The study of the emotional development of infants and children, while relatively new, challenges the idea of whether emotional development is learned, predetermined, or a combination of both. Emotional development can be defined as the process of building self-esteem, self-awareness and self-confidence, as well as the recognition and understanding of various feelings and emotions. It is the expression of pleasure, surprise, interest and forms of distress which is an active and continuous process.
Helping children discover, develop and work through the various stages of emotional development in a positive way will enable them to persist in achieving goals and to face challenges with confidence. Emotional development, unlike other developmental skills, is not always that obvious because a child’s feelings and emotional experiences are generally private. However, when parents learn to recognize and read attitudes, facial expressions, body language, etc. expressing their baby, can give them a better understanding of what is happening in their baby’s world.
Parents who show warmth, compassion, understanding and a genuine concern to help others will produce children who will learn to show empathy and positive behaviors throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. But on the other side of the coin, parents who shape cold, selfish, angry, punitive and emotional responses will produce children who will struggle to be empathetic and devoid of positive social behavior.
A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that a child’s imagination also plays a vital role in the area of emotional development. The article states: “Imagination is an adaptive psychological function of emotional significance.” Imaginative play offers a world where children can express various emotions that actually help build future positive realities.
Play is the most natural and productive way for children to grow and learn. Educational toys can be a great resource for children’s emotional development. Many have a unique design specifically aimed at early childhood education and development. The benefits parents should look for when looking for toys that help their children’s emotional developments are toys that promote relationship building (children interact positively with other children) provide challenges for their child to work with, create an environment problem solving or stimulating imaginative play. These play areas can help build self-confidence and self-esteem in children.
Parents are the key to their child’s emotional development. It doesn’t matter if you have one child or many children, all children need a sense of comfort, security, love, trust, and encouragement. Teach your children how to build strong and positive relationships, help them develop empathy, compassion and a sense of right and wrong. Show them how to solve problems and deal with challenges in a positive way, and most importantly, encourage, encourage, encourage.
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Make With Love
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