Even newborns will pick up on your emotions – your happiness, sadness, love, concern, anxiety and anger. But putting these emotions into words is much harder for your child to master.
At 12 – 18 months, your child is just starting out on the road to understanding the basic building blocks of relationships ~ love and trust. Because you have showered him with affection and responded to his needs, he knows that he knows that you and the rest of the family care for, love and will protect him. He’s watching how you treat other people and is learning from this how he should treat others. So if you want him to become a kind and helpful person, make sure you are setting a good example.
Help your child learn words to express his emotions. Label his feelings:
- If he’s upset because another child is playing with his toys, you might say “You feel angry about that, don’t you?” But let him know that he can have the toy back later and that it’s good to share.
- If he’s upset because Daddy had to go to work, you might say “You really miss Daddy, don’t you? This makes you sad.”
- If he is laughing as he plays with his sister, you might say “Oh, you two are having so much fun! You are so happy!”
Show your child how much you love and care for him. Give him a safe, loving home. That’s the best way to raise a happy child!