The importance of emotional education in childhood and adolescence.
Let's see why emotional education is key to the development of the youngest children.
It is clear that practically all human beings experience emotions. Regardless of whether we externalize them more or less, or whether we experience them in a very intense or rather moderate way, emotions are a basic component of our daily lives.
Of course, this is not a bad thing; on the contrary, our emotional side is there because it has been indispensable for the survival of our lineage for hundreds of thousands of years. However, it is one thing to experience emotions and another to know how to manage them so that we get the most out of them... and this is something we can learn to do at almost every stage of our lives.
In this sense, emotional education in childhood is a fundamental process. to develop a good relationship with our emotions since our childhood, and that is why it is becoming increasingly important in all educational settings, from schools to parenting by parents.
What is emotional education?
Let us begin by defining the concept of emotional education: it is the human activity of training in informing about the theoretical and practical aspects related to emotions, both in their detection and recognition and in their management and expression.
That is to say, being an emotionally educated person means having a certain mastery in the identification and management of emotions, something that can be applied both to oneself and in dealing with others..
It is true that human emotionality is very complex and that the management of emotions has a limit; however, this does not mean that emotional education is impossible or that it cannot be applied to children and adolescents. Part of this educational process involves recognizing one's own limitations and not trying to totally control our emotions and those of others. and those of others; and on the other hand, the way in which they are educated always implies taking into account their age and degree of maturity.
That is why emotional education is very important in early childhood, so that the smallest of the house have a guide and support from their first contact with the management of emotions.
Benefits of emotional education in childhood and adolescence.
The emotional equation as applied to childhood is not an incomplete or flawed version of emotional education simply because a child does not have a strong capacity for abstract thought or reasoning; on the contrary, it is precisely because children have fewer resources to understand how they feel and what they can do with their affective states, it is important to help them in this process.It is important to help them in this process of self-discovery, which they will carry out anyway, with or without our support.
With that in mind, the main benefits of emotional education are the following.
1. It helps to prevent dysfunctional or psychopathological ways of managing emotions.
From what we have seen so far, it is already clear that the fact that we are dealing with a very young child is not an excuse to dispense with emotional education; the fact that they are only a few years old is, in any case, one more reason to take great care in educating the child emotionally..
At the end of the day, the apprenticeships realized in the infancy will influence very much in his later physical and psychological development, and the influence of the way in which we handle the emotions in this early stage extends up to the adult stage.
2. It helps them to differentiate emotions
To know how to distinguish between the emotions is fundamental to know how to to know how to give them exit of a suitable way, without adopting problematic strategies that not only do not help to relieve tension but can even increase discomfort or discomfort at certain key moments.
3. It is a support when empathizing
It is one thing to empathize with someone and another thing to do so without misinterpreting their emotions and feelings. Emotional education helps them to better connect with their friends, avoiding misunderstandings..
4. It helps them to reinforce their self-esteem in moments of vulnerability.
Emotional education implies knowing that one is vulnerable in the face of certain painful experiences, and that it does not speak badly of oneself to feel very bad in these contexts. Therefore, this process protects self-esteem and prevents the prevents youngsters from feeling guilty for believing they are too "weak"..
5. It predisposes them not to give in to tantrums
Already from the childhood it is possible to learn not to explode through the anger before any setback. Knowing how to deal with disappointment and not letting frustration totally paralyze them. every time it occurs will help them to accept a good part of the unpleasant moments of the day by focusing on problem solving.
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(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)