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UNDERSTANDING AND FOSTERING CHILDREN'S EMOTIONAL REGULATION :


Koretz, Jasmine. “ADHD Anxiety Treatment and Autism Child Psychologist North Lakes.” The Psychology Hub, 11 Mar. 2022, thepsychologyhub.com.au.



Emotions are an integral part of our human experience, and while some are innate, many are learned as children grow. Emotion regulation plays a pivotal role in the social and emotional development of children and adolescents, with parents playing a crucial role in this process.

The emotional climate within a family can significantly impact a child's emotional development. A secure parent-child relationship fosters emotional support and safety, allowing children to freely express their emotions. On the other hand, overly harsh, controlling, or permissive parenting can hinder a child's ability to regulate emotions effectively.


Cognitive regulation, influenced by involved and responsive parenting, enables parents to recognize their children's emotional cues and provide supportive responses. Positive parenting, characterised by warmth, support, clear rules, and limits, helps children understand expectations regarding emotional expression at home.


Children's emotional experiences evolve with age:

Infants: Infants rely on pre-wired emotional responses expressed through cries to avoid discomfort or seek pleasure. Sensitive interaction with carers helps infants learn how to manage their emotions and communicate their needs.


Toddlers: As toddlers grow, they begin to associate specific emotions with different situations. Parents can support emotional development by encouraging children to identify and name their feelings. Moral development and coping skills also progress during this stage.


Childhood: Children in this stage experience a wide range of emotions, with their emotional reactions shaped by validation or invalidation. They become more aware of appropriate emotional expressions but may still struggle to articulate their feelings.


Pre-adolceescen: Peer relationships take precedence, and children seek independence from their families. A balanced approach involving responsibilities, rules, praise, and affection can boost self-confidence and resilience.


Adolescence: Adolescents navigate complex social interactions, experimenting with emotions and seeking peer approval. Healthy adult relationships and guidance help them cope with stress and make independent decisions.


Emotion regulation is a multi-phase process involving the identification of emotions, understanding their triggers, and learning self-management. Validating a child's emotions as normal and manageable is essential in this process. Modelling appropriate emotional reactions is also crucial, as children tend to mirror the emotional behaviours they observe in adults.


In summary, fostering emotional regulation in children is a dynamic and evolving process that begins in infancy and continues into adolescence. Parents, carers, and the broader community play pivotal roles in supporting children as they navigate the complex landscape of emotions and social interactions, ultimately preparing them for a successful transition into adulthood.



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