Frustrated toddler kindly asks mom for ‘alone time’: ‘Toddlers have big emotions’

A toddler is melting hearts with her emotional intelligence that shows she’s already wise beyond her years

Katy-Robin Garton is a filmmaker who began documenting her daughter Emi during the lockdown. She and her husband, known as “Papa” in her videos, are teaching their children, Emi and Elliot, to be in touch with their emotions. The parents want to be supportive of their kids’ inner life.

One video showed how Garton and Papa do exactly that. 


“We encourage emotional awareness by being there to support our child in their feelings” @janetlansbury #fyp #dramaticmoments #emotions #parenting

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Toddlers have big emotions,” Garton explained. “They are learning how to self-regulate. It takes time and starts with co-regulation. I’m still learning how to do this with Emi. By holding space for them to feel all the feels, we are supporting their journey.” 

The TikTok footage showed Emi requesting some “alone time” because she was “frustrated.” 

“Mama, alone time,” Emi said, shutting the door of her bedroom. “Mama, go away.” 

Garton left Emi alone for a while, then the mom asked Emi how she was feeling.  

“I’m frustrated,” Emi explained. “Papa… me frustrated. Mama, alone time.” 

The mother told Emi that “she can feel that way” and obliged the daughter’s request to be on her own. In the second part of the video, Garton revealed what Papa did to make Emi feel that way. 

“Emi is quite attached to me these days,” the mom said. “I had to answer an unexpected work call. Papa tried to play with Emi when she wanted to be with me. It’s all good now.” 

In the video, Emi and Papa had a heart-to-heart to reconcile the toddler’s frustrations. 

“Is Emi OK?” Papa asked. She nodded then requested a hug. Everything was finally OK. 

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