Detalle Publicación


Emotional education for personal growth in the early years

ISSN: 1068-8471
Volumen: 41
Número: 2
Páginas: 115 - 130
Fecha de publicación: 2021
This article offers a proposal related to early childhood emotional education. It is in line with Erikson's (1959) ideas surrounding psychosocial development and his theory of attachment and social referencing, Bridges' (1932) emotional development scheme, and Rogers' notion related to "acceptance" of emotional complexity toward healthy development. This proposal is reinforced with approaches from Winnicott (1986) and Kohut (2009), who demonstrate that children's emotional education is indeed a process of self-consciousness development through interaction with their primary caregiver(s). These approaches demonstrate that early childhood emotional education is really a process related to children's development of self-consciousness through interaction, or lack thereof, with their primary caregiver(s). We coin our approach "emotional integration," which is conceptualized as a response to the dominant "emotional regulation" narrative. While emotional regulation focuses on behavioral and structured routines for facing diverse emotional situations, emotional integration is centered on interpersonal relationship improvements in different emotional contexts. For the emotional regulation approach, the child regulates her behavior depending on the primary caregiver's reactions. In emotional integration, the child acquires certain dispositions toward the self, starting from her interaction with her caregiver. In small children, caregiver behavior certainly has a determining role. For the emotional regulation approach, the caregiver tries to solve possible problems in behavior, whereas for emotional integration, the caregiver seeks to develop inner processes of personal growth through the child's interaction with the other.