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Stages of Child Development and Strategies Involving Them

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Childcare
Wordcount: 2328 words Published: 17th Oct 2017

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  • Charlene Lyons


In this assignment I will give a definition of social and emotional development while also explaining each individually. I will give a brief account of physical, cognitive, language and creative development and how they holistically combine for good overall development. I give an account of the social and emotional development of children form the ages 3-5. Then I will outline the different stages proposed by at least two theorists. I will give examples of strategies used to promote social and emotional development. To finish up I will make reference to the environmental, social and other factors that may affect such development and learning.

Correct Definition of social and emotional development:

Social-emotional development includes the child's experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others (Cohen and others 2005). It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes.

In my opinion social and emotional development starts from birth and is given to the chid by the child’s parents or primary care giver. It is essential that the care given at this age is positive and loving as this early age is where we as adults leave the imprint on the child that stays with them for life.

Emotional development directly links to the child’s intrapersonal skills by where they learn a lot about themselves like how they feel and then how they use or control their emotions within certain situations. By taking turns, having manners, being aware of their own emotions and feelings and having patience which all contributes to good emotional development.

Social development directly links to a child’s interpersonal skills where children interact with other people in a good and mannerly way by always trying to understand other people’s point of view, by discussing problems and coming to some sort of compromise to solve problems. Children develop good social skills through understanding a situation and voicing their opinion rather than letting their emotions take over.

Describe how the development area relates to the holistic development:

Physical, cognitive, language and creative development all interlink and become increasingly interdependent in the first few years of life to give the child a good holistic development. If one development stage is weak it generally leads to the child struggling on the other areas of development to. Lev Vygotsky says “Thought and language become increasingly interdependent in the first few years of life” (prezi.com 2015)

Physical development

A child who has good social and emotional development will be a very outgoing child whose great at playing and will have great confidence to take part in all activities that arise and may even take on the role of the leader in certain activities. On the other hand a child who lacks in good social and emotional development will shy away from such activities and therefore may be left out of activities due to the lack of confidence.

Cognitive development

Good social and emotional development within a child allows them to have confidence to ask questions about situations they may not understand, in asking these questions they will get the attention and answers they need which helps them understand and store the information they more accurately to a child that has no confidence to ask questions and therefore these children won’t want to draw attention to themselves therefore leaving them lacking within the cognitive development area.

Language development

A child who has good social and emotional development will have good speech and will have no problem in interacting or conversing with other people and will be more accurate with the use of their vocabulary. If a child has speech issues they will lack in confidence causing them to shy away from vocally interacting with other people and may also cause them to be a target to bullying and isolation.

Creative development

A child with good social and emotional development will be very self-assured and confident leading them to having a great imagination and imagination is the key to a child’s creativity. This child will not be afraid to make suggestions or make up little role plays in their head .A child who lacks in creative development will be shy and may need encouragement to help them to be creative and will always rely on other people for direction.

Stages of social and emotional development correctly described for a preschool chid:

Quality afterschool programs provide safe, engaging and fun learning experiences to help children and youth develop their social, emotional, physical, cultural and academic skills.

Debbie Stabenow

3 Years Old:

At this age children have developed both emotional and social skills which allow them to be more happy and content as they now don’t need a familiar face to feel secure as they have gained a certain amount of control through their actions, thoughts and the use of language. They are more aware of the situations around them leading them to share and take turns and to also show affection.

4 Years Old:

At this age children tend to question a lot of things like their own actions and the actions of others and are constantly asking how things work it’s like they suddenly become aware of their surroundings. They are capable of socially making friends and interacting with their friends in large groups. At this age they also learn feelings and emotions like being hurt, let down or by having a fear and by then in turn turning to a parent for comfort or reassurance. Also at this age children are normally very confident and have a lot of self-belief.

5 Years Old:

At the age of 5 children tend to be very socially outgoing which leads them to loving time away from their parents through school or through being involved in social activities e.g: Hurling, football, dancing or drama. They love to play with their friends and even enjoy a bit of competiveness especially if they win, in which case they will show signs of being proud and even show signs of boasting. They are very much in tune with their feelings and now know the feeling of happiness, sadness and even have the sense of shame and hurt.

