Children’s Emotional Development

Children’s emotional development: Challenges in their relationships to parents, peers, and friends Maria von Salisch. 2001, The international study of Behavioral Development.

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The article focuses on the relationships between children and their parents, peers, and friends and how they pose a challenge to the emotional development of the child. This article draws from both empirical and theoretical perspectives in identifying the challenges to the emotional development of the child. The relationships with the parents, peers, and friends have been looked at from the beginning of pre-school to the end of primary school age. The article also contrasts the relationships in the light of what challenges they pose on the various components of child development. It starts by looking at the parent-child relationships in the sense that contemporary theories put much emphasis on the role of mother and father in the development of childbearing in mind the kind of mutual investment they have made in their children. Parents play a big role especially in offering support to their children when in times of need. Parents come to the aid of their children during the time of distress and other times of need and this is especially vital when the resources of the children are overwhelmed. They, therefore, act as regulators of their children’s emotions. This kind of support has been noted to diminish with age as the children grow.

Parents also play the role of emotional teachers or coaches. This is by the virtue of the fact that parents possess more sophisticated knowledge and information than their children.

The review also points out that there exist structural limitations in the development of a parent-child relationship. Because parents are more advanced in their cognitive development, the author believes that they are not better placed to share in their children’s appraisal.

Concerning the influence from the peer group the review underscores the fact that peers relationship is a bit different from that of parents in the sense that in the case of parents, they have equal power unlike the case of peers who will differ substantially when it comes to an intimate relationship. Peers are indeed expected to have much influence on the emotional development of their colleagues. This is because they can better understand the emotional state of their peers.

With the peer relationship, there is a risk of a wide variety of emotions suffering from ridicule from the peers and this would affect the emotional development of the child.

This in itself is a limitation of this type of relationship for the emotional development of the child. The author finally addresses the role of friends in the emotional development of the child plus the limitations. The fragile nature of friends is mentioned and this has an influence on the child’s emotional development. The article refers to the socioemotional domain of the Child’s development. This is because the author dwells so much on how the social and emotions of the child are influenced as a result of interacting with the parents, peers, and friends. In all three factors, the author has highlighted how they exert influence on the child’s emotional development. For instance, there is mention of children displaying and expressing their emotions in different age groups and during interaction with parents, peers, and friends.

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I think this article in its sources relies on scientific findings established from a number of studies conducted on children.

It has been mentioned that through the author’s own study on the regulation of emotional anger, that school-going child through learning they have known how to distance themselves from their anger. In the study he carried out the author seems to have interviewed a number of children in the school-going bracket. Through the questionnaires, he administered he was able to capture information concerning anger regulation from a number of elementary schools. He also talks of other studies focusing on the distinction between the experience of emotions and the display of emotions in children. There is also the revelation that research has demonstrated that 11-year-old children tend to like using the display in the expression of their emotions.

He has also derived information from empirical data sources. The author refers to the contemporary theories in the emotional development of the child.

In my opinion, I can state that the conclusion of this article is not valid. This is because the author has restricted the conclusion to how the studies were conducted and in what locations instead of giving us a clear understanding of what was acquired in the studies to form the concluding remarks. There are also recommendations on what ought to be done in the future to make the studies produce more valid results.

However, this article is very important to us because it improves parents’ understanding of the child’s emotional development. It can be very significant for making parents and teachers develop better strategies for handling children with emotional problems since they can understand what is behind emotional changes in children. I can conclude that my knowledge of child development has greatly been enhanced by this article. This is because the major factors contributing towards child emotional development have been well addressed plus how they interact, their contrast, and similarities.


John W. Santrock “Children”

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