Emotional Development – a site for parenting help

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Emotional development should be started at an early age as soon as children start kindergarten and preschool so that their interaction with others will help develop them in both social and intellectual ways. Emotional development and intellectual development normally go hand in hand to help the child develop socially because it is the interaction amongst both children and adults that creates a health emotional state. The difference between positive and negative feeling towards any given situation may be due to emotional development. Some children respond very well to a multitude of different social situations and interaction which would suggest they have a strong emotional development while still many children today have quirks and ticks from emotional problems or trauma which causes them to have difficulty interacting in social scenes and find daily routine difficult to deal with. Some people lacking in emotional development are the complete contrast and suffer when their routine is interrupted. This is typically seen in children with autism who cope better when regular routine is kept.

From the age of 2 onward the child begins to test himself or herself and the boundaries that the world has put before them. This is standard child like behavior which is a good way to start the process of emotional development. Not all emotional development is done through interaction and children should be left to discover things on their own from time to time. Problem solving then becomes a strong part of their day to day life where for children every first attempt at routine or duty is a problem solving challenge. Positive reinforcement is encouraged for both good results and poor results and will encourage the child to persist in problem solving. Tantrums are a way of the child expressing themselves because words often fail them or for those more developed in speech they feel that words are not adequate to get the message across. Again positive reinforcement although at this stage is hard for a parent is considered the best way to counter attack the situation. If the child can be persuaded to talk about or signal the problem then emotional development has worked and the child will be less likely to tantrum again.

Impulse is another problem for small children and even teenagers that have not developed their social interaction skills have trouble with impulsive decisions. Parents need to implement boundaries which control impulsive behavior such as destruction, swearing or even stealing. These attributes are not socially acceptable and will cause trouble later in life if guidelines are not enforced. Emotional development is a sparc subject which affects many parts of day to day life beginning at an early age and continues for the rest of our lives. Even the elderly can be subjected to persuasion if they let themselves be manipulated so emotional development should be continuously worked on and emphasized.

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Exclusive Breastfeeding Leads To Better Emotional Development

Filed under: Emotional Development - 12 Jun 2013  | Spread the word !

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Researchers have recently found that exclusive breastfeeding can lead to better emotional development. Actually, what specialists found now is that breastfeeding may have an important role when it comes to the language, cognitive and emotional development of babies.

According to the results of this study, babies who have been breastfed until the age of 2, for at least three months, have better emotional development. This includes key parts of the brain, too. Children who were fed via other sources, except for breastfeeding, have a harder language, cognitive and emotional development. This includes both babies who were fed exclusively via fed formula or fed formula combined with breastmilk.


The same research indicated that the extra growth was much visible in the areas of the brain that can be associated with language and emotional function.

“We’re finding the difference [in white matter growth] is on the order of 20 to 30 percent, comparing the breastfed and the non-breastfed kids.” I think it’s astounding that you could have that much difference so early,” a researcher claimed according to patheos.com.

“We wanted to see how early these changes in brain development actually occur.” “We show that they’re there almost right off the bat.”


How did specialists reach these results?

It seems that for researchers to achieve these, babies were split into three different groups. They compared older kids with the younger ones, with the main purpose to determine certain growth paths. This is how researchers found that babies who were exclusively breastfed have the fastest growth. Naturally, children who were fed with both breastmilk and formula had experienced more growth than children who were exclusively formula-fed.

The results of this study can be quite important for new moms when it comes to their decision to breastfeed.

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Abused Women Avoid Emotional Connection With Their Children

Filed under: Emotional Development - 15 May 2013  | Spread the word !

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A new study has recently revealed that women who underwent traumatic experiences in their early lives are less likely to emotionally connect with their children. This means that moms who have been abused in their childhoods don’t talk with their kids about their own emotions. The study was performed by researchers from the University of Notre Dame.


So, the new study shows that moms who had been traumatized have a hard time talking to their children about emotional issues. According to specialists this means that they are suffering from traumatic avoidance symptoms, which makes them reluctant when it comes to talking about emotions. The avoidance to speak on such a subject comes from the fact that women will tend to link those emotions with the traumatic event they suffered. Abuse in childhood leads to problems dealing with emotions throughout the entire life.

“Traumatic avoidance symptoms have been shown to have a negative impact on the cognitive and emotional development of children,” one of the researchers claimed according to Nature World News. So, being abused has lifelong consequences on all women. In the most severe cases it can actually lead to the development of serious conditions such as cancers, heart disease, as well as diabetes. Stress plays a key role in this development.


