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Six Reassuring Phrases For Toddlers

Toddlers really do get bad press for being emotional volcanoes, but within those outbursts is a child just wanting to be held, or told that everything will be fine (see my seven tips for calming toddlers).

Many situations that toddlers come across can be emotionally challenging for them. In those moments, our actions and words as parents can help them gradually overcome their inhibitions and fears, and learn to open up to experiences. Not all those experiences go as planned - sometimes there is pain, whether physical or emotional. That's why, a few words of reassurance can go a long way, when supported by the right actions.

Six Reassuring Phrases For Toddlers
Kaboom Pics

I'm here...


Sometimes, it's hard for toddlers to let go. They find many things exciting (like playground rides), but at the same time, they want to have you close. All they need to be reminded is that you are right behind them. Support this reassurance by being on stand-by at a comfortable distance. Over time, you will see that this distance will become longer, they will only need you in their line of vision, instead of right behind them.

It's over now!


From a toddler's perspective, many bad things happen. Like falls, or flu shots. You can say It's okay, but they are still hurting. Letting them cry over pain is completely fine, even in your arms. An important thing to remind your toddler is that what happened is behind them, and they can move on.

We'll come back (to this)...


It can be very hard for toddlers to let go of an activity they are really engrossed in, or if they are having fun. Reassure them by telling them that their toys will be there when they get up the next day, or that you will bring them to the park again.

Let's try it once...


Toddlers need new experiences. It helps them grow and thrive in their world. It shows them that they are capable of doing new things. Encouraging them to at least 'try' a new activity or a new food helps them to take that first step (or bite).

What do you want (to do)?


Very often, a toddler will cry when he or she feels unheard. Maybe you missed what they were trying to say, which culminated in a meltdown. I have personally seen this work, because it helps them focus on solving their problem instead of just crying about it.

I love you!


It may seem simplistic, but saying that you love them in stressful situations will work it's magic. Support this with a hug or kiss (or both!). Say it often, and show your love in whatever way it works for your child.

You don't have to use these phrases only when your toddler learns to speak. They understand well before they learn to talk. In fact, talking to your baby and toddler is the best way of building a trusted relationship and opening the doors to communication between you. Anticipate your toddler's need for reassurance, and you will help them grow into confident individuals.

If you liked this post, you may want to read Six Positive Phrases for Toddlers, and Six Kindness Acts for Toddlers.


Toddler Tips 5710434664807754411

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40 comments

Katie Markey McLaughlin said...

These are all spot-on in my experience. We use "Let's try it once" quite often because my son is naturally cautious (a good thing most of the time!). I always tell him that if he tries it once and truly doesn't enjoy it, he doesn't have to do it again until he wants to/feels ready.

Mike said...

Fantastic suggestions, Tarana, and I would be it's so frustrating for the toddlers at times because the adult doesn't understand what it being communicated to them. I really liked, " a few words of reassurance can go a long way..."!

A Rookie Parent said...

Great, phrases! I also use "Let's try it once" a lot. My daughter is very risk-adverse when it comes to trying new food. So I always say, "Put it in your mouth and chew once. If you still don't like it, you don't have to eat it." Most of the time, she turned out loving it and asked for more.

Tas D said...

Ahh I love these. They are really great "take a step back and reflect" kind of phrases for adults too. I find sometimes that we all forget that toddlers are learning and that's why they get so frustrated and we get frustrated and think they're playing up.

Kim Carberry said...

Fab phrases......I have used all of those and still do even though my two are not toddlers x

Research Parent said...

Great advice. I think all these phrases would be just as useful with my almost-5-year-old as with my 2-year-old. Sometimes I forget he's still little too.

Merlinda Little said...

Words that still works on my 4 year old son. They would never outgrew these words. This always brings them comfort and I think in a way us adults too still find comfort in these words.

Tarana said...

Yes, Katie, the 'try it once' is so important because that's how they can experience new things. I have seen many adults who lack this quality.

Tarana said...

Thank you, Mike! It's not easy being a toddler, when half the time, people don't understand you :)

Tarana said...

That's a great tip, Pamela! Must try that when my son gets older.

Tarana said...

Good point, Tas. They get frustrated easily, which is why we have to be extra patient!

Tarana said...

Oh, good, glad to know they are valid for older kids too!

Tarana said...

Good to know, and yes, they need so much reassurance at that age too.

Tarana said...

Rightly said, Merlinda!

Carol Graham said...

Words for any age and ay relationship, really! Good advice!

Lexis said...

A great post. My son is just starting to get into this age group. I will remember to use these as we embark on the adventure that is the toddler years :)

Tarana said...

Thanks Carol!

Tarana said...

Glad you liked it. The toddler years really are an adventure!

PL said...

I especially like "I Love You". In moments for frustration for all concerned, I like to remind my child as well as myself, the love comes first. Then I am more ready to have discipline that teaches, a solution that works for both of us, and a child who is more ready to work WITH me and not shut down because of feeling hurt or un-heard.

TheMissusV said...

This works not only with toddlers! Even bigger kids and adults!

Tarana said...

I think it's the most important phrase, and can't be said enough.

Tarana said...

You're right about that!

Caroline said...

Lovely post and so very true, the tantrums are really just their way of trying to express how they feel and as long as you remember that and don't just think they are being naughty deliberately then tantrums are much easier to deal with. Great tips Tarana! xx #sharewithme

Tarana said...

Thanks, Caroline, glad you liked it!

Let's Talk Mommy said...

What a lovely post and I couldn't agree more on all of these. They all work well with my two tots. It's hard for them to express themselves when sometimes even they don't understand their emotions. We are seeing this more and more with Missy Moo now and less with Buba as he gets older. Such a funny stage of life to go through. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round! #sharewithme

Tarana said...

Thanks Jenny, they need reassurance most when they can't clearly express themselves!

Susanne Remic said...

These are fab suggestions and we are already in the habit of saying most. We also say "I've got you" which my toddler repeats to us when she feels we need it- so cute! x x

Tarana said...

That's a good phrase to use, Susanne, and so cute that she uses it too!

Louise George said...

Great suggestions - I use a few of these regularly on my eldest - will also try using "it's over now" rather than "it's ok" where appropriate too. "I love you" is definitely an important phrase - love that my eldest now says it back to me too :-)

Tarana said...

Glad you liked them :)

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

My son has resorted to saying "I not have fun" when he knows we're trying to leave - I think because we always ask him whether he had fun as we're leaving. So now he thinks if his fun isn't done, we'll stay. We're switching it up and I like the idea of I love you and we'll come back to this. :)

TheMissusV said...

Totally agree on everything! Especially I love you. I tell my kids i love them everyday.

Deb McCormick said...

I have 6 kids and what you wrote is very true. Many times I can calm my kids down just by the way I talk to them. I have also found that calm talking instead of lecturing when they do wrong gets be much farther with them.

Stephanie Sprenger said...

Oh, that is such a great reminder! I think those are really helpful suggestions, and it is so important for our toddlers to feel that they are heard and understood when they are struggling with something. Love this. :)

Tarana said...

That's an interesting thought process Tyler has!

Tarana said...

That's so important, isn't it?

Tarana said...

So true about remaining calm!

Tarana said...

Thank you Stephanie!

Reena Lewis said...

I need to practice using "it's over now" and "we'll come back". Great suggestions.

Tarana said...

Thank you!

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