Emotional Regulation During Early Childhood
Emotional regulation is the ability of an individual to maintain their emotional states, experiences and statements and is vital for adapting to daily, academical and social life. In other words, it involves thinking in a structued manner on how to overcome feelings. Emotional skills that weren't developed sufficiently will negatively affect an individual's psychological health and social relations. Developing numerous social skills and preventing behavioral problems is possible with developing emotional skills of a child. The role and awareness of families when it comes to emotional health of children is vital for raising healthy, happy and succesful children. Parents serve as a role model for their children to give appropriate emotional reactions and express their emotions correctly. For a child to develop emotional awareness, it is important for parents to listen to their children with empathy and patience and to observe their behaviours. When a child's emotions are listened to with sincerity and closeness and deemed valuable by parents, children's emotional expression will be enriched and an increase will be seen in the trust and sharing between the child and the parent. Childhood period is characterized with its faster learning capacity which forms the basis for future periods. Apart from this, pre-school period is the period when a child's emotional perception capacity starts developing because the several cognitive developments in the child such as sense of individuality, linguistic capacity and analyzing the logic of the other party will make it easier to understand and express emotions. Identifying emotions and the ability to talk to other family members about emotions, discussion their causes and effect are main dynamics of pre-school period. When developing emotional skills, especially teachers, family and adults in close vicinity of the child should be sensitive to child's basic emotional needs such as being taken seriously, acknowledged, praised, encouraged, loved, respected, supported, trusted and consoled if necessary and should be able to fulfill such needs (Bowlby, 1997). Things families should do when developing children's emotional skills are listed as items below after reading through the related literature and studying relative researches: (Saltalı, 2013). · Families must be as consistent and decisive in their behaviours and attitudes towards the child. · They should be sensitive to the emotions felt by the child, if it is obvious from physical cues or attitudes that the child is undergoing an emotion, the child must be talked to about the emotion. You look sad, would you like to talk about this? and such · After watching a cartoon or reading a story with the kids, parents should talk to the child about emotions and feelings of the heroes and their behaviours as a result. · Parents must make an effort to know the child. Must know what does the kid likes and dislikes and take them into consideration. For example; praising a child in public who doesn't like being praised for his/her success when around other people can create a negative effect. While using methods fit for the kid will enable family to reach their goals as well as help the child feel valuable. · When a child is in need of talking about a subject, he/she must be listened to seriously. Act of listening should not be done as an additional activity on top of another job, the child must be listened to in person and parents must help make the child feel this. During the act of listening, it must be expressed to the child that his/her emotions are acknowledged and understood. · Parents must create opportunities to play with the kid. Since playground is the environment where the child can express his/her emotions the easiest, parents should benefit from it and help create an opportunity for the child to reflect his/her emotions. · The child must be given a say in domestic decisions, while making a decision the child's opinions and emotions on the subject must be taken seriously. · Parents must spend time with each of the child individually and specially. This special bonding moments will help strengthen the child-parent relation and communication and help the child express him/herself more easily. · The child's emotions must be taken seriously and accepted. Children must be encouraged to talk about their emotions.