Par­ents and teach­ers play an im­por­tant role in the emo­tional de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren. As they grow older, though, other peo­ple in their sur­round­ings also play a part in their so­cial and emo­tional de­vel­op­ment.

Emo­tional de­vel­op­ment takes place in tan­dem with a child's ex­pe­ri­ences from birth through late ado­les­cence. Growth and changes con­cern­ing emo­tions oc­cur dur­ing this stage. Emo­tional de­vel­op­ment also oc­curs along with so­cial and cul­tural in­flu­ences.

All chil­dren dif­fer in their in­di­vid­ual de­vel­op­ment. Along with phys­i­cal and cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment are phases of emo­tional de­vel­op­ment.

While par­ents ad­mit to hav­ing lit­tle in­for­ma­tion on emo­tional de­vel­op­ment, they ad­mit that their ac­tions have great in­flu­ence on their chil­dren's emo­tional de­vel­op­ment.

In early child­hood, ver­bal skills and ver­bal rea­son­ing de­velop. Chil­dren at this stage are now able to talk about their feel­ings, as they learn how to ex­press them­selves ver­bally.

When they en­ter preschool, they are able to la­bel their emo­tions and learn about them by un­der­stand­ing fam­ily dis­cus­sions and ac­tions con­cern­ing emo­tions.

As chil­dren en­ter school, they gain a greater sense of self and an un­der­stand­ing of how spe­cific sit­u­a­tions can lead them to ex­pe­ri­ence emo­tions. They can ex­pe­ri­ence shame and can also be­gin to un­der­stand how an event can lead to mixed emo­tions.

School-aged chil­dren be­gin de­vel­op­ing ba­sic emo­tional cop­ing skills. They may ra­tio­nal­ize sit­u­a­tions and be­hav­iors or re­con­struct sce­nar­ios to make them seem less up­set­ting emo­tion­ally.

The abil­ity to sup­press neg­a­tive emo­tions is part of nor­mal de­vel­op­ment, as well as other in­flu­ences.

Ado­les­cence is con­sid­ered an emo­tional pe­riod of de­vel­op­ment. Although ado­les­cents be­gin to de­velop in­de­pen­dence from their par­ents and be­gin to dis­play so­cial signs of in­de­pen­dence, their emo­tional au­ton­omy is rep­re­sented by con­flict and of­ten neg­a­tive emo­tions.

One rea­son for the neg­a­tive emo­tions may be cog­ni­tive de­vel­op­ment of ab­stract think­ing abil­i­ties. So­cial prob­lems be­come more com­plex, and ado­les­cents look to their peers to help pro­vide a ba­sis for how to man­age the emo­tions they feel.

Fam­ily is­sues and other place a great deal of pres­sure on ado­les­cent emo­tions. This may give way to self-doubt or feel­ings of worth­less­ness. Ado­les­cents may feel pulled be­tween the close emo­tional ties they have with their par­ents and a need to de­velop in­de­pen­dent emo­tional re­sponses.

This is why as con­stant adults in our stu­dents’ lives, we should look af­ter them not just aca­dem­i­cally, but emo­tion­ally as well.

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