Think back on your childhood. It can be tinged with various emotions that can be so confusing. The nervousness of boarding the school bus for the first time, the first day of school, first argument with a friend, parents arguing, learning to interact with other students, maybe moving unexpectedly, etc.…Did your parents comfort you, talk with you, validate your emotions, help you express them appropriately, or provide solutions? Children experience stress and need an outlet just as adults do. Research shows that early emotional competencies are greatly associated with positive outcomes later on in life. Establishing acceptance for different cultures and languages help children feel safe and secure, laying a foundation for healthy social and emotional development. During younger years a child’s awareness of the complexities of their emotions grows quickly. It is vital that children get a grasp of how to understand, regulate, and express their emotions in order to be expressively healthy and make rational decisions. Afterall, emotion is a crucial part of everyday life, socialization, communication, and decision making. Having a greater understating for how to react to emotions will lead a child to be more knowledgeable of empathy, be more adaptable socially, and build healthy work and personal relationships.
Children are born with the desire and need to connect with people around them. Parents and teachers play a vital role in this process. There is an assumption that mothers, or women in general, are more emotional and express emotions more freely than fathers or men. This can have an impact on the way spouses communicate with each other in regard to their child’s emotions. The fact of the matter is that fathers and mothers both play a fundamental part in a child’s emotional development and upbringing and have to be supportive and collaborative. The following link is to a wonderful website that provides a ton of information for parents in fostering healthy and social emotional development in their child’s life. The site breaks age groups down , providing practices to:
· *Create a Predictable, Nurturing Environment *
· Support Children in Developing Social Skills
· Recognize and Talk About Emotions
· Encourage Positive Behaviors and Use Positive Discipline Practices
There are numerous other resources for parents and children. The following links contain information and resources for children who need emotional support and guidance in Arizona.