Three Words Your Toddler Needs to Know

Three Words Your Toddler Needs to KnowToddler that is upset.

We’re in the thick of toddlerhood with our very independent (almost) three-year-old. All the clichés about three-nagers are unfolding around us daily. Our little guy has lots to say and a strong-willed personality that he inflicts on his older siblings and parents daily.

Being the youngest of four means you have to be scrappy and sometimes our toddler can be downright demanding, but we’re working on manners and patience over here. One thing I learned is with my other kids is just how frustrated little ones can get when something doesn’t go just right or when they cannot communicate exactly what they want or need. I find this especially true during the “I Do It Myself” stage when all they want to do is be independent.

Unfortunately for their bodies and brains, they can’t reach everything, fix everything, or communicate everything that they would like to. Toddlerhood means a ton of intellectual development, observation (and opinions), but not necessarily enough words to express them.

The Three Words You Need Your Toddler to Know

When I saw my son struggling with frustration and starting to throw tantrums, I started repeating his new mantra to him: “Mommy, help me.” He learned it pretty quickly and has started to employ it some. Not only does it help my son to slow down his tantrum, but it allows him to vocalize the words to trigger someone else to jump in. Sometimes I will even stand aside when I can tell he’s getting a little irritated with something (as he is “doing it himself”) just so that he can feel independent. Then he can realize on his own if he needs help and ask for it. Hopefully, this helps reduce the full blown frustration tantrums as much as possible! Allowing independence is so important at this age, and my toddlers truly want it. But it’s also perfectly fine to jump in and help to fix a toy, skip the YouTube ads, or open a snack.

What other toddler tips do you have for communicating with your little one when they’re overly frustrated with something?

Rachel Harris Ledet
A New Orleans native and entrepreneur, Rachel is a mom of four with an active schedule. Rachel maintains a daily balance of running her own marketing firm, 30|90 Marketing, managing her kids’ schedules, and maintaining extracurriculars including coaching dance, volunteering, and occasionally teaching courses. Rachel lives in Mandeville with her best friend and husband Lenny, daughters Addison and Amelia, stepson Luke, and son Tucker. With a family of six and a million balls in the air, Rachel keeps things light by continuously learning, spending time with amazing friends, blogging, finding any route to a concert or outdoor festival, and planning her next getaway with her husband. A sense of humor can get you through almost anything, so she tends to surround herself with fabulous and very funny people.


  1. Hi RL! There is no one perfect solution I’ve used but I do try to help him solve whatever it is by showing him how I’m fixing something or that it’s ok to get help. More than anything I just stay calm and encourage him that he can do things. (He loves to be independent). I also just say “I can help you if you want me to.” Often it’s just him agreeing to needing help that changes his mood. Hope this helps!


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