However, this new study does not only show that there can be established a link between abuse in childhood and the incapacity to emotionally connect as an adult with your own children. The research has also shown that parents can be taught how to bond with their children.

“This research is important because it identifies a mechanism through which we can understand how maternal trauma history relates to her ability to effectively interact with her child. This finding also has implications for intervention work, since avoidance that is used as a coping mechanism is likely to further impair psychological functioning,” the same researcher explained.

This new study was presented at the Society for Research in Child Development 2013 Biennial Meeting in Seattle.

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Storytelling Helps Emotional Development

Filed under: Emotional Development - 25 Apr 2013  | Spread the word !

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A new study released in March indicates that storytelling can have an important role in the normal emotional development of a child. The study indicates that when moms tell more elaborated and emotional stories to their kids, they actually help their young ones develop emotional skills. Researchers also found that there may be some differences between the story telling style of mothers and fathers and their connections with their pre-school daughters and sons.


Widaad Zaman, from the University of Central Florida, and Robyn Fivush, from Emory University, are the specialists conducting this new study. The two tried to compare the different storytelling styles of moms and dads and their effects on children. What researchers wanted to find out was how each parent elaborated his story and how much children showed an interest in what they were being told.

Researchers established a focus group formed by 42 families who agreed to take part at this study. Participating children in the study were between 4 and 5 years old. For the researchers to reach the expected results, parents were asked to talk about 4 past emotional experiences of their children, as well as two past interaction the child had with his parent. The 4 emotional experiences had to be different. They included a happy, a sad event, a conflict with a peer, as well as a conflict with a parent. Each parent had to complete the same tasks, talking to his child, but on separate visits.


After conducting the study, researchers found that mothers elaborated more when talking about past events with their children, naturally compared to fathers. So, mothers commonly included more emotions and emotional terms in their stories, explaining to their children what everything meant. Communicating to the child seemed more natural, mothers tending to explain to their kids the importance of feelings in that experience.

This is how researchers reached to the conclusion that mothers can better help their children work and talk about their experiences, compared to fathers. Regardless of the type of experience we may be referring to, mother have the ability to help children deal with their emotions, overcome negative experiences, as well as understand positive emotions.


Naturally, this is not the first research trying to determine the effects that storytelling, as well as reminiscing and interacting with children can have. However, this is the first study which indicates that there is a difference in the extent to which patents elaborated a story. Well, the results of this new study are quite important having under consideration the fact that mothers are well known to pay a crucial role in the normal development of their children.

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Parenting Tips from Great Moms

Filed under: Tips And Tricks - 18 Mar 2013  | Spread the word !

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Every mother knows that parenting has its perks and that it takes certain skills to raise a child properly. Here are some life-tested parenting advice that come straight from the mouths of the experts – real moms who actually know what they are talking about and are aware of how important is the emotional development of a child.


1. How to gather helping hands

Trista Idoni (43), mother to Mallory (8), says: “Enlist everyone you can to help you. Just because you’re a mother, that doesn’t mean you have to be Wonder Woman. When my daughter was born, I called my sister crying. Hearing how overwhelmed I was, she came in all the way from Alaska and helped me set up a schedule, which was such a lifesaver! It takes a village to raise a child, especially a newborn, and you’re a better mother for asking for the assistance that you need.

2. How to help homework happen

Karen Schiff Freeman (37), mother to Rebecca (12), Jarrett (9), and Lexi (6), says: “As soon as my kids get home from school, I set them up for homework time, with each child at his or her own station in the kitchen so that they don’t mix up their papers. Then I find something to do in the vicinity so that I’m nearby for help if they need it, but not hovering over them. It’s a routine we stick to, so the kids know what’s expected of them every day.

3. How to win the sweets war

Emily Becker (39), mother to Jonathan (11), and Madelyn (4), says: “I serve my kids whatever I plan to feed them for dinner, including a small portion of dessert, all together on those plastic sectioned character plates (Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob are their favorites). Each area has chicken, rice, salad, and a Popsicle, or something similar. I don’t bug them to eat the veggies before the treat, so even if they have dessert first, it’s small enough that they don’t fill up — therefore they always move on to eat a nice amount of dinner. It works like a charm.

4. How to banish boo-boo fears

Betty Miliano (48), mother to Trevor (24), and Blake (17), says: “If the sight of blood terrifies your child, use dark washcloths to clean up cuts and scrapes. Better yet, try storing the cloths in plastic bags in the freezer — the coldness will help with pain relief.

