Anyone familiar with toddlers knows how their moods can flip like a switch — one minute they’re the happiest little kids in the world, the next they’re the angriest because they dropped their food on the floor.
They are experiencing so much growth and change at once, which is bound to intensify their emotions.
Although it can be difficult, the best way to support moody toddlers is to have empathy for them.
One mother shared the heartwarming reaction her eldest son had after his younger sister had a temper tantrum that lasted over two hours, and we could all take some tips from him.
The six-year-old demonstrated empathy by encouraging himself and his dad to ‘take deep breaths’ during the three-year-old’s meltdown.
In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 240,000 times, Molly Mikos revealed footage captured by one of her indoor security cameras of her son Daniel sitting at the kitchen table amid his little sister Josie’s temper tantrum.
“After a 2.5-hour temper tantrum from the three-year-old, all of our nerves were shot,” Mikos wrote in the text overlay of her video. “Here’s how our six-year-old handled it.”
The toddler can be heard hollering and going ballistic in the background.
After a few moments of Daniel resting his face in his hands, he sits up, closes his eyes, and begins taking deep breaths while clasping his hands together.
Soon, his father approaches him from behind and asks him how he’s doing.
The poor dad also appears exhausted and stressed as he sits across from his son and buries his face in his hands while muttering, “oh my god.”
Daniel then takes it upon himself to offer a helpful suggestion for himself and his father to calm them both down.
“I think we should take some deep breaths together,” he says.
The father nods and together, he and Daniel focus on breathing for a few moments.
“Thank you, Daniel, you’re right,” the dad tells his son. “She’s crazy,” the little boy notes of his sister.
His dad apologizes to him for “losing his cool” during Josie’s meltdown.
“Mommy and I keep trying to do better, set a better example,” he says.
He pauses for a few seconds struggling to find the right words. “This stuff gets frustrating,” he admits.
At this moment, little Daniel demonstrates not only his empathy for his little sister but for his stressed-out parents who have reached their breaking point trying to soothe her.
Upon seeing his dad’s visible frustration, Daniel gets up from his seat to hug him while reassuring him, “it’s okay.”
“You’re the best little guy in the world,” his father tells Daniel while embracing him. “Do you know how much I love you?”
Other TikTok users praised Molly and her husband for raising their children to have empathy for one another.
“This just goes to show how much of a great job your doing!!!” one user commented. “Toddlers are hard and the fact your six-year-old was able to empathize and communicate shows it.”
“Not me sobbing at 2 AM because this is the healthiest parent-child relationship ever,” another user wrote. “Keep it up. Y’all are doing awesome.”
“I think how he responded shows how good your parenting is going. We always only think of the moments we lose our cool and not the good examples,” another parent shared.
“You got me crying as I rock my baby boy to sleep. I hope he grows up to be like your son,” another added.
Being a toddler and being in a family of a toddler can seem impossibly challenging at times. When it all feels overwhelming, keep little Daniel’s words in mind.
Anyone can if a young child can reserve empathy for his emotional little sister and parents. Even if it means you need to stop and take a breather.