own time while everyone’s asleep, either sleep if you have a little one or you haven’t gotten enough sleep at night or whatever, or meditate and – or exercise! Exercise is very important to reducing stress levels. Yeah. Exercise and meditation are the two things that allow us to self regulate. Really. And sleep will be the third one. So I would just say for medication, if you haven’t had a practice before, then do a guided meditation because it’s just easier to do it. Make it very short. Start with five minutes. There are so many good ones you can download for free on your phone, on your computer. It’s just easy. And pick a five minute one to do five minutes every single day. You’ll find yourself wanting more. Do 10, and I think even 15 minutes a day for a month, changes your brain.

So, if that’s the case, you know, parents who say to me, I just can’t stop yelling, I can’t. Well you can actually. And if your child said, I just can’t stop hitting my sister, you wouldn’t accept that. So, we know it’s not good to yell at your kids, right? So there is a way around it. And so one way is to give yourself the brain that can self regulate better and we know this is a proven way to do it. So, reduce your stress, get enough sleep, and start to rewire your brain. Now in the moment there’s also brain rewiring that has to happen.

So in the moment when you’re upset and you’re just, you know, your kid just stopped at the toilet by dumping everything in it, whatever you know, and the baby’s crying and you’re just beside yourself and you’re just and you’re screaming. You find yourself screaming because, who wouldn’t be? So, at that moment, stop. Shut your mouth. Bite your tongue. And it’s hardest thing in the world to do. But as you do it, what ends up happening is your brain goes, oh, I guess this isn’t necessarily the most effective way to deal with this. We’ll learn a new coping mechanism here. And your brain starts to rewire to figure out another way to do it.

And the next time something happens where you’re, you’re in the car and the kids are at each other and you’re, you know, and, and you just took the wrong turn and you’re going to be late and you’re starting to scream. You’re gonna find it’s, it’s still hard. You’re going to be screaming, but you’re going to be able to notice your screaming a little earlier in the process and shut your mouth a little more easily. And each time you do it, it gets easier. And for some of us, if you grew up with yellers a long line of yellers, it’s really, really hard. And so give yourself support. There’s all kinds of support. There’s charts you can download from my website that are, you know, that have respectful voice charts that you or your child draws a star or gives you a star when you had a respectful voice that day.

There’s the Orange Rhino, who’s wonderful, Sheila McCraith, who has a whole book on how to stop yelling, and there are many more resources that are available online and whatever. So I just, what we’ve seen, what the research shows, is that it gets easier and easier. And I’ve spoken at this point to thousands of parents who stopped yelling by doing a process like this and you know, giving themselves as much support and, and just start right now knowing you’re gonna mess up, you are going to, if you’re a yeller, you’re going to be yelling. That’s the way it is. Deciding it, listening to me right now might inspire you, but you’re going to yell tomorrow. That’s okay. Or even today, later, give yourself right now, you don’t have to be perfect. Just increase your ratio of times when you’re able to reign yourself in and you could give yourself a choice. What’s the most effective way to deal with the situation? What is that I want my child to get out of this action and therefore what’s the most effective thing.

Ayelet: Yes, exactly, and that is the key piece, right? What actually, because when you recognize in yourself the behavior that you’re trying to stop in your toddler, that’s like the worst feeling in the world and we’ve all been there, but that’s the key because you start to think like, okay, what is it exactly that I want to get out of this situation? And when you can get there, then you can start to answer that question. So actually I think I have a little follow up question which is you said stop in your tracks. Shut your mouth and just breathe for a second. But I think a lot of parents listening are saying, okay, then what? So what, what is that next step for people? Because I think this is part of the issue is that we can’t see the trajectory of, honestly, like I think so many parents just need a one, two, three. What are my steps? Can you give us a little bit more of an insight?

Dr. Laura: And I want to say that all of this is really clearly outlined in my workbook, my book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, taught the theory and gives you some tips about how to do it. The workbook is that cut and dry step-by-step, but I’ll just. I’ll just say, so I call that “Stop, Drop and Breathe,” what we just did. Stop. Drop your agenda. Breathe, right? And what research shows is that gives you a choice. You’re moving back into the present moment. You can, it gives you a choice about not getting hijacked, but you’re still pretty angry. Your body is like, flushed with fight or flight hormones and neurotransmitters and you’re still ready to throttle somebody, right? So at that moment, at that moment, you may need to take more than one breath, right? Stop, drop and breathe might be 10 breaths and it may be that you need to turn away.

You know, here’s the overflowing toilet and you’ve got the baby crying in the other room, you’ve got your toddler. Really what you might at this point do is lift up the toddler out of the room, shut the bathroom door and, and go to the baby, like bring, say to the toddler, “the baby’s crying. We need to go get your sister,” you know, as I used to say to my son, when he was four, “your baby’s crying, what does she need.?” And we would go get her and he would, you know, so at that moment you might be too angry at your toddler to even be nice to them. And so, so you might, you need to make sure they’re safe, but they’re not going to fall down the stairs if you leave them alone to go with the baby, but you need to find a way to not indulge in your anger. But you have a choice now. And really the choice is, are you going to be acting out of your anger or you gonna act out of compassion. So I, to me, it all boils down to love and fear.

