Emotional development is all about the way we feel about ourselves, other people and the things we do. Children have feelings of fear, excitement, affection, pride, jealousy and contentment. They show these and many more depending on the situation they are in at the time and who is there to support them. It is important for children to grow up being able to recognise and control their feelings through their emotional development.
Bonding is very important for a baby. The first cuddle after they are born is the start of the bonding process and gives them a sense of security, feeling they are wanted. They soon get to know their carer’s face, voice, smell and touch and form strong feelings for them. Babies often get very frustrated because they cannot communicate their feelings and have to cry to express themselves. There is a big difference when they are three when children are able to express their feelings and become more confident.
I will break down all the different stages into the infancy
Newborn to 3 months:
Responds to adults especially mothers face and voice
Smiles, concentrates on adults face during feeding
Very dependant on adults for reassurance and comfort, quietens when held and cuddled
Between 6 and 9 months:
Enjoys company of others and games like peek-a-boo
Shows affection to known carer, but shy with strangers
Between one year and two years:
Likes to please adults and to perform for an audience
May become anxious or distressed if separated from known adults
May use comfort object
Mostly cooperative and can be distracted from unwanted behaviour
Plays alongside other children
Three to four years:
Becoming more independent and self motivated
Feels more secure and able to cope with unfamiliar surroundings and adults for periods of time
Becoming more cooperative with adults and likes to help
Sociable and friendly with others, plays with children and more able to share
Beginning to consider the needs of others and to show concern for
Four to seven years:
Makes friends but may need help in resolving disputes
Developing understanding of rules, but still finds turn-taking difficult
Enjoys helping others and taking responsibility
Learns lots about the world and how it works, and about people and relationships Makes friends (often short-term) and plays group games
Needs structure and a routine to feel safe
When behaviour is ‘over the top’, they need limits to be set
During this life stage children learn to count, make decisions based on logic rather than their feelings, recognise words and develop their reading ability. They become more creative and develop a better understanding of the world around them. Constant questioning and listening to others helps children develop intellectually and learn about their culture and environment. They learn by watching others in a process called modelling and copy what other people do, including unacceptable behaviour. Children have to learn right from wrong and develop their understanding of what is acceptable and what is not.
During this life stage children develop their understanding of concepts. They learn to organise their thoughts so that they understand that objects may be different colours but they are still the same shape. From 7 years they begin to understand concepts of ‘more than’, and ‘less than’ when considering numbers and weights. They will know if their friends are taller or shorter than them. Children need to see and touch things to be able to understand them. They may still think that a long line of sweets has more than a small heap of the same number. It is difficult for children to work things out in their heads or imagine the solution to a problem.
Children experience a wide range of emotions. By the age of 5 or 6