Child Psychology: Understanding Appropriate Emotional Responses
There are a variety of emotional reactions taking the form of healthy, appropriate responses and unhealthy, inappropriate responses. The following four emotional characteristics are presented with both healthy and unhealthy responses.
Laughter- Children will laugh in normal situations where some form of stimulus is making them laugh such as an adult acting silly or puppet show. However, an inappropriate response occurs when a child laughs when seeing someone hurt.
Anger- This emotion is normal in children when they become frustrated and they will often act on this feeling by frowning and making angry expressions. An inappropriate response would be to continue being angry and overreacting to normal situations. For instance, if the child became angry at another child for having something they wanted and they would not calm down even after a prolonged period of time.
Fear- Children are often scared by situations such as new people and new experiences. They may appear with a scarred face and even try to run away from the situation. An inappropriate response would be for the child to become frightened at normal events such as a teacher trying to help them in some way. This could be a sign of abuse.
Sadness- Children become sad when bad things happen such as a fish dying, and they will become saddened in their appearance and may cry and pout. It is normal for them to withdrawal from normal activities to some degree but when the withdrawal becomes excessive or the child cannot seem to stop crying this is sign that something else might be wrong.