Promoting Appropriate Social and Emotional Skills in Infants and Toddlers
Kostelnik, Whiren, Soderman, and Gregory (2006) identified several strategies parents and professionals may use to facilitate appropriate social and emotional development in infants and toddlers:
- Respond to an infant’s signals in a way that is appropriate for the developmental level of the child.
- Comment during routine care about objects or actions that interest the infant.
- Use language to respond to an older infant’s gestures.
- Wait for a physical response to key phrases from a child who is not yet talking.
- Tell the infant or toddler what you are going to do before you do it, and pause a second or two before starting.
- Provide play materials and interaction experiences that encourage the child to explore the environment.
- Praise each success.
- Encourage exploration by being physically available to the child during play.
- Arrange social experiences between infants or toddlers when they are comfortable and alert.
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