“While happiness offers a lovely sense of well-being, excitement is a trickier feeling for youngsters to handle,” says Margot. “When toddlers are excited, they feel a little out-of-control, and a bit vulnerable. It’s a feeling that can tip over into being jittery and insecure – just how you might feel when you’re waiting to hear if you’ve got a job you really want.” That nervous tension might bubble up when your youngster has an invitation to a party, or if Nana’s coming over for tea. To help, join him in his excitement: “If your toddler can share his excitement with you, then it keeps this emotion feeling pleasurable, rather than tense,” says Margot. “If you’re excited as well, he knows it’s safe to be excited. So tell him that you’re looking forward to the exciting event, too. Say, explicitly, and make sure your tone of voice matches the words, ‘I’m really excited about the party!’” It also helps if you can find ways to link his excitement to the activities that your toddler is doing in the present moment. “By channelling his excitement into activities, perhaps that the two of you can do together, your toddler can enjoy the sense of anticipation, without becoming overwhelmed,” says Margot. If he can’t wait for the party, blow up a balloon ready to take with him. Or, if Nana and Grandad are visiting, suggest he draws them an amazing picture.