Mindful Arts Therapy
Why is Recognising Emotions Important for Your Preteen
Emotional development in preteens is a complex process influenced by various factors. Hormonal changes, brain development, and environmental factors all play a role in shaping their emotional landscape. To better understand this development, let’s delve into the science behind it.
In the tumultuous years of adolescence, preteens experience a whirlwind of emotions. From the highs of excitement and joy to the lows of sadness and frustration, their emotional landscape can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride.
As parents and caregivers, it is important for us to understand and support our preteens in navigating this emotional terrain. Recognising and understanding their emotions is a fundamental aspect of their development, laying the foundation for their emotional intelligence and overall well-being.
Understanding the Emotional Development in Preteens
During preadolescence, the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and emotional regulation—undergoes significant development. This development is accompanied by hormonal changes, such as an increase in cortisol and other stress hormones. As a result, preteens may experience heightened emotions and more intense reactions to situations compared to their younger selves.
This period of emotional development is crucial for preteens as they navigate the challenges of transitioning from childhood to adolescence. It is a time of self-discovery, where they begin to explore their own identities and form deeper connections with their peers. These emotional changes can sometimes be overwhelming for preteens, as they try to make sense of their shifting emotions and navigate the complexities of social interactions.
Building Empathy and Self Awareness
One key emotional milestone in preteens is building empathy. As their cognitive abilities continue to develop, preteens become more capable of understanding and relating to the emotions of others. This newfound empathy allows them to form deeper connections with their friends and family members, fostering a sense of compassion and understanding.
Another important milestone is developing self-awareness. Preteens begin to reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, gaining a better understanding of who they are as individuals. This self-awareness helps them navigate their emotions more effectively and make more informed decisions.
Learning how to manage and express emotions appropriately is also a significant milestone in preteen emotional development. As they experience a wider range of emotions, preteens must learn how to regulate how they feel and express themselves in healthy and constructive ways.
Mindful Arts Therapy plays an important role in helping preteens develop coping mechanisms. Art activities, sculpturing, journaling as well as deep breathing exercises, to help them navigate challenging emotional experiences.
Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in supporting preteens’ emotional growth. By recognizing and understanding these emotional milestones, parents can provide a nurturing and supportive environment that encourages healthy emotional development. This can involve open and honest communication, active listening, and providing opportunities for preteens to express their emotions in a safe and non-judgmental space.
In conclusion, emotional development in preteens is a complex and dynamic process influenced by various factors. Understanding the science behind this development and recognizing key emotional milestones can help parents and caregivers better support preteens as they navigate the challenges of adolescence. By fostering empathy, self-awareness, and healthy emotional expression, we can help preteens develop the emotional skills they need to thrive in their journey towards adulthood.