Every choice at heart is either love or it’s fear, so in this case we’re going to go with love because we took that deep breath. If it was fear, it would be, Oh my goodness, the plumber’s going to cost this much money and now this and now that, and you’d have a whole cascade of fear coming at you. We’re not doing that. We took the deep breath. We shut the door symbolically and physically – you know, actually, literally. So now we’re choosing love. Even though we’re angry at the toddler for doing this, we’ve told him before and not to throw all that stuff in the toilet and he knows better.

Okay, so we choose love and we try, we say, and maybe the baby’s not crying and you can say to him, “the toilet overflowed.” Maybe if you’re calm enough, you can say, “the toilet overflowed. Oh No!” Right. Which allows you to express a little of the… You’re not just being totally calm and collected because you don’t feel that way. That’s not authentic. He would know it’s not right, or true. It is an emergency on some level, but no one’s dying and it’s not as important as what your toddler froze up feeling like what kind of a parent you were, right?

So, “oh no!” And your toddler looks at you with big eyes and you say, “the toilet’s broken. It doesn’t work now. Did you see the water?” Maybe maybe you reached under and turned off the water underneath before you walked out of the room, if you had the wherewithal to do it, but now you still realize you’re still mad and what you need to do is calm your body down and there are, because it’s still pumping out fight or flight hormones and neurotransmitters.

So there are two things you can do. One is you change what you’re thinking because remember, every thought you have, and we have thousands in a minute, basically. Every thought you have creates emotions. So if your thought is this toddler is going to be a criminal, everything I tell him, he does the opposite. What’s he going to be like when he’s a teenager? Oh, no, right? Imagine what emotions are going to be feeling – all kinds of fear, right? We’re not trying to go there, we’re trying to go to compassion, so now we have a different thought.

Okay, let’s reframe this: he is a toddler. He’s acting like a toddler. Oh, he is a toddler. No wonder he’s acting like a toddler and maybe even… maybe you can’t go this far at this moment, but maybe even, the baby has an ear infection and the baby’s been on my lap all morning and I wasn’t really engaging with the toddler and I left and sort of unsupervised. I mean give my best as a mother to meet the needs of everybody. I can’t always do it, but maybe there’s some contribution that I made to this. That also can really help us if we can allow that and the only way to allow it is not to guilt yourself. The only way to allow it is if you immediately go, no, I didn’t. I was a good mother. That’s a defensive reaction because we can’t even go there. Right?

Ayelet: Or the other side, which is, I did this, I’m at fault. I’m guilty, right? It’s somewhere totally different that we’re going. It’s the love and compassion that we’re going, for ourselves, for our children…

Dr. Laura: Right, and what’s different is that there’s no blame. You’re looking for someone who’s gonna blame. Most of us were trained when we were young – “who did this!” you know, but actually, and it makes us feel a little more in control and a little more not wrong, right? It helps us from some of the shame and blame – the blame helps us get out of the guilt and shame. It’s not useful! Shame is not useful. And even guilt can be useful once in a while, but in this case it’s not useful. Maybe you’re going to learn something about your child that needs a little more supervision even though they seem so grown up compared to the baby.

You know, so I think the point is that you said what the parents do at that moment, change your mind, right? By reframing the thoughts that are leading to the emotions – that can change everything on a dime. And let some of that emotion. What are emotions? Emotions, are physical sensations. You know you’re feeling an emotion because your throat gets tight or your heart starts pounding, or your fists are clenched, or your breathing gets shallow. It’s all a physical sensation and we learn to interpret that as a certain emotion, like fear and excitement basically are the same profile, but we interpret it differently based on the context. Right?

So at that moment when you’re feeling that big emotion and you’re angry at your toddler and you’ve stopped and dropped and breathed, and you try to change your thought, you’ll probably need to let out some emotion, right? Because they’re still stuck circulating your body, shake out your hands, run them under the water, you know, if you can and everything’s safe and you don’t have an overflowing toilet. You could say to your toddler, this was such a frustrating morning. I need to dance out these feelings. It’s the best thing in the world to have a dance party, you know, turn on the music – dance. Show your toddler constructive ways of handling big emotions.

Ayelet: Yeah, very nice. Thank you. So… You mentioned a few great resources and then I think obviously there’s so many, but you mentioned obviously your book Peaceful Parenting, and the workbook portion, which I think is a great thing for families who are looking for that, that sort of piece by piece.

Dr. Laura: The book is called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, just so people know it’s not called Peaceful Parenting.

Ayelet: Thank you, yes, and then the other one was the work of – you mentioned another wonderful professional?

Dr. Laura: Orange Rhino, Sheila McCraith. Yeah, she’s great. If you’re looking at emotions for young children. I love Aletha Solter. She’s one of the first to say… I think she came out of reevaluation co-counseling, but I wouldn’t say that’s what she does. She basically took those ideas that emotions are a message we need to let ourselves feel them and express them, and she applied that to young children from a preschool and then parenting perspective, so she’s got some great work out which includes a lot of games. Games to help children work through big feelings that they have.

Ayelet: Well, thank you so much, Dr. Laura and thank you to all of our community lab members who are here listening live. We are going to continue the discussion and open up for Q&A session with you guys in just a minute, but for everyone listening from home or on the go, thank you so much for joining us and we will see you next time.

Positive Discipline and Brain Development in young children Find that here! Helping Infants and toddlers understand feelings Find that here!

The post How Infants and Toddlers Learn About Emotions appeared first on Strength In Words.

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