Sadness is a fact of life. Everyone feels sad sometimes. Some situations are a little sad (a broken toy) and some are really really sad (a pet dies).
The first step in helping your child work though sad feelings is to help him put a name to the feeling.
Your toy broke! I'm sorry, I can tell by your face that you're feeling a little bit sad.
Step Two: As your child continues to develop, you can talk more about feelings and begin to identify where they come from. Were your child's feelings hurt? Did he feel sad because something didn't go his way? Help him put a voice to it.
I saw that Jacob took your toy and then wouldn't give it back. You looked sad. You did the right thing asking an adult for help.
Step Three: Help your child differentiate between "big deals" and "little deals".
Not getting to use the red marker first is a little deal. If a friend takes your marker while you are using it, that may be a bigger deal.
Children can generally learn to solve "little deals" on their own. "Big deals" may need more intervention from an adult. If your child comes to you with a "big deal", try to respect his opinion, even if you don't agree. Peas that touch the potatoes on his plate might be a little deal to you, but he may see things differently.
If you feel like something is a "big deal", you can ask Mommy to help you. I may be able to show you that its not a big deal after all. We can solve the problem together!
Sadness is a big feeling and one that your child will feel many times in his life. The key is to teach his how to deal with sad feelings in a productive way. This is a building block to greater coping skills in the future.
Let Them Fly!