Emotional Needs of a toddler (Part-2)
Hey guys, I know I kept you all waiting too long for this post on emotions and child behavior. I want to blame the #momlife for that. That’s the easiest excuse which fits everywhere! Isn’t it? Just kidding!
In the first part, I shared a little background of why I am writing these posts on the emotional needs of a toddler. With this series of 3 posts, I want to share my experience with all the parents whose kids are in the age group 1-3 years and go to a play school.
You can read Part -1 of the series here.
Nemit was 2.5 years old and was going to a playschool since last 3 months. He was well settled in his class and used to get really excited every morning to go to school. For a child, who is otherwise happy to talk about his school every day suddenly starts acting weird definitely needed an immediate attention (please read Part 1 to know the details).
But because Nemit was too young to express his feelings in words, it became a challenging task for us to find out the reason behind his behavioral change. Parents are the one who is really close to their children and any change in the behavior of a child or a sudden outburst of emotions can be easily detected by them.
Emotions are a part of human nature. Anger, sadness, frustration, fear are as normal as feeling elated, calm and happy. But to understand the reason behind these emotions, parents need to pay attention to a child’s behavior.
One day, Nemit completely refused to go to school. We were confused as the reason could be anything. Just a phase or he wanted a break from school or he was having some emotional concerns or maybe he was just looking for attention from us.
We decided to keep a watch on him during his school time using the CCTV live streaming facility provided by the school.
Almost 20 days later and after many brainstorming sessions, we somewhat understood the reason for his behavior. This time also Google came to our rescue and we came to know about the term emotional needs of a child. We trusted our instincts and went deep into the research to get more understanding of the topic.
And then, we, along with Nemit’s playschool teachers started working on it. This is the most important step when dealing with emotions. Detecting a problem is one thing, working towards fixing that problem and finding a solution is what that matters the most.
Before I tell you more about our observations, let’s see what are the emotional needs of a toddler and how it affects their behavior.
What are the ’emotional needs’ of a toddler?
It is quite easy for parents to understand and meet the physical needs of their children. But, the emotional needs of a child may not be as obvious. That’s why it becomes even more crucial for parents to understand and acknowledge the emotions of their kids.
Young children need unconditional love from their parents, encouraging words and support from their teachers and acceptance and approval from their friends to grow emotionally strong. All this helps in developing self-confidence, high self-esteem and a healthy emotional outlook on life for kids. You may read more on this here!
A child’s good mental health helps them to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills.
Every child has some basic emotional needs which if not met effectively can result in behavioral changes. The most common ones are-
- Need for unconditional love and acceptance from parents
- Encouragement, praise, and support from teachers and peers
- Freedom to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes
- Appropriate guidance and discipline for correcting behavior instead of using harsh language and spanking
- The need to be heard and understood
- Understanding their mood changes and dealing with them politely
- Need for safe and secure surroundings
- Accepting negative emotions and understanding the reason behind such emotions.
Understanding and fulfilling these basic needs of a child is very important for their mental health and emotional development. We noticed that we lacked somewhere in fulfilling some of the emotional needs of our son which led to a drastic change in his behavior. However, we are happy that we could find out the reason behind his crankiness, frustration, and fear and could take appropriate steps in resolving these issues.
In the next post of the series, I will share the incidents in detail that probably lead to certain behavioral changes in Nemit during this time period.
Are you parents/caretakers aware of your child’s emotional needs? Are you mindful of your own actions and behavior? or Are you always there for your child when they go through an emotional stress? Answer these to yourself.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do share with me in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family.