5. How to sleep easy

Wendy Marner (42), mother to Wreece (12), Elijah (6), Thad (5), and Angelia (2), says: “Put the baby bassinet in the living room during the day, especially if you have other children. Your baby will become accustomed to the noises, and then she’ll be able to take a nap anywhere! When we adopted Angelia, we were making over our bedroom, so we had to put her bassinet in the living room. But it worked out great, because now she can sleep through the other kids playing and watching TV. A well-napped child is happier and makes for a happier mom too!

6. How to put nightmares to bed

Lisa Keddy (43), mother to Nicholas (6), says: “When your child has nightmares, here’s how to ward off ‘monsters’: Use a battery-operated handheld fan to chase them away, and fill a spray bottle with ‘Go-Away Monster Spray.’ Then lie in bed with your child and ask him what he’d like to dream about, suggesting pleasant things like sharing an ice cream cone or building a sand castle on the beach. This worked with my son, and now he sleeps through the night.

7. How to get feelings out there

Nancy Feingold (57), mother to Seth (26), Lindsey (24), and Adam (22), says: “When I had a cranky child on my hands, I’d swoop her into my lap and say, “It’s time to complain, so let’s complain together. Oh, I feel so angry, or hurt, or sad,’ hugging her the whole time and letting her be cranky. After a while, she felt soothed and ready to move on. Also, she learned to put words to her feelings.

8. How to make bath time a treat

Diane Kilroy (46), mother to Matthew (21), and Eric (19), says: ““When my kids were babies and it was time to bathe them, I dropped the bottles of soap and lotion into the warm bathwater. That way, when I lathered them up, they felt nice and warm and didn’t get a chill.

9. How to teach the value of friendship

April Wade (33), mother to Brittany (9), says: “My daughter is very social, and she’s at that age when her friends are on a revolving loop — I never know who’s in and who’s out. When she’s down in the dumps because a girl at school doesn’t like her, I’ll ask her about another girl who I’ve noticed she’s treated poorly. I comfort her too, but I want her to truly be aware of her responsibility: Being a good friend is more valuable than any amount of popularity.

10. How to prioritize family dinner

Pamesha Robinson-Joseph (27), mother to Nasheim (8), Tyrell (6), and Jocaharia (4), says: “I was having problems with my oldest son being rebellious, so I started enforcing family dinner with no TV, no phones, and no guests — just our family. We talk about school, homework, and other concerns the kids might have, and sharing these nightly times together has really improved my son’s behavior.

These great parenting tips come from real moms who have actually tried them with their own kids. If you are having troubles in any of the aforementioned situations, you might as well try them and see if they work with your children. Trying can’t possibly hurt!

References: WebMD

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The Emotional Development During The First Year Of Life

Filed under: Emotional Development - 19 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

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The emotional development of your baby will develop by leaps and bounds during his first year of life. Step by step, a baby will go from observation to active participation. Here are the things that will take place while your child is growing:

Month 1:

  • makes eye contact
  • responds to parents’ voice and smiles and cries for help


Month 2:

  • develops a social smile
  • studies faces
  • likes playing with other people and may cry when this stops
  • coos in response to sounds nearby
  • the first time when express anger

Month 3:

  • smiles at people and gurgles to get attention and to start a so-called “discussion”
  • imitates some movements and facial expressions
  • smiles back when parents or other people smile at him, but his smile involves the entire body


Month 4:

  • cries if play is disrupted
  • is amazed by children
  • laughs when is tickled and when he interacts with others

Month 5:

  • is assertive
  • can make the difference between family members and strangers
  • likes to play during meals

Month 6:

  • tire a toy fast, but will not tire your attention
  • temperament becomes apparent, becoming easy upset, active or gentle
  • recognizes his own name
  • is able to make noises such as squeals
  • cries and coos for pleasure


Month 7:

  • starts to know what “no” means
  • enjoys social interaction
  • tries to mimic adults
  • anger is expressed more and more strongly

Month 8:

  • can make the difference between unfamiliar and familira things
  • may be anxious or shy with strangers
  • can cry in frustration when he can’t reach a toy or doesn’t do anything he wants to

Month 9:

  • imitates the gestures of adults
  • smiles and kisses his own image in the mirror
  • likes to play near parents
  • may be shy or more sensitive in the presence of other children
  • looks at teh right picture when an image is named


Month 10:

  • anxiety caused by separation may start
  • self-esteem begins to develop
  • cautious of heights
  • responds to clapping or other type of positive recognition
  • shows moods such as happy, sad or angry

Month 11:

  • can be more uncooperative
  • tries to gain approval and avoid disapproval

Month 12:

  • shows a developing sense of humour
  • may have temper tantrums
  • clings to parents or one of them specially
  • fluctuations between being uncooperative and cooperative

Knowing in advance all these things, it’s very useful for parents as they know how to behave, calm and encourage their child. Taking the right measures at the right time, will help their baby develop emotionally the right way.

