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Emotional Maturation of the Child

  • Post category:Emotions
  • Reading time:9 mins read

How Positive Emotions Affect Child Development in General?

The intimate connection of emotions with other psychic functions is already observed in childhood. The younger the child, the more complete is its behavior, imbued with emotional reactions. Thus, the experience of success, makes children’s motor skills more lively, and depression and other negative emotions, cause slower movements. In the development of speech, the child classifies under the same name the things that have the same emotional meaning for it. Among the various stimuli, the child notices those, that are in line with its current mood. The more it is overwhelmed by positive feelings, the better it remembers, that is, the easier it is to reproduce memorized material. The child’s judgment depends on whether the phenomenon to be judged is experienced with a sense of comfort or discomfort. The success of a child in intellectual work depends on its emotional contact with the examiner, but also on the general affective climate in which the child lives. The influence of emotional factors on other psychological functions of the child, is best manifested in the learning process. Strong positive emotions can motivate a child to learn so much, that it quickly masters material that will be adopted much more slowly and worse if the emotional stimulus remains lukewarm or even negative. It is known, for example, that a schoolchild, learns a subject with as much diligence as the teacher knows how to interest it in it. A child’s success in school is only partly a reflection of its abilities, the pedagogical skills of teachers and emotional relationships in the family also have a significant effect on this.

How Emotions Influence a Child’s Intellectual Development?

There is a relationship of mutual influence between a child’s emotional and intellectual functions. As emotions change a child’s intellectual activity, they also depend on its level of mental development. Children of the same age and different mental abilities are quite different in the form of emotional reactions. A more intelligent child better understands the essence of a phenomenon, better understands the relationship between cause and effect, and faster and more completely notices what is favorable for it in a situation and what is not. Therefore, it reacts more sensitively to what is harmful to it, so the reaction of fear in some dangerous situations will be stronger in it, than in a weaker intellectual child, which may not even notice danger. – Frances B. Holmes, “An experimental study of the fears of young children”, Teachers college, Columbia University, 1935.

How Intelligence in a Child Affects the Understanding of Emotional Concepts?

A more intelligent child is more susceptible to aesthetic experiences, it better understands the tragic and the comic. It is capable of being frightened in advance in anticipation of an event. However, sick emotional attitudes can equally cloud the intellect of both the mentally more developed and the less developed child. Both children are equally sensitive to circumstances that hamper their spontaneity. Thus, Dr. Madorah E. Smith found that feelings of inferiority were equally distributed in children at all stages of mental development. It is characteristic of a child that its emotions often prevail over reason, and emotional experience sometimes has a stronger influence on its behavior than intellectual content.

How a Child’s Ability for Quick Emotional Change Helps It?

The child is very sensitive in its emotional reactions. It reacts with fierce affects to stimuli to which an adult may not react at all, or will do so in a much milder way. But childhood affects, especially of a small child, are short-lived. As much as the child is suddenly upset, angry or sad, it soon calms down. It easily loses, but also establishes emotional balance much faster than adults do. Moreover, the child relatively easily changes emotion from one affect to its opposite: from anger to joy, from laughter to crying. It defends itself more easily from negative emotions than an adult would do. This gives it the opportunity to quite unconsciously resist to some harmful environmental influences. Many children develop into less negative people than the negative environment in which they grow up in. Here, they are obviously protected by some innate psychological resilience that to a certain extent, ensures a healthy personality development. Even the most resilient child will succumb to the very severe negativities of the environment.

How the Ability to Change the Emission State Quickly Helps the Child?

If a child develops in a mentally healthy environment, its emotional reactions become more mature as the child matures. This means that the child is less and less likely to react in an extreme way; its emotional reactions acquire various degrees of intensity between “everything” and “nothing” – between extreme peace and extreme anger, between maximum enthusiasm and complete indifference, etc. A small child reacts instantaneously, impulsively; its affect builds directly on the stimulus. The older the child, the more able it is to delay the affective reaction and to restrain itself. At the same time, it becomes possible for it to better cope with emotional burdens, i.e. various objections, reprimands, punishments, failures and the like. In short, increasing emotional maturity allows a child to more and more successfully control, and manage their emotions.

How Does the Child Benefit From Reaching Emotional Maturity?

Emotional maturation also consists of the child becoming freer from its original helplessness, so it becomes more and more independent. In this regard, it is less and less exposed to the various frustrations and fears that crucify the helpless being. By freeing itself from dependence on other people, the child can enjoy its own strength more and more and gain more self-confidence and security in the face of life’s tasks, difficulties and burdens.

How a Child’s Intellectual Development Helps It to Control Emotions?

In the beginning, the child emotionally reacts only to momentary experiences. Mental maturation makes it capable of embracing its past with emotional reactions, and then anticipating the future, both in a positive and in a negative sense. Intellectual development enables the child to overcome momentary obstacles and failures by expanding its life situation without major excitement because it becomes able to subordinate the achievement of smaller and closer goals to the realization of more distant, but also more significant goals. Emotional contacts become more numerous and varied as the child gets older. The child is initially in an emotional relationship only with the parents, siblings and possibly another family member. Later, this contact is extended to individuals outside the family circle, to playmates and at school, and to other educators or adult acquaintances. This significantly enriches the emotional life of the child and increases its ability to adapt to different people.

How Emotional Exchange Helps a Child’s Emotional Development?

A significant component of emotional maturity is a person’s ability to give as much to the people around him as he receives from them. But, a small child receives a lot and gives a little. Therefore, the pace of its development, in terms of achieving a balance between the emotional ability to give and to receive, is an important measure of the overall pace of emotional development. Related to this is the ability to identify not just with parents and siblings, but also with a larger social group, and to get involved in its activities.

How a Child’s Empathy Develops From Emotional Maturity?

Emotional maturation allows the little being to endure the inevitable difficulties of life without affective shocks and negative emotional reactions. The child is increasingly able to feel sympathy for other people, to understand them and to enjoy their attitudes towards life and behavioral motives. Then the child better understands what life’s joy or unhappiness means to someone.

What Are the Benefits of Emotional Maturity in a Person’s Sex Life?

If a child enters adulthood with an appropriate degree of emotional maturity, it develops the ability and aspiration to become a full-fledged sexual partner and parent in a psychological sense. The ability to fully surrender to sexual pleasure, the ability to connect deeply with a sexual partner, and the ability to be a good parent are very significant traits of an emotionally mature person.

What Are the Characteristics of an Emotionally Mature Person?

An emotionally mature person cannot be required to always be free from affective conflicts within themselves and from negative reactions to the environment, such as fear or aggression. But they can be expected to have a more or less realistic attitude towards themselves, to have a relatively objective insight into the motives of their behavior. At the same time, it can be expected that they will treat the people around them in a predominantly constructive way and that they will connect their aspirations, thoughts, emotions and actions into a harmonious whole.