Stages of Emotional Development

Emotional development is the process that a child undergoes until they become an independent adult able to make informed decisions. Normally, this transformation occurs in four phases – co-dependence, counter-dependence, independence, and interdependence.

This is the stage between birth and two years old. In this period, the child is entirely dependent on its parents for survival. This leads to the emotional development of a strong emotional bond between the child and its parents. This bond is also the basis of trust relationships later in the child’s life. Parents are advised from exercising to our much care on their children at this phase. The child should learn through experience that certain actions have adverse implications. For example, falling down repeatedly enables the child to develop skills on how to avoid such falls.

This refers to the stage between two and four years of age. Here, the child starts interacting with its surroundings. Because of the growing sense of autonomy, the child us likely to engage in several actions, albeit without knowledge of the possible outcomes. The parent has to balance between allowing the child some freedom and protecting it from potentially harmful activities.
Despite the characteristic curiosity of children at this stage, parents must avoid oversharing information because it can affect development. The parents must also show a good example to children.

Between four to seven years, the child learns how to function without depending on their parents. Regardless, children still need parental support and care. It is particularly important to focus on emotional development because it equips children with thinking and problem-solving skills.

This is the final stage of emotional development. It begins at seven years and extends into late teens. In this phase, the child achieves independence and also develop the ability to choose people with whom they wish to interact. Simply put, they have an interest in others while maintaining happiness and contentment in their personal activities.
Interdependent individuals enjoy external influences but are not necessarily obsessed with them. They also asses both sides of an argument rationally and choose the side that appeals to them the most.

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