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How To Talk With Your Children About Death And Loss

Filed under: Tips And Tricks - 07 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

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When death or any other loss such as divorce take place, children need time to understand, to adjust and be ready for a lot of questions. Although you may pass through a difficult period of time, don’t get angry at your child. Remember that a child has just started to know this world and he has so many things to discover.


The loss of a lover person is like a storm, affection your child’s emotional architecture. Chidlren have less skills and less time to adjust to death and loss, so you have to help them. When death, separation are anticipated it’s easier for children as they have enough time to anticipate, think, analyze and slowly reshape relationships. Plus, the process will less painful for them.


During the grieving process, a child will ask you what is cancer, what is death and many other related questions. The primary emotion during such a sad event is the fear of the unknown and fear of the future. To prevent your children’s toughts be dominated by fear, stress and sadness, talk to him about as for a child there’s no “not thinking about it” or ” putting it out of their minds.”


There are children who won’t talk about a sad event, while others won’t not talk about it to other people. Nonetheless, grief is normal, but if it persists beyond six months, or the capacity of chils is compromised, professional help is a must.


Share your own feelings with your child about death or a loss. While you’re having these discussions with your child, try to understand what he feels and how he perceive a death or a loss.

Additionally, be ready to repeat the same information several times and to give examples to help them understand what is happening.

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Emotional Development And The Architecture Of The Brain

Filed under: Emotional Development - 15 Jan 2013  | Spread the word !

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Recent studies tell us that emotional development begins early in life and is critical of the development of overall brain architecture. It’s already known that right from birth, children develop fast abilities to experience and express various emotions and their capacity to manage a wide variety of feelings.


Nonetheless, emotional development is less recognized as a core emerging capacity in the early childhood period of time. Scientists tell us that the core features of emotional development include the ability to understand one’s feelings and thoughts, to identify them and also to comprehend them emotional states in other people.

Emotional development is built into the architecture of young children’s brains as a response to their individual experiences in the environments in which they lived. It seems that emotions are implied in many regions of the central nervous system.


Additionally, the emotional experiences of newborns and young infants start to develop right during when they interact with caregivers, such as holding, comforting and feeding.

Almost when they finish the preschool years, children with a strong emotional foundation are able to talk about various things, anticipate and the their awareness to manage daily social interactions. Thus, they’re able to better manage everyday problems and interactions.


When emotions and feelings are not well expressed and managed, thinking can become impaired. Even it may seem awkward, young children are capable of very deep and intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, grief, anger, but also joy and happiness.

Although is old news that young children have feelings, but now the extent to which they can experience deep emotional pain as a results of early losses and traumas in their lives. Nevertheless, the fact that prolonged emotional distress affects the architecture of a young child’s brain should raise questions for the society in which we live.


Therefore, focus on various skills shouldn’t be the only one purpose. There should also be a focus on emotional and social development. Additionally, child-welfare agencies that investigate suspected and neglected children, should include a complex assessment of the child’s developmental status, such as linguistic, emotional and social competence.

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How To Support The Emotional Development Of Your Child

Filed under: Tips And Tricks - 11 Dec 2012  | Spread the word !

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Children need a lot of care from their parents. They require both financial and moral support during their entire development. Even though some parents may consider that providing their children with financial support is the most important aspect out of these two, they could not be more wrong. Moral and emotional support are crucial for a normal social and emotional development of a child.

As a child grows and develops, his ability to deal with emotional issues also increases. Depending on how well you help your child learn how to deal with intensive emotional charged events, he will cope with stress successfully or deeply suffer from all changes that occur in his lifetime.


Below you can find some tips on how to support the emotional development of your child. Keep them in mind and you can be absolutely sure that your kid will enjoy a normal emotional development.

  • One of the main aspects that should be mentioned here is that you should start early to help your child develop a healthy emotional response system. Encourage your child all the time, no matter if the steps made are small. One of the most common mistakes that parents make is not allowing their children to be independent. You have to encourage all steps that your baby makes to independence. For instance, if your kid wants to prepare his own meals, you should let him, even though he may be too young for that.
  • Create a nurturing atmosphere in your home. Affection and understanding is all you need to achieve this purpose. Your child has to know that he has all the support he may need from you. Your son or daughter has to be sure that he or she can come to you with anything.
  • Avoid comparing your child with other children. Children are different and they all have their own rate of development. Raising a child is one of the hardest jobs in the world. There is no race. All children must follow their own rhythm on becoming emotionally secure adults.
  • Use positive examples in the relationship with your child. Children usually see their parents as a source of inspiration. If you deal great with stress and you constantly maintain a positive attitude, your child will easily learn that from your behavior.


