Emotional Development

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Emotion is an opinion or affect that occurs when a person is in a state or interaction that is pertinent to the person. Behavior that expresses the pleasantness or unpleasantness of the position he or she is in, or the transaction he or she is experiencing emotions. In The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animal, Charles Darwin (1872/1965) stated that the facial expressions of humans are inherited, not learned; that these expressions are the same in all cultures around the world; and that they evolved from the emotions of animals.

Although, there is some truth to this theory, I do not totally agree with the findings. When children moan, we call it a frown. When they laugh we, call it a smile. When we say boo, we call it surprise. However, as a child grows older; the upbringing of the child and the environment can significantly change how the child’s reacts emotionally. From conception, to a child’s first day of school social development advances at a pace excelling that of any points of life. Infants thru preschoolers age in emotional regulation, bonds, awareness, motor development and language.

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These abilities form the basis from which all future developments create a foundation for the child. Whether that foundation is sturdy or fragile, depends on the quality of the child’s early environments and relationships. Human relationships are the building blocks for healthy development. Positive relationships profoundly influence a child’s ability to perform later success in school and life. There are four main groups of socialization involved in the existence of many children. The four key groups are family, school, peers and mass media. Religion is another group that has an impact on a child’s social development.

For the first few years, the household makes up most of a child’s social development. Once the child ages; the child will start school, new people begin to develop a child’s social circle. Family is one of the most influential groups of socialization. At the child’s level, social-emotional interventions should target children’s ability to communicate their emotions in appropriate ways, regulate their emotions, solve common problems, build positive relationships with peers and adults in their environments, and engage in and remain in challenging tasks.

These types of behaviors are ideal for preparing children for social and academic success as they progress from early childhood settings to formal schooling. Having a supportive family gives the child or children the foundation to grow on these targets. Positive families encourage a child’s social and emotional development by helping improve the child’s confidence. Accepting and respecting their efforts builds their confidence; and teaches the child to accept and respect others. Family can help the child to develop positive thinking by having a positive attitude.

Having a structured day helps the child feel confident and secure. Setting positive examples with the family behavior helps the child manage their own behaviors. Allowing children to express their feelings will help them to develop emotionally. Family should be the first to see to the needs of the child’s social, physical, and emotional development. The role of the family has the greatest impact on the child’s social and emotional development of all the other groups, without sound principles of family, learning to be social could be extremely difficult for the child who did not have a family.

Today’s developmental structure has two views, the continuity theory and stability in how children deal with other people; discontinuity view and change. The continuity theory believes in early parent-child relationships affect children even as they grow older. It is so vital for the family to help children receive their needs as an infant to young adult. The discontinuity view believes that as children grows up the relationship changes between family and friends. Thus, giving the family another reason to be involved with the child; is to instill the highest values in the child’s life.

Proving that early education facilities and peer groups can be just as momentous as a family; it helps a child learn to interact with people, build friendships, and reliability skills with other peers. Children enrolled in daycare have the opportunity to learn more about interacting with people, building friendships, and reliability skills with other peers. They also learn about sharing, manners and even solving problems. Children who stay at home entirely with mom or a babysitter simply are not exposed to these skills in the same way.

Daycare as well as babysitting has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of children attending early education are, they provide a structured environment. If the family has structure at home, the school will reinforce what the parent’s are teaching the child. Good daycare centers generally employ well trained professionals in child development; professionals who are able to strengthen and stimulate a child’s progress. This enhances the child’s social and emotional development and can help parents to expand their parental expectations of the child’s development.

Piaget stressed the importance of the environment in children’s learning seeing children as active builders of their own knowledge. Daycare centers can provide the social conditions needed to expand on the child’s development. However, Lev Vygotsky’s felt that child could learn a lot from each other through fundamental interaction and transmissions. Unlike Piaget, Vygotsky believed that encouraging and guiding the child enhances the abilities and discover new abilities. Daycare can provide a more challenging and stimulating environment.

Daycare centers include various activities, such as craft projects, reading, and playtime. In turn, daycare provides the child a greater freedom to pursue interests and exposes that child to an assortment of education programs. With daycare, a child will interact more with other children than a child that is at home with parents or caregiver. The disadvantages of early education are children exposed to more germs and more people this can cause the child to be sick more often. Children can pick up harmful habits from other children because of the different upbringings.

With daycare, children are less likely to receive that undivided attention as they might receive staying with the parent or caregiver. A parent who decides to put their child in daycare is striving for the same thing as the parent who decides to accommodate their child with a caregiver: a kind, loving, safe environment in which the child will thrive. Parents, who choose to place their child in day care, should be aware that there will be socioemotional development changes, due to peer groups. Peer groups can be a great way of learning how to be social able.

Though sometimes, peer groups can be proven to have an adverse affect on children. A peer group is a social group consisting of people who are equal in such respects as age, education or social class. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate. Peer influence is a considerably potent force in the life of a child. Peer bonding meets influential social needs, especially with the vulnerable child who feels disconnected with relatives and school.

Children who have been neglected instinctively search for someone to relate to, especially if this group meets the child need to be wanted. A neglected child will go to extreme measures of being a part of any group, even if it involves hurting themselves or others. Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial describes the internal processes by which a child develops personality during their life span based on their social interactions, as well as how they view themselves. According to Erik Ericson, children go through eight stages of development.

The stages of development can have two probable effects that can form the child’s life. The first stage, Trust v. Mistrust begins with the neonate stage. The child needs to feel secure. If the child does not feel secure during this stage, he or she could become anxious, insecure, and mistrusting of others around them. This causes a child to avoid socializing with others due to fear of being a criticized, or rejection by others. The second stage, Autonomy v. Shame ; Doubt, during this stage the child begins to learn independency. The toddler can walk and can communicate some choices.

