Listening to Angry Feelings


My daughter is two and a half years old and she enjoys changing her clothes many times a day. Needless to say this can be a little stressful after she has changed them 5 times in one day!

OCrying toddler girln this particular day, after the third change, I calmly told her she could not change her clothes again.

She immediately got very upset and began crying and screaming at me. I moved closer to her and she began to scream at me to go away. She was furious and did not want me near her.

I felt very calm for a change, and I quietly told her that I was going to stay there.

I sat on the floor about 4 feet from where she was. She cried and screamed at me to go away and I simply said, “I’m just going to stay here and make sure you are safe and that you are not alone.”

I said I wouldn’t come any closer to her but I was going to stay.

My daughter continued to cry hard and scream at me for what seemed like a very long time. I think it was at least a good 30 minutes although it felt like a lot longer than that. At moments I felt very hurt that she did not want me and I started to feel upset myself. Then she slowly began to move closer to me in a very quiet way.

She continued to cry and scream at me but she gradually moved closer and closer to me until she was in my lap. I just held her and she stopped crying. We were very close and cuddled with each other. At that point she was clearly in love with me and I was in love with her.

I cannot say what all her anger was about. Other than setting a limit on her changing her clothes, I was confused as to what might have caused all those feelings. However, she got to have her feelings and she got to have her say about coming closer to me. She felt really safe and that it was O.K. to have big angry feelings because I was right there.

Clearly the end result was a happy child and a closeness between us that was precious.

– a Parenting by Connection mom

When this mom listened to her daughter’s angry feelings, the anger faded away. Learn why listening to tears can be helpful in How Does Crying Help You and Your Child?

Click here to Access Podcasts about helping Children with Aggressive Behavior

Learn how Staylistening is different from Cry It Out

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