Freudian Psychology (Toddler Lessons: Part Six)

sigmund-freud-1153858_1280Welcome to Part Six of the Toddler Lessons series. Today we are studying Freudian Psychology.

Even if we ignore the Freudian slips (head in hands anyone whose toddler doesn’t say ‘clock’ when they mean to – that ‘l’ is awol every time), toddlers really nail the basics of Freudian psychology.

1. Psychoanalysis

(A therapy technique founded by Freud, involving the patient talking freely to describe exactly what is in his mind.)

Toddlers are fans of psychoanalysis. Mothers and fathers are forced daily into the role of psychotherapist by toddlers intent on telling the unfortunate parents absolutely every thought they have, as it happens.

2. Repression

(The process by which, according to Freud, unpleasant and traumatic events were often locked away in the unconscious mind.)

Repression is a common theme of toddler households. Parents of toddlers have typically repressed quite a lot. Every meal time. The current state of the living room. The time they received a bogey as a ‘gift’. What happened in M&S last Wednesday.

Toddlers, meanwhile, have repressed every instruction or request ever spoken by their parents. Being told ‘no’ is very traumatic, it must be relegated immediately to the unconscious mind.

3. Hysteria

(A condition used to describe patients displaying physical symptoms without physical cause.)

Toddlers are frequently found to be exhibiting symptoms of hysteria. Like, for example, throwing themselves on the floor, kicking and screaming, for no apparent reason.

4. Free Association

(A therapeutic technique encouraging patients to relate whatever comes into their minds, without too much concentration or any idea of where the conversation may go.)

Toddlers are excellent at free association. It enables them to get from ‘where’s my wand’ to ‘Grandma likes custard’ in no moves.

5. Your Mother

In Freudian psychology everything is, of course, famously about your mother.

For toddlers? Well: ‘Mummy…Mummy…Mummy…Mum…Mummy…Mummy…Mum…Mummy…MUUUUMMMMY!’
Moving on.

6. The Human Psyche

According to Freudian psychology, the human psyche is divided into the id (basic impulses, unconscious, pleasure driven), the super-ego (moral compass), and the ego (the balance between the id and the super-ego, the rational element). In a conflict between the id and the super-ego, the ego serves as the referee.

For toddlers, in a conflict between the id and the super-ego, the id beats the super-ego repeatedly with a stick, whilst the ego takes a nap. The result is the toddler’s decision to continue doing whatever he wants, regardless of consequences or social niceties. (This makes sense, of course, The id is, after all, the childlike element of the psyche. Toddlers are inexplicably childlike.)

7. Dreams

Freud believed dreams were about wish fulfilment.

Toddlers do not agree that dreams are about wish fulfilment. Toddlers have parents for that. Mummy will fulfill the wish of more biscuits if Mummy doesn’t want toddler shrieking to haunt her dreams.

8. Transference

(Unconscious redirection of feelings from one person to another.)

Toddlers display transference quite a lot, though it usually relates to requests more than feelings, and it’s entirely conscious. Typically, a request that has been denied by Mummy in transferred to Daddy. If denied by Daddy, the request may be transferred to grandparents, baby siblings, or random strangers on the street.


(Please Note: You may have analysed me carefully throughout this post and concluded I do not know much about Freudian psychology. You would be right. I blame my mother.)

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here


My Random Musings


  1. Min says:

    Haha, I thought hysteria was “womb madness” (say no more). I think that probably sums up a toddler though. I love the way they just say whatever is in their heads, although as mine STILL doesn’t speak, what is in his head seems to be mostly a collection of sounds! #KCACOLS

  2. Lee Gaitan says:

    This is so stinking brilliant! I would only add that my former toddler really believed in dream analysis, with me in the role of analyst of her never-ending dreams, recounted in excruciating detail every single morning. It was during this period that I mastered the art of sleeping while standing, with my eyes wide open. I even got to where I could chop vegetables like that without losing a finger. “It was like this thing, but it wasn’t the thing like the thing we saw that one time, and it turned into another thing, but then i thought it was still that other thing, remember, Mommy, that other thing, but you said it wasn’t real, that day with the balloons, but I think maybe it was and that dog was driving the car…” Oh, look, all the veggies for dinner are chopped!

