Why do toddlers cry? Well that’s a very good question. When your baby becomes a toddler, different things will make her cry depending on how much sleep she has had, whether she is hungry, is she in a grumpy mood, in fact just about anything may set off the crying. She may be frustrated because she wants to do something she can’t – or you won’t let her. It’s best to try and address the problem before things spiral out of control. Offering a positive alternative or distraction can head the tears off at the pass and help them to move onto another thought or activity without any fuss.
Try not to disregard their feelings, they are very real to them and they are learning how to cope in different situations and they need your help to do this.
She may even have tantrums. Temper tantrums can be very upsetting to watch, and they can make you angry, too. But think about what it might be like to be a toddler.
Your Toddler’s feelings
When you are somewhere between one and two, trying to make sense of the world can be very overwhelming. You develop very strong feelings but don’t have the words to express them yet. Other people are bigger and stronger than you are, and they can make you do things you don’t want to do, like stop drawing on the walls with that permanent marker mum accidentally left on the side. Every day, things happen which you don’t understand, and you haven’t got the ability to work them out yet. You can imagine that you may feel a little out of control in this situation.
When you’re little like this, you may want something a lot, and sometimes you can have it, and sometimes you can’t. Or, you want to touch something, or play with something that looks interesting – and yet other people won’t let you. They take the interesting thing away – yet you are old enough to know that the interesting thing still exists.
As a child, the world is a huge and powerful place at times – and every so often, it all gets too much. You lose control, and you just can’t stop screaming, yelling, kicking and fighting. And mum or dad find themselves facing a full blown tantrum. If things have already developed to this point here are a few tips on what you can do.
- Stay calm while your toddler has the tantrum
- Make sure your toddler is safe and remove any objects that may cause harm.
- Try to ignore it as much as possible.
- Give her a cuddle afterwards when she’s calmed down and reassure her that you love her.
- Never ever give in to a tantrum – if you’ve said no, you must mean it.
For more information see Emotional Development.
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.