The importance of emotional education in childhood and adolescence

It is clear that virtually all human beings experience emotions. Whether we externalize it more or less or whether we experience them in a very intense or rather moderate way, emotions are a fundamental component of our daily life.

Of course, this is not a bad thing; on the contrary, our emotional facet is there because it has been essential to 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 in a way that makes the most of them… and it is something that we can learn to do at almost any stage of our life.

In this way, emotional education in childhood is a fundamental process develop a good relationship with our emotions from childhood, which is why it is becoming more and more important in all areas of education, from school to parenthood.

    What is emotional education?

    We begin by defining the concept of emotional education: it is the human activity of training in reporting on the theoretical and practical aspects linked to emotions, both in detection and recognition and in management and expression.

    That is, being an emotionally educated person has a certain mastery in identifying and managing emotions, which can apply both to oneself and to relationships with others.

    It is true that human emotionality is very complex and that the management of emotions has a limit; this does not mean that emotional education is impossible or that it cannot be applied to boys, girls and adolescents. Part of this educational process is recognizing our own limitations and not trying to fully control our emotions. and those of others; and on the other hand, the way in which he is educated always implies taking into account his age and degree of maturity.

    This is why emotional education is very important from early childhood, so that the little ones in the house have a guide and support from their first contact with the management of emotions.

      Benefits of emotional education during childhood and adolescence

      The emotional equation applied to childhood is not an incomplete or imperfect version of emotional education because a child does not have a great capacity for thought or abstract reasoning; on the contrary, precisely because toddlers have fewer resources to understand how they are feeling and what they can do with their emotional states, it is important to help them in this process of self-discovery that they will accomplish anyway, with or without our support.

      With this in mind, the main benefits of emotional education are as follows.

      1. Helps prevent dysfunctional or psychopathological ways of dealing with emotions

      From what we have seen so far, it is already felt that being in front of a very young child is no excuse to do without emotional education; the fact of having a few years of life is, in any case, another reason to strive to educate the child emotionally.

      After all, what we learn in childhood will greatly influence their subsequent physical and psychological development, and the influence of how we use emotions at this early stage extends into adulthood.

        2. It helps them differentiate between emotions

        Knowing how to distinguish between emotions is essential for know how to get them out in an appropriate way, without adopting problematic strategies which not only do not help relieve tension, but can even increase discomfort or discomfort at key times.

        3. Assume support in empathy

        It’s one thing to empathize with someone and another to do so without misinterpreting their emotions and feelings. Emotional education it helps them to connect better with their friends, avoiding misunderstandings.

          4. It helps them boost their self-esteem in times of vulnerability.

          Emotional education involves being vulnerable to certain painful experiences, and not speaking badly about yourself feeling very bad in these contexts. This is why this process protects self-esteem and predicts that young people feel guilty for believing themselves to be too “weak”.

            5. It predisposes them not to give in to anger

            From childhood, it is possible to learn not to explode with anger in the face of setbacks. Knowing how to adapt to a disappointment and not let frustration completely paralyze it whenever this happens, it will help them come to terms with much of the unpleasant parts of the day by focusing on problem solving.

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              A Psychoines we can help you both if you are a person looking for individualized psychotherapeutic assistance for a problem that affects you, and if you are interested in initiating therapy for children and adolescents or seeking advice for them. parents. We offer face-to-face sessions (in our office located in Barcelona) or online via video call.

              Bibliographical references

              • Cavall, V. (1983). Social skills training and assessment manual. Madrid: 21st century.
              • Goleman, D. (1998). Work with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
              • López Cassà, E. (2003). Emotional education. Program for 3-6 year olds Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
              • Torre, JB; Lieberman, MD (2018). Putting Words on Feelings: Affect labeling as the implicit regulation of emotions. Review of emotions.
              • Vilca, D., Farkas, C. (2019). Language and use of emotional labels: their relation to socio-emotional development in 30 month olds attending kindergarten. Santiago: Psykhe.

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