How do Emotions in Childhood Develop



The development of emotions or feelings begins in infancy. This refers to positive emotions (pleasure. happiness, contentment, love. etc..) as well as negative emotions (fear, anger, anxiety, depression, unhappiness. et,:. ). The infant is born helpless and depends for the satisfaction of his needs entirely on his mother and father. He is horn into the world with certain hereditary and temperamental qualities. The development of his emotions will depend upon the nature of the interaction between him and the person who supplies his needs, usually the mother.

Inconsistent attention. stimulating or threatening behavior, punishment and hostility will give the child a sense of fear and mistrust of his environment. Sensitive mothering, with reasonable satisfaction of the emotional needs of infancy, will establish a sense of basic trust in the environment. The mother, as the recipient of signals of need from the child, has a responsibility in taking care of those needs. Her failure to do so produces in the infant feelings of anger, helplessness, insecurity, futility, and even despair. The groundwork of stable emotional development occurs during the first six to eight months of life. Overwhelming anxiety or trauma during this period can severely maim the emotional development of the child.

If a child is treated with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If he lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident. If he lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative. If he lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If he lives with honesty, he learns what truth is. If he lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If he lives with security , he learns to have faith in himself and those about him.

If he lives with acceptance, he learns to love.

If he lives with friendliness, he learns the world is a nice place in which to live.

However. if he lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If he lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If he lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty.

And if he lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.

The emotional climate which a child experiences in his home, school, and outer world molds his development.