Child Development Birth to 19 Years

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Understanding Emotional and Social Development in Children
Social relationships begin at birth and are evident in the daily interactions between infants, parents, and teachers. Infants are social beings who possess many behaviors that they use to initiate and facilitate social interactions. Everyone uses social behaviors to begin and maintain a relationship with others. Consequently, healthy social development is essential for young children. Regardless of their temperament, all infants are capable of and benefit from social interactions. Crying is a primary social behavior in infancy. It attracts parents or caregivers and promotes a social interaction of some type and duration, depending on the skill and awareness of the caregiver. Crying also has a survival value; it alerts caregivers to the presence and needs of the infant. However, merely meeting the basic needs of infants in a matter of fact is not sufficient to form a firm base for social development. You must react to infants with enthusiasm, attentiveness, and concern for them as unique persons

Imitation is another social behavior of infants. They have the ability to mimic the facial expressions and gestures of adults. When a mother sticks out her tongue at a baby, after a few repetitions, the baby will also stick out his tongue! This imitative behavior is satisfying to the infant, and the mother is pleased by this interactive game. For babies, their first opportunities to socialise and form attachments to other people are typically within their core families. Mum and dad can help to make their baby feel safe and secure by offering plenty of attention, right from the start.

As babies grow into toddlers, many have their first experiences of spending time with other children, typically at a nursery. Social skills such as sharing, taking turns, and approaching others become easier with practice (what doesn't?),

During their first year, babies establish their very first and some...
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