In order to ensure a healthy development one must provide a secure, loving, reassuring surrounding for the child. Providing this for the child, allows the child to freely explore and apply it in a positive way. The downfall of not providing the child these needs during this stage is lack of self-esteem. This issue could reflect in the child’s choices and role in peer groups later in life. Initiative v. Guilt occurs in the third stage which is the early childhood to the beginning of middle childhood. It is during this phase that the child begins to engage in play and interact with others, especially their friends.

Children during this stage begin to make develop their meaning of direction and capability to make decisions, and take charge. If this growth does not happen victoriously the child may feel unworthy of making decisions. The success of development during this phase may be expressed through the child’s choice of peers, as well as their role within the groups. Industry v. Inferiority is the stage of development marked by a child starting, following through on, and assessing, their own task. These tasks contain both those done separately and with peers. During this stage, the child defines himself in relations of deserving to the greater whole.

The child is searching for accolades from others and self gratification. Failure to succeed during this stage can affect the child’s ego and understanding of self-esteem. This may have several negative effects on the child’s social life, involving a drive for withdrawal from others due in part to depression and sense of inadequacy. Identity v. Role Confusion applies to a phase in adolescence which the main concern of the child is transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. Allowing the adolescent to explore the environment around him or her will result in the child learning or formulating “who they are”.

This phase helps the child to figure out how they may live their grown-up lives, such as bonds, job, residences, etc. If the child experiences negative explorations or hindered, the child could develop a low sense of self. This may cause role confusion, such as gender uncertainty and low self-esteem, as well as antisocial behaviors Antisocial behaviors mainly result in bad peer relations and are likely to result in the child being excluded from any possible peer groups, or only being a part of other antisocial peers, which is likely to cause issues during adolescence, early adulthood, and perhaps throughout life.

Antisocial behaviors mainly result in bad peer relations and are likely to result in the child being excluded from any possible peer groups, or only being included in groups of other antisocial peers, which is likely to cause issues during adolescence, early adulthood, and perhaps throughout life. Intimacy v. Isolation is the stage transpiring in early adulthood. The child begins to decide if, and with whom, other than family, they will share personal feelings and events with.

This is realized through the examination of friendships aimed towards long term commitments. Positive development during this stage may induce the young adult to be even more comfortable with intimate partners and peers, as well as reinforced sense of assurance, security, and care for others. On the hand, if development during this stage is negative it is conceivable that the young adult may feel lonely, detached, deprived, and avoid bonds with others, thus restricting the interaction of positive peer relations.

Generativity v. Stagnation the child is now an adult and hopefully established. The adult should have decided on their jobs, having a family, and playing their role in society. During this stage, the adult’s main interest is to produce something of great importance to civilization and future civilization. The positive effects of the adult’s desire to finish this, is they are likely to become occupied with their society, as well as in their child or children’s existences or through enhancing and cultivating future generations.

Negative development during this stage can cause the adult to less contributing to civilization, thus becoming socially lethargic; due to dissatisfaction of the adult with them self. Mass media can play a crucial role on a child’s social and emotional development. The media connects the child to the world; reproducing the self-image of society. Mass media can play a key role on a child’s social and emotional development. The media connects the child to the world; reproducing the self-image of society.

Media lowers the child’s ability to act independently. Children are affected by media, they discover by watching, emulating, and making behaviors their own. Media’s impact on children has continuously intensified as new and more intricate types of media have been developed and made available to the public. Children can benefit from media because it can enhance school learning, opportunities to see or take part in conferences of public affairs, exposure to the arts through music and performance, and entertainment.

The media can affect early readiness for learning, enhances school learning, opportunities to see or take part in conferences of public affairs, exposure to the arts through music and performance, and entertainment. The harmful effects of media exposure to violent behavior, implied or direct sexual content, promoting of impractical body images, display of bad health practices as desirable customs, and persuasive advertising targeting children. Violence and aggressive behavior. Certain children being exposed to considerable amount violence in the media are in danger of aggressive behavior.

Other effects on children include desensitization to others’ grief and hardship and the tendency to be afraid of the environment around them, feeling that it is a dangerous place. Sexual content Sexual exposure can affect the child’s moral judgment. However, with parental discussion and clear expression of personal values mitigated the effects on adolescents. Body image and self-esteem. Media may influence the development of self-esteem in children through messages about body image.

Television, movies, magazines, and advertisements present images that promote unrealistic expectations of beauty, body weight, and acceptable physical appearance. Efforts to sell an image that adheres to certain standards of body weight and size may be a catalyst for eating disorders suffered by some adolescents. And, when adolescents fall short of their own expectations based on media images, self-esteem can suffer. Media theorists and researchers have determined that the effects of this trend are being seen in both boys and girls, with negative psychological affects.

Physical health and school performance. The average American child or adolescent spends more than twenty hours per week viewing television. Additional time is often spent watching movies, listening to music, watching music videos, playing video or computer games, or spending computer time on the Internet. This increase in time spent by children using media for recreation has been shown to be a significant factor in childhood obesity due to associated physical inactivity.

School achievement may also be affected as a result of decreased time spent on homework or school assignments. And parents often unintentionally contribute to this negative influence by using the television as a way to occupy their children’s attention–as a babysitter of sorts. Educators have expressed concerns that the passive nature of media exposure undermines the ability of students to be active learners. Conversely, there have been concerns that overstimulation due to excessive media use might be related to attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity.

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Emotional Development. (2018, May 06). Retrieved from


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