Your Child's Emotions Matter

Why does your child feel the way they do?

  • As teens' emotional maturity increases their relationships with their peers change as they become more vulnerable and emotionally intimate with their peers.
  • Rejection or victimization by peers may become a source of significant stress to children, contributing to feelings of loneliness and low self-esteem .
  • Many kids are emotionally dependent on adults and immature in their social behavior. They may be inattentive, moody, depressed, or emotionally volatile, making it difficult for them to sustain positive play interactions with others.

How do social competence affect your child's emotions?

  • Social competence refers to the social, emotional, and cognitive skills and behaviors.
  • A child's social competence depends upon a number of factors including the child's social skills, social awareness, and self-confidence.
  • Many children who are rejected by peers have lower self-esteem, feel lonelier, and are more dissatisfied with their social situations than are average or popular children.
  • These feelings can cause them to give up and avoid social situations, which can in turn exacerbate their peer problems.


Casey BJ, et al. “Imaging the Developing Brain: What Have We Learned about Cognitive Development?” Trends in Cognitive Sciences (March 2005): Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 104-10.

Rosso IM, et al. “Cognitive and Emotional Components of Frontal Lobe Functioning in Childhood and Adolescence,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (June 2004): Vol. 1021, pp. 355-62.

Sisk CL, et al. “The Neural Basis of Puberty and Adolescence,” Nature Neuroscience (October 2004): Vol. 7, No. 10, pp. 1040-47.