What emotional development occurs in the preschool years?

Catherine Mogil, PsyD
During the preschool years, emotional development occurs as kids gain more control over their limbic system, which is basically the feeling center of the brain. Also, the frontal lobe is developing a lot more. Kids are learning to use more words. As their vocabulary expands, their ability to put emotional states into words also expands. This is when you start hearing not just "mad, sad, happy and scared", but words like "excited." Kids start understanding a little more that there is a difference between two feeling states.

Preschoolers start paying more attention to the feelings of others. Empathy starts to emerge. It is mostly in the context of their caregivers that they are able to read other people's feeling states. At this point, it may not yet happen with a complete stranger.

Continue Learning about Preschool Age Child Development

How can I help with my preschooler's development?
The following tips can help with your preschooler's development: It's never too early to make sur...
More Answers
Why is it important to establish routines for my child?
Jameel T. Clark, MDJameel T. Clark, MD
Children thrive on routines. Routines can provide structure and some predictability to children as t...
More Answers
What to Expect from Your Kindergartener
What to Expect from Your Kindergartener
What Your Baby's Body Language Is Telling You
What Your Baby's Body Language Is Telling You

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.