Social and Emotional Growth of Children

The early years of social and emotional growth Most children will follow the same pattern in their growth whether it is in their physical progress or their social and emotional growth. These changes are spaced out throughout their growing years and it is not necessary that all children would have the same pattern of growth and change. Their physical growth would be widely linked to their diet and play patterns, whereas their social and emotional growth would be influenced by the environment they live in both familial and social. And this social and emotional growth is the aspect we are concerned with in this article.

Early Childhood

This is the period between 6 and 9 years when the child is still not fully exposed to the world and is still widely dependent on family or parents for guidance. This is when the child starts developing self esteem and they start worrying about what others, especially peers and those of their own age, think of them. They are even at this stage vastly influenced by parents and any conflict on advice they receive from them and that which they gather from their peers is likely to cause confusion and worry. Parents would do well to be aware of the child’s confusion and must understand the reasons for the child’s uncertainties.

Children at Ages Between 10 and 12 Years

This is when the children try out their independence and begin to test the authority of the parents. This is because they them selves have not formed their own judgments and are looking to find the parameters that are acceptable to their parents or those in authority over them. This is also the age when they start developing their own circle of friends, start being concerned with their physical appearance and start developing social skills necessary for friendships in school or on the playground.

The difficult teen years: Young Teens and Their Social and Emotional Growth

This is when children start looking for independence but would still look for parental or authority approval for their actions and behavior. They start becoming people in their own right and look to gain acceptance from their peers. They are more concerned with acceptance from their peers, and could form deep friendships and probably also get concerned with romance. They start realizing their sexual differences and get concerned over these changes.

Older Teens on the Way to Becoming Adults

This is the age when children exhibit their independence and start resenting any guidance or advice given to them by parents, especially when this competes with what they learn from their peers. They would prefer to form their own judgments and set their own standards for behavior, dressing and even diet. At this stage parents can only be patient and advice caution if the teen is going wrong. The acceptance of that advice depends on the ties formed by the child with the parent and the parents own social behavior.

Parents have to learn to accept that their children are people in their own right and have their own standards once they reach the teen years. It is only such understanding and the setting of correct examples that can influence children so that their social and emotional growth goes in the direction that is desired.