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LOL! Emotionally Intelligent Toddler

LOL! My husband & I went to our first parent-teacher conference. Why am I laughing about it? Our daughter was 2-3/4 years old. It cracks me up toddlers are getting mini-performance reviews. Makes me a little sad too.

We came with tons of questions. Likely overwhelmed her teacher. And, a friend busted into the conference room twice (in the most polite, Midwesterner way possible) to let us know we went over our time limit. Yes, I'm aware of the "oops, I didn't know you were still here" trick;)

The main feedback. Our toddler is highly emotionally intelligent. Humble brag, baby! Apparently what this means at her age is:

  1. She can help other students struggling with emotions.

  2. She can negotiate a schedule for playing with hot toys. Ha! Who the heck knows where she learned this?!

  3. She can play up or down in a way that is appropriate for whatever age group she engages with.

This shocked me because she loses her precious little mind the minute we walk in the door at home. The dog finds cover. She told people to "get out of her way" at the grocery store with the mini-carts a few weekends ago. I've never seen people scatter so fast and avoid eye contact. Yet, she's sweet, cares about others, and has a meltdown sometimes too. She's human! She's learning. I'm proud of her. She uses her voice.

What I don't understand is how to keep encouraging her to use her voice while teaching her she can't scream at strangers. Or, aggressively push a cart into them. Whoops!

Toddler pushing a grocery cart.  Learning self-awareness in public.
My toddler pushing her cart through the grocery yelling, "Get out of my way!"

I don't want her to shrink. I don't want her to stop trusting herself. But I do expect her to be kind to others.

I expect the same from myself. But, I tend to err on the side of being too nice at my own expense. Lost that voice, that I desperately want my daughter to keep.

I'm working on bringing it back. To demonstrate the behavior I want for my daughter and myself.

It's quite clumsy so far. It causes fights with my husband because my wording isn't quite right.

"I need you to respect my time"... a little harsh, when I could have said, "That doesn't fit into this week's schedule. With more notice, I think I can figure that out next time."

Or, it's not direct/clear enough. "Let me see what I can do." Sounds like, "Sure, I'll figure it out."

I used to get high marks for emotional intelligence & communication at work. I had finesse. But, I want to bring that same energy home. Much like my daughter. I'm learning. I'm human! #boundaries #learning #playingwithboundaries #emotionalintelligence


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