Encourage your children to be open to you. Your kids should be encouraged to voice their ideas and easily solve stressful situations. Teach them how important it is to respect other children and adults. Encourage your kids to make a lot of friends, as they have an important contribution to social and emotional development, too. Being a great parent and sustaining the social development of your kids is not that hard. You only have to know some simple ways in which you can achieve this purpose.

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The Parents And Family Members’ Influence On A Child’s Emotional Development

Filed under: Tips And Tricks - 05 Nov 2012  | Spread the word !

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Many couples are about to have a baby. They are prepared very well: they’ve bought clothing, diapers, formula, toys and many other things. Unfortunately, many parents forget about their role in their children’s emotional development. Emotional development is an essential area that parents have to be very careful with. This type of development refers to a child’s ability to:

  • manage the way he feels
  • identify and understand his own feelings
  • manage the way he behaves
  • accurately read and understand the feelings of others
  • be emphatic
  • build and maintain good relationships with friends, family members and other people in general

Children that have all these skills, will have a successful personal and professional life. Parents and family members should pay attention to the following instructions:

1. Help their children identify emotions by discussing to their kids about what feelings are, playing games, reading stories and using various daily opportunities. Parents can explain their children how others may feel if their toy is broken, but there are many other examples.


2. Parents and other family members should teach their kids ways to cope with emotions, mainly if they are negative. Parents should also explain their children why it’s not right to hit others. They should also give them alternatives. This way, a child will learn to control his emotions and he will also know what to do when he is involved in various situations.

3. Children should also know about gender roles. Generally, parents do that by dressing their girls in red or pink and their boys in blue. Nonetheless, this isn’t enough. It’s very important, mainly as kids grow up, to know the differences between boys and girls. If they won’t manage that, they will be isolated by their peers or will interact viciously as they grow. Family members and parents can help their children do that through discussions, television shows and many discussions.


4. Helping kids put their feelings into words and encourage them to discuss about situations that make them feel happy, angry, worried or excited.


5. Communication is one of the most important things. Those kids who cannot interact or talk with others, will have to struggle socially. Children should know how to talk to other people, respect them and understand body language. All these things will help them have great social interactions in years to come. Additionally, they will have a positive attitude towards life and their communication skills will be improved. Obviously, this will help them with their personal and professional life.


Parents can become more bonded to their kids when their children are infants if they respond fast to their infant’s cries, respond generally in a positive way, guess what their child needs when he cries and spend more quality time interacting with their kid.

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Children Do Equally When Adopted By Gay Or Heterosexual Parents

Filed under: Emotional Development - 25 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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A new study has revealed that there are no differences between high-risk children adopted by heterosexual or gay parents. This means that high-risk children who have been adopted from foster home by gay parents have a similar cognitive and emotional development to the one of those adopted by heterosexual parents.

The results of this study show that gay parents have no negative influence on the emotional development of their children. The study, authored by Justin Lavner, was published in the October issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Actually, this is the first study which compares children from foster care, adopted by gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples.


This UCLA study traced the kids progress over time. No less than 82 children from Los Angeles County have participated at the study. About 22 of them were adopted by gay parents at the age of 4. Children were evaluated on a period of about 2 months, one year and two years, naturally, after being adopted.

The same study showed that all adopted children, regardless of the family with whom they were placed registered progress. Children showed major gains in cognitive development, maintaining similar levels of behavior problems throughout the years.


Researchers claimed that at the time of adoption children had numerous problems, including prenatal substance exposure, abuse and neglect. Kids adopted by gay and lesbian parents experienced even more challenges. These high risk factors were found by researchers in birth records, court reports and family services reports. However, all children ended up in the same place, which is quite impressive.

This study shows that gay and lesbian parents are able to provide nurturing homes for children with high risk, such as any other heterosexual parents. “There is no scientific basis to discriminate against gay and lesbian parents,” a lead researcher said according to Instinct Magazine. After all “children adopted from foster care by gay parents fare equally in their cognitive and emotional development as those adopted by heterosexual parents.”


Currently, there are no less than 104,000 foster children in the United States. The results of this study may be great news for high risk kids which currently are up for adoption.

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