Toddler's Talk With His Mom About His Tantrum Has People Stunned & Applauding — 'This Baby Knows Emotions Better Than Me!'

"Today I had a hard time doing my emotion," he told his mom as all of TikTok's hearts melted.

Toddler talking about his tantrum with his mom TikTok

Emotions can be difficult enough to talk about for adults, let alone little kids.

One little boy on TikTok's skillful navigation of his feelings has left people stunned — not to mention teary-eyed — and sparked a conversation about children's emotional intelligence.

People are deeply moved by a toddler's sweet conversation with his mom about his emotions.

The youngster is only four years old, but he's got an understanding of emotions that most of us would need decades of therapy to grasp.


The little boy told his mom she hurt his feelings by not letting him play outside. His mother has taught him to think about making "smart choices" when he is feeling emotional, and the tyke seems to have been listening because he used the same tactic on his mom.

RELATED: A Toddler Overhears Mom Talking On The Phone About Being Sad & Consoles Her The Only Way He Knows How



"Today you did not make a smart choice," he tells her, "so you hurt my feelings by not going outside." His mom clarified that not being allowed to go outside was "a consequence" for something he did. "But after I was a little sad, and I was a little bit upset," he said. "More than a little."


His mom then validated him by saying that "we all get upset sometimes" and we all "don't get what we want all the time." The little boy agreed, adding, "Mama also don't. Papa also don't." But he acknowledged that it's not quite as easy to manage for little ones. "It's hard for babies to do that. They're still babies. They don't understand."

The toddler then owned his feelings and owned up to getting angry at his mom.

To explain himself, the toddler referenced a moment earlier in the day when his sister broke a plate and his father seemed to get angry. "I told papa to stop, breathe, and make a smart choice for papa," the little boy said, sounding excited by the fact that the intervention had worked with his dad.

But then he changed directions, owning up to the fact that while his dad made a "smart choice" with the broken plate, he didn't when he was told he couldn't go outside. "But earlier I chose to be a tiny bit mad," he told his mom. "But after a while I was okay!" he said triumphantly with a big, proud smile on his face.

"Life is like that," his mom said. "We get upset, we get mad, we cry." "That's emotions, mama!" the little boy exclaimed. His mom then explained how we all feel better after we let our emotions out, to which the little boy replied, "Yep! Sure do! Even when you're upset, or angry, always different types of feelings."


He then did something even the most evolved adults sometimes struggle to do — he owned up to having misbehaved. "No, I was wrong today. I had a hard time doing my emotions," he said gravely. But his mom quickly let him off the hook. "It's okay," she said, "we're learning!" before giving him a big hug.

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Therapists say children's emotional intelligence is a vitally important developmental skill.

In a response to the little boy's video, therapist and TikToker @therapyrob said the emotional intelligence skills the little boy showed at such a young age are ones he spends most of his time trying to teach his clients. 



He went on to urge parents to "spend that time helping your kid to gain that emotional intelligence... Because if we just start with [teaching them] regulation, then we're more so teaching suppression."


Parenting guru and therapist Dr. Becky Kennedy says that because children aren't yet equipped to understand what they feel, their emotions can be not only confusing but deeply frightening, which is why they have such frequent outbursts. As she explains in the video below, validating their feelings even when they're at their worst and doing what we think of as "misbehaving," is vitally important to their growth.

Speaking with us in 2017, therapist and author Dr. Jonice Webb recommended three basic practices to use as a launching pad to promote children's emotional intelligence. "Know that your child’s behavior is driven by his feelings... set a personal goal to notice your child’s feelings regularly... [and] never judge your child for having feelings."

RELATED: Mom Yells At Toddler For Banging His Toy Because She 'Asked Nicely Too Many Times' & Says 'Gentle Parenting' Doesn't Work

People on TikTok were deeply moved by the little boy's emotional intelligence.

This all might sound super simple, but for the vast majority of us who were taught not to cry, or punished for getting angry for example, the little boy's calm understanding of his feelings — and the difficulty many of us have with ours even in adulthood — shows just how extraordinary his skills are. TikTokers definitely noticed.


"What the f--k," one TikToker said in a duet she made with the video, "why does this baby understand emotions better than me?!"



"This boy expressed his emotions more than men I’ve dated," another TikToker joked in response. "I need some life coaching from your child," another person wrote. "Is he taking appointments?" Many others felt like this little boy's skills will help him change the world.

With the way parents are changing their approaches to parenting nowadays, we can all feel hopeful that he won't be the only one.


RELATED: Mom's Video Of Her Husband Jumping In To Yell At Their Toddler When Her 'Gentle' Approach Didn't Work Sparks Debate

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.