Children learn and grow at an astonishing rate during their first years of life, and some of the most significant skills they develop during this time are related to understanding and expressing emotions. While these skills are closely tied to language, they are more observable through behaviors, because children still have fairly limited lexicons at the age of two. Here are the major landmarks in emotional development during the first two years that you will notice in your child.
Observing emotions in others
Eye contact is an excellent indicator of your child’s ability to recognize familiar faces and feelings before he or she communicates verbally. Along with eye contact, you may see your child smile when you and other familiar faces are around. The comfort of a parent or caretaker’s face can encourage your child to play or explore more freely.
As children do start to use verbal expression, they tend to self-identify frequently. They may enjoy introducing themselves by name or use the phrases “my” and “me” often. Still, through gaining independence and a sense of self, children still look back to familiar faces to understand how their actions are perceived by parents and other authority figures.
Personal emotional expression
The age of the terrible twos is referred to as such because this time is when children are learning what is appropriate in terms of emotional expression. Tantrums may be the standard for negative emotions, while excessive yelling or kinesthetic outbursts may indicate positive feelings. Parents are highly influential in helping children understand that these tactics are not acceptable in a social environment.
At Adventures in Learning in Naperville, children will have a comfortable and safe environment to grow and learn socially from the age of 6 weeks old. To learn more about the daycare and preschool services offered at Adventures in Learning, call 630-355-3249.