Deena Margolin and Kristin Gallant: Founders of Solid Starts

Monti Kids Favorites: "Big Little Feelings: A Toolkit for Navigating the Toddler Stage"


The toddler stage is a remarkable period of rapid growth and development in a child's life. However, it can also be a challenging phase for both toddlers and parents alike. Understanding and effectively managing your child's emotions during this time is crucial for fostering a healthy and positive environment. One valuable resource that has gained significant attention in the parenting community is Big Little Feelings. In this blog post, we will explore the merits of Big Little Feelings as a comprehensive toolkit to support parents in navigating the toddler stage with ease.

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Photo Credit: Big Little Feelings​​

"I have an MA in Early Childhood Education and over 10 years of experience in the field. But wow, being a mom and having my own toddler- sleep deprivation, housework and yeah…trigger central! The courses is everything I learned in graduate school packaged into easy to understand lessons with practical tools and scripts. Absolutely recommend."

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Big Little Feelings is a company that offers a range of services focused on supporting parents and caregivers in navigating the emotional and behavioral challenges often faced with young children. Their services aim to equip parents with the tools and strategies to foster healthy emotional development and strengthen the parent-child relationship.

One of the primary services provided by Big Little Feelings is their online courses. These courses are designed to address common parenting dilemmas and provide practical solutions that are rooted in child development research. They cover a wide range of topics, such as managing tantrums, sibling rivalry, separation anxiety, and promoting positive discipline. The courses consist of video modules, downloadable resources, and interactive discussions to support parents in implementing the strategies effectively.

In addition to online courses, Big Little Feelings also offers personalized coaching sessions. These one-on-one sessions provide parents with tailored guidance and support in addressing specific challenges they may be facing with their children. The coaching sessions are conducted by trained professionals who offer individualized strategies and advice based on the unique needs of each family.

Big Little Feelings also provides a variety of resources on their website and social media platforms. These resources include articles, blogs, and videos that cover various parenting topics, offering practical tips, advice, and insights. They also have an active community where parents can connect, share experiences, and seek support from one another.

Overall, Big Little Feelings aims to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to navigate the ups and downs of parenting young children, fostering emotional well-being, and nurturing strong parent-child relationships.

Understanding the Philosophy behind Big Little Feelings

Big Little Feelings is an expert resource founded by licensed therapists and moms, Deena Margolin and Kristin Gallant. Rooted in a deep understanding of child development, their approach combines evidence-based strategies with a compassionate and empathetic perspective. Drawing on their expertise, they provide parents with practical tools and techniques to support their child's emotional well-being and promote positive behavior.

The philosophy behind Big Little Feelings centers on recognizing and validating a child's emotions, helping them build emotional intelligence, and fostering effective communication between parents and toddlers. By acknowledging the toddler's feelings and providing guidance and support, parents can create a safe and nurturing environment for their child to grow and thrive.

Building Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a fundamental skill that sets the foundation for healthy social and emotional development. Big Little Feelings emphasizes the importance of equipping parents with strategies to help their toddlers navigate and understand their emotions. Through their comprehensive toolkit, parents gain insights into their child's emotional world, learning how to recognize and validate their feelings effectively. By promoting emotional intelligence, parents can foster self-regulation and empathy in their toddlers.

Big Little Feelings offers practical techniques such as labeling emotions, encouraging expression through play and art, and modeling healthy emotional responses. These tools enable parents to create an environment where their toddlers feel safe and supported in exploring and expressing their emotions.

“When your kid says, 'I hate you.' What they mean is, ‘I need you.’ ”

-Little Big Feelings

Dad comforting sad toddler

Communication Techniques

Effective communication is key to establishing strong connections and mutual understanding between parents and toddlers. Big Little Feelings offers valuable techniques to enhance communication during the toddler stage. Their resources provide parents with practical tips on active listening, positive reinforcement, and setting boundaries. By adopting these strategies, parents can establish clear and respectful communication channels, fostering a nurturing environment for their child's emotional growth.

Through open and empathetic communication, parents can help their toddlers develop their language skills, improve their ability to express their needs, and strengthen the parent-child bond. Big Little Feelings also emphasizes the power of validating a child's emotions, which helps them feel understood and supported, reducing the likelihood of tantrums and challenging behaviors.

Positive Discipline Strategies

Discipline is often a topic of concern for parents, and Big Little Feelings offers a refreshing perspective on positive discipline techniques. Their approach focuses on teaching rather than punishing, empowering parents to guide their toddlers through challenges while maintaining a loving and supportive relationship. By incorporating strategies such as redirection, natural consequences, and modeling, parents can effectively address unwanted behaviors and promote positive alternatives.

Big Little Feelings provides parents with practical tools to set clear expectations, establish consistent routines, and redirect challenging behaviors in a respectful manner. By avoiding harsh punishments and instead offering guidance and support, parents can foster a sense of autonomy and self-regulation in their toddlers.

Our Learning Team appreciates how Big Little Feelings aligns with the core principles of the Montessori method. Both approaches emphasize respect for the child, understanding their developmental needs, and fostering independence. Big Little Feelings' toolkit provides a valuable complement to Montessori parenting, equipping parents with practical tools to navigate the toddler stage effectively.

Montessori education emphasizes the importance of following the child's lead, allowing them to explore and learn at their own pace. Similarly, Big Little Feelings encourages parents to tune into their child's unique needs and support their emotional growth in a personalized manner. Both approaches recognize the significance of fostering a nurturing environment where children feel empowered and respected.

Founders of Big Little Feelings
Big Little Feelings
Mom and baby looking out the window

Navigating the toddler stage can be an exciting yet challenging journey for parents. Big Little Feelings offers a comprehensive toolkit rooted in empathy, evidence-based strategies, and understanding of child development. By focusing on emotional intelligence, effective communication, positive discipline, nurturing independence, and support for parents, Big Little Feelings equips parents with valuable resources to navigate this transformative phase with ease.

Through their philosophy and practical techniques, Big Little Feelings empowers parents to connect with their toddlers, understand their emotions, and provide guidance that promotes healthy emotional development. By incorporating their strategies into daily routines, parents can create an environment that fosters independence, emotional intelligence, and a strong parent-child bond. With the support of Big Little Feelings, parents can approach the toddler stage with confidence, knowing they have a comprehensive toolkit at their disposal.