Optimal social-emotional development depends on having an environment that responds to human social and emotional needs (Bretherton & Waters, 1985). Such acts and conditions we call support. Some acts of support are given in anticipation of unexpressed needs, others following expressed needs. Emotions function to prepare human beings to take action in their own best interest (Grinker et al., 1956). Parents must assist in enlisting and modulating the motivational properties of emotions to help ensure optimal fit with environmental demands (Eisenberg, Cumberland, & Spinard, 1998).

There also is evidence that children benefit from positive affirmation of worth (Ausubel, 1968; Roberts, 1986). That is, to be supportive, parents must be reinforcing (in a proactive sense) as well as responsive (in a reactive sense). How worth is affirmed varies substantially from culture to culture. In some societies worth is closely tied to individual accomplishments or status; in others, it is more strongly tied to collective commitments and involvement. Finally, a supportive environment is one that provides guidance or direction for adequate functioning in other environments (Pettit, Dodge, & Brown, 1988). At its base, support is motivational preparation for encountering other environments.

Positive Thinking As The Key To Success

Positive Thinking As The Key To Success

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