Different psychologists define emotions differently; Standard dictionaries give the meaning of emotion as moving of feelings, agitation of mind. However, emotion is a state of mind. Always it denotes a state of being moved, stirred up or aroused in some way.
All of us must have experienced various feelings of anger, fear, disgust, love, joy etc. Seeing a snake anybody may get frightened. When an action, you do not like at all, is repeated again and again, you definitely get angry. At the sight of the mother, the baby smiles and the mother kiss out of love. These are common feelings, which are in the language of psychologists- emotions.
Emotions disturb the state of mind. In what way, emotional development takes place, is a very important question for the parents and teachers. The teachers should know the mind of child with a view to helping him to learn against emotional disturbances in the teaching-learning situations. And as such, it is binding on teacher to know some common emotions of the child.
Some Important Definition of Emotion
1. Crow and Crow – “An emotion is an affective experience that accompanies generalized inner adjustment and that shows it self in his overt behavior”
2. Gates – “Emotions as episodes in which the individual is moved or excited”.
3. Wood Worth – “Emotion is moved or stirred up state of organization. It is stirred up state of feeling that is the way it appears to the individual himself. It is a disturbed muscular and granular activity that is the way it appears to an external observer”.
Common Emotions of Childhood
After the early months of infancy and babyhood, a number of some common emotional patterns may be observed in children. Each of the emotions has its own specific from of behavior. Let us look at them as follows —
A baby is carefully protected as much as possible from fear-provoking stimuli. These begin to affect the child before the end of the year of life. And with each passing year, his environment goes on enlarging. Gradually more and more things that are likely to frighten him appear in his ever-enlarging environment. With progress of learning and intellectual development of the child, he recognizes some threats in objects, situations and even in some persons. Most fears are learned. Mothers frighten the child some way or other in order to stop crying. All fear-stimuli in children occur suddenly and unexpectedly. They frighten the individual as a warning for danger. Often, most children learn to fear things that are not dangerous.
Worry is an imaginary form of fear. Like real fear, it is not aroused directly by a stimulus in the environment. It comes from imagining situations which may be dangerous. It may come from books, movies, comics, radio, television or other popular recreations, what so ever, Worries are caused by imaginary rather than real stimuli. These are almost absent among very young children. The child is required to reach a stage of intellectual development in which it is possible to imagine things. Many of the so called fears are in really worries.
Worries when frequent and in tens may lead to anxiety. It is painful uneasiness of mind concerning anticipated ill. Anxiety is characterized by apprehension and uneasiness. It is always accompanied by a feeling of utter helplessness. It is vaguer than fear. But it is said that anxiety develops from fear and worry. Anxiety does not come from a real situation, which the individual can perceive. It comes from an anticipated one.
Anger is a more frequent emotional response in childhood. That is because, there are more anger provoking stimuli in the child’s environment. Many children discover at an early age that anger is a good way to get attention of mother and others to satisfy their desires.
Besides, curiosity, jealousy, joy, pleasure, delight, affection, love etc. are the important emotions, which play an important role in the child’s life. The parents and teachers should look to the emotional adjustment of children.