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The Emergence Of Empathy In Early Childhood

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Early childhood is one of the most important stages in development. The emergence of empathy plays a major role in a child’s life. Early childhood is the process of developing a sense of self which allows a child to become aware of who they are. Although, early childhood is often overlooked it is what affects prosocial behavior.
There are different expressions of emotion a child will demonstrate as they begin to grow. For example, a baby will express happiness by smiling. A social smile is usually practiced during the 6th to 10th week. Furthermore, the most common expression of happiness is a laugh which is usually done during the 3rd month to 6th month. Anger and sadness will begin to show during 4 to 6 months.
Later down the road, a child will begin to demonstrate self-conscious emotions. This occurs between ages 1 to 3 years. Common self-conscious emotions are shame, guilt, envy, embarrassment, etc. Usually after the first year a child will begin to regulation his/her emotions.
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Care givers also help contribute by teaching socially approved ways of expressing one’s feelings. The previous examples of emerging empathy affect prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior is being concerned for others. A child who learns how to express empathy during early childhood is more likely to be unselfish. As a result, the child actions will benefit other people. Whereas if a child does not demonstrate empathy he/she will grow up to be selfish, and unconcerned for others. Therefore, it is important for caregivers to help children demonstrate
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