Social-Emotional Development Stages

  • 2019-09-30

The social emotional development stages in kids are quite similar around the world, but they might slightly differ based on culture and traditions. Emotionally or physically, children often move through various stages of development in the same way.

The emotional development milestones that are set are age-specific tasks that kids of a certain age can do with ease. Parents, as well as pediatricians, can make use of these development milestones to check how well a child is developing emotionally, and physically. Though every milestone is associated with a particular age level, it can differ from one child to another as every kid is unique.

It is also important for parents to understand that the tasks that are to be achieved at a certain age need not be mastered, but the sooner the child masters one task, it gets easy for him/her to move on to the next one. Before we get to know the various social emotional development stages in children, let us first understand why knowing it all is important.

Why is it important to know the social emotional development stages?

Once you know the tasks your kids are comfortable doing, you can model the teaching skills to help the child complete the tasks successfully. It also helps you to be more patient. It gets easy for you as a parent to understand developmental patterns and also assess their behavior in the classroom and at home.

Social Emotional Development Stages

Babies | Infants

2 Months

– Babies cry so that they can get their needs met

– They learn to self soothe and start to suck fingers and hands

– They start to smile and often look at people directly

4 Months

–  Start to cry in various ways to express their hunger, or pain or when they are tired

– They start to smile when a person smiles at them

–  Start to play with toys by holding them tight and by moving them

6 Months

  • By this time, infants are aware of familiar faces and can know who strangers are
  • Can also respond to the emotions of others by smiling or laughing or by crying
  • They often enjoy and cheer themselves looking at themselves in a mirror

9 Months

  • Kids of this age often show ‘stranger anxiety.’
  • Some infants cry when they do not see some familiar faces like their parents around
  • Start to show preference to some toys or books over the others

12 Months

  • Start to play with known or familiar people
  • They become more interactive and can hand over small books or toys and can even make noises to grab attention
  • They start to enjoy rhymes and interactive games

Toddlers | Preschoolers

18 Months to 2 Years

  • Toddlers at this age start to show temper tantrums, and they start to communicate
  • They try to be independent
  • Can start pretend play and can imitate adults or other kids
  • Will start playing with other kids and will like to have them around. They involve in parallel play.

3 Years to 4 Years

  • Kids of this age verbalize and show a wide range of emotions
  • They are pretty much into pretend play but often confuse between “make-believe” and what is real
  • They are charming, kind and spontaneous
  • Start to mingle with other kids of their age
  • Can still show tantrums due to a change in their routine

Grade Schoolers

5 Years to 6 Years

  • This is the age when the kids can do a few tasks independently and are conversational
  • They are eager to test their boundaries but are ready to help out and please others
  • They start to understand what embarrassment is

7 Years to 8 Years

  • Kids of this age are well aware of the perceptions of others
  • They can complain about the reactions of other kids and friendships
  • Try hard to behave well but do not show much attention to directions
  • Expressive about their feelings but can also get aggregated when they are upset

9 Years to 10 Years

  • Kids of this age start to share secrets as well as jokes with friends
  • They start to have to own identity and can often withdraw themselves from regular family conversations or activities
  • They are affectionate, can behave silly but are curious at the same time. They can be rude and very argumentative as well.


Middle School | High School Kids

11 Years to 15 Years

  • This is the age when children start to show signs that are growing emotionally, mentally and physically
  • They start to think with a logic
  • They can be introspective and might ask for privacy
  • They value friends and the opinions of others more
  • Will be eager to try out new ideas, mannerisms, and even new styles so understand where they actually fit in

16 Years to 18 Years

  • Kids of this age start to try and be independent
  • Some kids even distance themselves emotionally
  • They try and learn about their strengths and weakness and can be moody and self-centered
  • They show immense pride when they are successful
  • They spend a good time with friends, and some may show interest in dating as well

Those mentioned above are some of the social emotional developments in kids as per their age. Let us now have a look at some tips that will help promote their emotional development

Start creating routines – If you have young children, creating routines with interesting activities will not only keep them occupied but enhance their feeling of safety and keep them comfortable.

Self – Control – Self-control needs to be taught to children and parents can start making them aware of their behaviors from a young age. This will help them make a good choice when they grow up.

Independence – Will power in a child starts to develop once they strive for independence. Though the strong will can, at times create battles, you can help them balance between will and ego. This is quite important for the overall growth and development of a child.

Relationships – Teach your children the importance of relationships. Just be spontaneous and have fun as this will create a lot of memories for your child and yourself.

Understand their Behavior – Every child has his/her own temperament. There might be times when the way of expressing might not be appropriate. This is when we as adults need to guide our children and support them. This way they learn to control their emotions.

Playtime – Always value the playtime with your kid. A parent is the first playmate of every child, and they learn various skills that are needed for their success during their school life and beyond.

social emotional development stages – The social emotional development in a child starts right at birth. The process continues throughout their life and helps them learn skills that will allow them to interact and express their feelings/ emotions successfully.  Remember that every child is unique can some can show development a little late, but there is nothing to worry.

FGSI helps children achieve their dreams and build their confidence by providing them a platform to showcase their love for science, technology and innovations. If you have a young one or a high school going kid, who is always eager to try out new ideas, give them a chance to be a part of science fairs. Contact FGSI to know how we can be of help


Spread the love

Recent Comments

Please share your valuable inputs

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *