Enabling children to form relationships & overcome
frustration in a socially acceptable way.
Emotional maturity refers to a set of abilities that enable children to understand and manage how they respond when faced with situations that elicit an emotional reaction. Constructive responses are those that seek to resolve the situation that has stimulated the emotion, in order to enable the body to return to a less aroused state.
Emotional maturity supports children to manage the demands of the social and learning environments. It enables children to form relationships with their peers, recover from disappointment or sadness (building resilience), overcome frustration, and express anger in socially acceptable ways.
Understanding their own emotions also helps children to empathise with others. Children who are emotionally mature can infer the feelings of others and respond in prosocial ways that demonstrate that they care for other people and value relationships. These early skills help to develop adults who can form and maintain healthy relationships, get along with their co-workers, and navigate conflict.
Key skills underlying emotional maturity are predictive of later success, wellbeing, and mental health. We know that in the classroom, emotional maturity supports children’s learning by helping them to persevere when challenged and return to tasks when a situation or thought has diverted their focus. Strong communication skills enable children to demonstrate their emotional maturity and help them to express their feelings in socially appropriate ways.
When children are calm and focused, they can attend to new information, integrate information and apply it to new contexts. In this way, self-regulation and resilience, the cornerstones of emotional maturity, are at the heart of children’s learning ability.