How Emotions & Emotional Needs of a child affects their behavior?

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).

Why emotions matter? Understanding Emotional needs & Child behavior

Screenshot from CCTV footage at school/Watch all school stories on my Instagram highlights

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.


Why emotions matter? Understanding Emotional needs & Child behavior

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.

Why emotions matter? Understanding Emotional needs & Child behavior


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.

Reference –

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.

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    Richa Kaushik October 12, 2018 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I was eagerly waiting this one. I really appreciate how wonderfully you take up such sensitive topics. As a blogger and as a mom too…you r benefitting many out there. Pls do share something about hitting habits in toddlers which I m facing as well as observing in other babies too.
    Thoroughly loved this one 💗

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    Shubhreet October 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Really informative and helpful post ya! Specially given how to have explained it with your personal experience and I think, all parents go through these phases with our little ones and thats what it makes it not just more relatable but also implementable! 🙂

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    Neha October 24, 2018 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Emotional needs are something that a toddler can’t express well and busy parents need extra focus to understand the root cause. All this can lead to some cranky days, but love is the only way forward.

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    Deepa Rudraksha Jaisingh October 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    I would also like to add here that we can wait for the child to grow emotionally and as I am in UAE, the kids usually start nursery by the age of 3 years, by then they feel happy socializing and playing with other kids. Still, it depends on parents how they nurture his/her emotional needs simultaneously.

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    Neha Jain October 24, 2018 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this with me, this is such an important part of parenting that we need to know

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    Dipika singh October 25, 2018 at 11:32 am - Reply

    That’s what smart parenting is all about. That we undrrstand the need of a child’s reaction inatead of calling is tantrums or behavioural issues.
    Love your approach and thanks for explaining so brilliantly.

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    Milan October 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Your post doesnt sound preachy at all, rather you explained the emotional needs of a child in a beautiful way. I am sure many moms out there can relate to it.

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    Ruchi Verma October 27, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    You have class covered the sensitive topic with such an ease to understand the emotions of kids …such an informative post

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    Sayeri October 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    It happened with us also. When my son was 2.5 yrs old we got admission in a local preschool, first three months he cried every single day. Then all was good slowly slowly. Hr has made new friends and he was happy then this year we have admitted him in another school. Here things are okay but someti mes he cries in school bus and in class also.

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    Gunjan Upadhyay October 28, 2018 at 7:28 am - Reply

    so true, Emotional needs of a child need to be taken care smartly with great patience. It is something which they can’t express well and we as a parent need to address. that’s what parenting is all about, picking the clues from your child

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    Roma October 29, 2018 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I am so glad you brought thus one up Neha, I have been there and know how difficult it gets hit the parent.

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    Jatin October 29, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

    My toddler is under such phase that I really need to look why she is behaving in such way …this is really important topic for all parents.

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    Dev Joshi November 16, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    Really nice post & keep up the good work

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      Neha Sharma November 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Thank you 🙂

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