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Observation & Development Chapter 4. Emotional Development Nita Thomason Ed. D. Nature or Nurture? Do you think emotional development is primarily a function of genetics or environment?. Emotional Development. Parenting Styles. Authoritarian Permissive Authoritative Neglectful.

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Observation & Development Chapter 4

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Observation & DevelopmentChapter 4

Emotional Development

Nita Thomason Ed.D.

Nature or Nurture?

Do you think emotional development is primarily a function of genetics or environment?

Emotional Development

Parenting Styles

  • Authoritarian

  • Permissive

  • Authoritative

  • Neglectful

Emotions of Preschoolers

  • Distress

  • Anger

  • Fear

  • Sadness

  • Surprise

  • Interest

  • Affection

  • Joy

Goal of Preschool Teacher

To help children develop emotionally, the preschool teacher should be concerned with promoting positive responses and teaching management of inappropriate responses.

Helping Children Manage Inappropriate Emotional Reactions

  • Remove or reduce the cause of the emotion

  • Diffuse the child’s negative response by allowing him to “let it out” through crying, talking, or transferring his feelings into nondestructive actions.

  • Offer support, comfort, and ideas for self-control.

  • Model controlled behavior yourself

  • Give children the opportunity to talk about feelings in a nonemotional setting.

Principal Causes of Distress in Child Care Setting

  • Separation from mother

  • Physical discomfort/pain

  • Rejection by peers

  • Dissatisfaction with performance

  • Stressful family situation – birth of new baby, death, hospitalization, a move, or a divorce

Relieving Stress

  • Give comfort

  • Allow child to cry

  • Redirect attention

  • Help the child to verbalize – through play, art, or drawing


The emotion that results when we are physically or psychologically restrained from doing something, frustrated in our attempts, interrupted, personally insulted, or forced to do something against our will.

What acts of aggression might a teacher of preschoolers expect in her classroom?

Ways to redirect an angry child

  • Pound playdoh

  • Throw beanbag

  • Punch pillow

  • Pound hammer

  • Listen to music

  • Hit tetherball

  • Kick soccer ball

  • Use rhythm band instruments

  • Finger painting


Remains calm in difficult or dangerous situations

Overcomes Sad Feelings in Appropriate Manner

  • Demonstrate Sympathy

  • Provide a Quiet Space

  • Give the Child Time

  • Talk Privately to the Child

  • Read a Book

Young Children Cope with Death

  • Major Concepts of Death

    irreversible and permanent

    life functions stop

    everyone must die

  • Helping Young Children Cope

  • Funerals


Handles sudden changes/startling situations with control


Does not withdraw from others excessively

Helping the Shy Child

  • Focus on the child’s strengths

  • Do not dwell on shyness

  • Pair with another child

  • Work with the parents

Shows fondness, affection, connection, love toward others

  • Nearness

  • Touch

  • Nonverbal cues

  • Verbal affirmations

Shows interest/attention in classroom activities

Joy and Humor

Smiles, seems happy much of the time

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