Social development and Emotional Milestones

Social Skills Development

A child’s emotion’s and behaviour depend mostly on which developmental stage they are, and their temperament. All children have their own personality, temperament or mood. Like some children are happy and adapt easily and develop regular routines when it comes to sleeping, eating and other daily activities, other children struggle to adapt. Creating routines for them are difficult, and they tend to struggle in any situation that is new or strange.

Your little one’s social and emotional skills, like paying attention, moving from one activity to the next or working together in a group, may be more difficult to see compared to their physical development , but is very important. If their social skills are not adequately developed, this will hinder their progress at school.

Social and emotional milestones:

Birth to 3 Months

Babies spend most of their early months learning and getting to know their bodies:
  • Play with their hands, grabbing and sucking them
  • Smile at their mom
  • Learns that they have limbs that can be moved
  • Will respond positively to touch
  • Will be comforted by adults they know
  • Enjoys frequent, short interactions

3 Months to 6 Months

  • Will laugh, squeal or smile appropriately
  • Responds positively to familiar routines
  • Smiles only when they choose to
  • Will play peek-a-boo
  • Responds to their name

6 Months to 9 Months

  • Babies show a preference to people they know
  • They will express different emotions clearly
  • Can tell the difference between strangers and friends
  • Responds to language and gestures
  • They will clearly show if they aren’t happy
  • They will respond to different tones used by their mom
  • Clings to familiar adults

9 Months to 12 Months

  • Can eat finger food on their own
  • Copy simple actions
  • Shows displeasure when separated from familiar people
  • Drink from a cup with help
  • Claps hands and starts to wave, understanding the concept

1 year to 2 years

  • Helps with the dressing process
  • Waves goodbye
  • Can understand when given simple commands
  • Shows affection
  • Joins in with nursery rhyme actions
  • Recognises themselves in the mirror
  • Play by themselves
  • They start being helpful, by helping to pack up, or copy bathing themselves

2 years to 3 years

  • They are inquisitive and explore everything
  • Can be assertive in their dislikes, and will clearly say ‘NO”
  • They are aware of their own feelings and wants
  • Join in and play with other children
  • May not always share
  • Participate in group activities
  • Recognise different genders
  • They will let you know if they have wet or soiled pants
  • Feed themselves with a spoon
  • Start to sing
  • Copies domestic activities, like sweeping or dusting

3 years to 4 years

  • Plays well with other children
  • Throws tantrums
  • Can put their own shoes on
  • Eats with a spoon and drinks from a cup without help
  • Follow simple instructions
  • Can wash hands and blow their noses unassisted
  • Shares toys
  • Pretend playing, such a s coping animal sounds and movements, or cars etc

4 Years to 5 years

  • Develop a strong sense of self
  • They are very aware of themselves as individuals
  • Will compare themselves to others
  • Will make and develop friendships
  • Be aware of other peoples feelings
  • Enjoys imaginative play, like dress up or playing house
  • Argue with other children
  • Dresses and undresses with assistance
  • Should be potty trained, and use toilet without assistance
  • Have a sense of humour
  • Fights for their independence

5 Years to 6 Years

  • They can become stubborn and demanding of your time and attention
  • They like new experiences, and new activities
  • They are independent, and can argue with friends

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Recommended Reading:
Social development skills

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Return from Social Development back to Early Childhood development

Physical Development/ Intellectual Development/ Language Development

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