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Emotional Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years

Topic Overview

Emotional growth is a process of developing feelings and learning how to handle them appropriately. Sadness, fear, anger, and happiness are our most common feelings. Every child has emotional needs. Meeting those needs is one of the most important things you will do as a parent or caregiver.

Between the ages of 2 and 5, children gradually learn how to manage their feelings. For example, a toddler may get mad and have a tantrum if a toy is taken away. As the child matures emotionally, he or she will learn to express anger in other ways.

Young children also begin to develop moral emotions and to feel ashamed or guilty when they do something wrong. When bad things happen, young children may feel responsible for no logical reason. Reassure your child by showing affection and love in addition to talking about feelings. Children do not always know the words to explain how they feel.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised February 22, 2013

Last Revised: February 22, 2013

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