Early Years Emotional Development

Early Years Emotional Development

We express our emotions very early on without much learning as it has great survival value. Human infants are born very prematurely compared to most other mammalians. They need to grab every opportunity to ensure survival. As you might have noticed emotions greatly motivate the occurrence of certain types of behaviors. For example, early infant-caregiver communications consist of reciprocal interactions; a series of give-and-take emotional expressions. These do not only function as the early building blocks for social skills, but they also enhance cognitive ability, for example, the ability to take the perspective of the other person, and to plan and wait for their turn. Enhanced cognitive ability paves the way for more complex emotions to arise as cognition(understanding of your environment) is the key to emergence of such more advanced emotional responses. Age typical emotional expression during the early years is a great indicator of adaptive mental health and well being and higher levels of emotional intelligence.

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