Q:

What is emotional development?

A:

Emotional development refers to a child's growing ability to regulate and control emotions and to form secure relationships. It differs from cognitive development, which readies a child for school, in that it prepares a child to take on a greater degree of responsibility for his or her internal state. Growing scientific evidence shows that a child's experiences during the early years play a significant role in emotional development.

A child's emotional development is important because it provides a foundation for social development, empathy towards others and the resolution of conflicts without physical aggression. Those children who do not develop emotional maturity are at risk of forming unhealthy attachments, experiencing peer group rejection and suffering from mental illness. Studies have demonstrated that the emotional climate at home and the emotional regulation displayed by parents and caretakers affect a child's emotional development.

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