  3. This is just fantastic! It’s great to see a positive and humerous spin put on what can be really challenging moments! The hysteria is something that really made me laugh even though I am dreading those toddler tantrums! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  4. Love this, such a clever concept for a post! Toddlers are clever little buggers aren’t they?! They always know exactly what to say and do to mortify their parents too. THanks for sharing with us on #fortheloveofBLOG

  5. I always leave your posts feeling enlightened, educated, and convinced that toddlers are in fact utter geniuses. Love the “gift”, in fact my next post is on this very topic following a very touching bogey / gift / mother in law’s sleeping mouth incident….
    Love it as always! Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter xx

  6. Saffy says:

    Mine went through a phase of yelling “Mummy! C*ck! Really BIG C*ck!” whenever we passed through the local churchyard. The shame. #chucklemums

  7. Brilliant!!!! A fabulous analogy, and analysis of the freakishness that is the workings of the toddler brain! I love this series, so enlightening and so funny!! You never let us down! I was nodding and thinking of my children in relation to each and every one!

  8. ShoeboxofM says:

    Where’s Oedipus / Elektra?

    We’re getting pushed apart if we dare even cuddle with a furious “NO! My papa, not nours!”

    That’s a Freudian two for one!

    Love these posts.


  9. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x) says:

    HAHAHA *insert laughing emoji here* This is SO true!! The hysteria one truly got me laughing out loud! I remember those toddler days so well! Loved this post a lot!

  10. Sonia says:

    Very silly!! Made me giggle. Think you could make similar comparison with teenagers……..may be one to revisit in 10-12 years time!! xx #BloggerClubUK

  11. Oh my goodness I am in a wrinkle! That was brilliant! I loved reading and kept telling my boyfriend to “Shut up and listen” so I could laugh between every few words I was reading aloud to him! #BrilliantBlogPosts

  12. This is spot on as usual Silly one! The Transference one really made me laugh…it’s so completely shameless. I say no, same question to ANYONE else even if I’m there saying ‘I just said no’! Suddenly ‘the Mother’ is invisible! Thank you for sharing with #FamilyFun x

  13. Meg says:

    Lol!! Love point 5. My daughter says ‘Mama’ approximately twenty thousand times a day. Made me smile the other day when I left her and my husband to it and heard her in the garden saying ‘Daddy … Daddy … Daddy .. DADDY!’ 😉 loved the post #brillblogposts

  14. Another hilariously true post hun! Yes to all of these. It is all about the mum for toddlers. And I had such a laugh at the receiving of gift part! Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK x

  15. Love this. So funny. I am shocked at how much I am like a toddler in this mature stage of life. Especially in expressing every thought I have as it passes through my brain. And the hysteria, especially when I don’t get my way. LOL

  16. Sarah says:

    Haha. I wish hysteria et al were limited to toddlerhood. Alas I find it has continued well into year 5 of parenthood. Liberal application of gin to mummy has helped. #fridayfrolics

  17. Hey Doc, how long does the hysteria phase last exactly? And what to do if they are, say for a hypothetical example, 6, and uh 8.5? Is that, hypothetically of course, normal per se? Oy vey! Great post! #FridayFrolics

  18. Emma says:

    Oh goodness! I hope he is wrong about dreams because I had the weirdest dream the other day! I dreamt that I had accidentally killed a man by giving him too much cake. I then didn’t know what to do so I asked reddit. Very strange dream #FridayFrolics

  19. I’m always gripped. I love the explanations – and often feel rather enlightened by them and then you deliver a stellar toddler punchline. #4 – you’re right -all toddlers are masters at free association, I still get quite a few of random nuggets from my tweenagers! I want to read about Freud now! Very funny post indeed #fridayfrolics

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