What is emotional development?

Emotional development is a set of behaviors that are acquired as a person grows and interacts with their environment. The stages of emotional development are not always easy to identify, since it is not known when it comes to an end and becomes complete. What is known is that it is during the youngest age when the foundations are laid, and they determine to a certain degree the rest of the aptitudes and abilities that will be had in adulthood.

Since emotions play a fundamental role in life, proper development must be promoted with great care. From the moment we are born we have certain capacities to respond emotionally to our environment, but the stimuli to which we expose ourselves will determine the ability to show feelings in certain situations when we grow up.

The emotional development of the child from 0 to 6 years

One of the stages ranges from birth to the age of approximately 6 years. In turn, this can be divided into smaller stages. For this reason, the emotional development of children from 0 to 6 years of age is usually fragmented into 3:

  • During the first 2 years, affective development and trust in others is evident. The baby learns to play and interact with other people, begins to distinguish the faces of his relatives and those he does not know. When the first words start to appear, you move on to the next stage.
  • From 2 years of age you begin to speak and be aware that the body can be controlled. At this stage there can be very rapid mood swings, and they may even seem a bit stubborn because they want things to go their way. They are also very attached to their parents and fear being separated from them.
  • Up to 5 or 6 years the development of the child is centered above all on the game. When they begin their preschool years, they learn to socialize and collaborate to achieve their goals. They also begin to compete and feel good about their triumphs, or somewhat frustrated with their failures. At this stage, fears such as fear of the dark may appear.

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Beginning at 6 years

But understanding what emotional development is can go beyond 6 years, although the first are crucial for the rest of life.

During the school years, you learn to be aware of mistakes, as well as to express your emotions in a more mature way. The sense of privacy and individual capacities also occupy a part of the thoughts, which begin to be more abstract.

Adolescence is probably the most turbulent stage in development. Freedom is sought, although it continues to depend on the parents. Personal identity is forged while trying to fit in with your closest group. At approximately 16 years of age this stage is completed and the skills appear to be complete, although many of them can be improved or learned as adults.


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