Stages of social and emotional development proposed and supported by at least two theorists:

Trust vs mistrust occurs from birth up to 2 years of age by where a child even at his young age acknowledges the type of care that they are given. If the child is well looked after and loved this gives them a sense of trust and where a child is neglected gives them a sense of mistrust as suggested by theorist Eirk Erikson who says “if a child feels successful trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world”.(child development booklet) Erik Erikson also believes if you mistrust from this early age it will stay with you in your later years causing it very hard for you to trust anyone due to your previous experiences.

Relationships occur in children from the age of five upwards where children are now socially aware of their environment and can now socially interact with their peers. At this age they are constantly looking for approval from adults as well as their peers. Children form a very strong bond with their parents as suggested by theorist Sigmund Freud.

Shame is a big factor in children’s development especially in their first big occasion where they have to do something for themselves. One example where children experience their first sense of shame is through potty training. If children have a bad experience through potty training Erik Erikson believes this stays with them throughout their life and therefore when they don’t achieve their goals in later years it brings them back to their early years of failure and that sense of shame.

Four strategies to promote social and emotional development listed and explained:

Taking turns and responsibilities by putting on a play while getting the children to come up with and choose the roles and responsibilities encourages them to interact and discuss with each other through the organising of these roles. This also encourages them to take turn and share out the responsibilities along with using the skill of dressing themselves and also gets them to use their imagination through the creative play.

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Teamwork and relationships by organising a sports day for the children encourages and teaches them the value of good healthy competition and how to control their emotions if they lose at a certain activity or on the other hand show pride in the achievement in winning. Through certain activities children learn to compete individually and also as part of a team allowing them to encourage each other and form good relationships with each other.

Emotions and imagination using square cards or paper and draw feelings on faces e.g: happy face, sad face, etc. Then in turn get the children to pick up a card and act out the feeling on the card through facial expressions. This helps the children understand feelings, emotions and empathy through a fun game.

Language and vocabulary by doing circle time and letting the children share a story with the group promotes their self-esteem and confidence to talk within a group. It also promotes the use of their language, vocabulary and even imagination through the telling of their story.

Reference to environmental, social or other factors that may affect the learning and development of a child:

Environmental: One environmental factor that may affect a child’s learning and development would be where a child grows up. E.G: If there is a stigma to the estate where a child raised by where it’s known as a disadvantaged or poor area this can lead child to feel they will never amount to anything due to the amount of negativity surrounding that area.

On the other hand this type of negativity really spurs some children on to achieve the goals they want and gives them inspiration to do better for themselves and map out a better life for themselves and for their potential future children.

Cultural Factors: One big culture that raises a lot of questions is the Jehovah Witnesses due to their beliefs they don’t celebrate a lot of big calendar days that most religions do e.g: Christmas, birthdays, etc. Therefore when these occasions arise it often leads to isolation of the child and this can have many negative effects on a child themselves through their own feelings of been left out and can also lead to other children socially out casting the child because if their beliefs.

Social Factors: Family is one of the biggest contributing factors from the social view of learning and development within a child. For instance if you were raised within a big family who had a good sense of family spirit it is believed that you may be more confident as you would have been surrounded with lots of people from the start and these people will have cheered you on, helped you when you fall and thought you all of your traits that you will carry for a lifetime.


In this assignment I have given a definition of social and emotional development, described the development areas and how they work on a holistic level. I have outlined the stages of social and emotional development from the ages of 3-5. Proposed stages supported by two theorists. I have given four examples of strategies used to promote social and emotional development and have made a reference to environmental, social or other factors that may affect such development and learning.


others, c. a., 2005. www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09socemodev.asp. [Online] Available at: www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/itf09socemodev.asp [Accessed 24 june 2015].

toys, p. h., 2015. playhivetoys.com.au. [Online] Available at: http://www.playhivetoys.com.au/ [Accessed 30 06 2015].

toys, p. h., 2015. www.playhivetoys.com.au. [Online] Available at: http://www.playhivetoys.com.au/ [Accessed 30 june 2015].

Training, C., 2015. child developmetn booklet. In: s.l.:Creative Training .

Prezi.com(2015)"lev vygotsky", avalibale online to view at www.prezi.com on 02/07/2015



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