Learning to Let Out the Feelings in a Safe Place at 2.5

Upset, she hits the air in front of me, then pulls her hand back and holds onto it. She looks miserable.

I hold my arms out in an offering. She stomps one inch closer instead of stomping away. I envelope her in an open hug, my arms circle her, but I do not pull her near

“I am your mommy bunny, you are my baby bunny, this is our nest.” I say, taking a snuggle time game that she plays and reminding her of the peaceful closeness.

She curls into me like my baby bunny does, pulling my arms snug around her. Tears run down her face.

We sit quietly and I stroke her hair, pushing the tear soaked strands back from her eyes as she surrenders into the sadness and spends some time releasing her feelings.

When her eyes open back up and she looks up at me, I whisper quietly.

“It is okay to be angry. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be frustrated. It is okay to be upset.”

Two and a half is full of rampaging emotions for this little one as she has things she wants to communicate but lacks the detailed vocabulary to be as specific as her imagination can be.

It’s okay to be angry, frustrated, sad, annoyed, upset, confused.

It is okay to want to be left alone and have some space.

It is also okay to curl up in someone’s arms and let it all out in a safe place.

She is learning that this option is there for her, too. That she has choices she can make about what she needs in the moment.

When she is done crying I ask her if she wants to try again to find the words she was looking for. She tries, pausing often, looking inside her head. She pieces it together in a way that she was unable to do before when her head was not quite as clear as she needed it to be.

See, baby girl? When you let out those strong feelings everything works better again.

2 thoughts on “Learning to Let Out the Feelings in a Safe Place at 2.5

  1. Sarah, You inspire, overwhelm and reassure me that its not just me who feels this way. You just somehow manage to put everything I feel into the most perfect and beautiful words and every time you post something I well up with warmth. We are 22 months with our girl and she is our world. I opted to WIO despite torturing myself for months about what I ‘should’ be trying to do because so many people offered advice and as a first time mum I added to that with my own pressure and desperate need to do my best. I am so glad I found your site having followed my instinct. Your words give me a little more confidence in myself and your loving ways and tips make me want to be a better mummy. I wish more mummies, grandmas etc could read what you write and see there is another way.My husband also loves it. Thank you so much for being there.

  2. Thank you for this! I’ve been struggling so much with my daughter who is almost the same age. It is such a struggle as I know she is trying to learn about the world around her and I am trying to prepare her for it. Some days we both have more patience for each other than other days.

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