April Step Up to School Readiness Goal

DOMAIN: Emotional and Social Development

SUBDOMAIN: Learning about Feelings

DEVELOPMENTAL INDICATORS

Infants (Birth to 12 months):

  • Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, and anger) with their face, body, and voice.
  • Show when they feel overwhelmed or are in distress or pain (cry, yawn, look away, extend arms or legs, arch their body, fuss).
  • Soothe themselves (suck thumb or pacifier, shift attention, snuggle with a soft toy).

Younger Toddlers (8 to 21 months):

  • Express a range of emotion (happiness, sadness, fear and anger) with their face, body, and voice.
  • Use body language, facial expression, and sometimes words to communicate feelings (clap when happy, pout and hunch shoulders when sad, shout “Whee!” when excited).
  • Separate from a parent or main caregiver without becoming overcome by stress.
  • Find comfort and calm down in a familiar setting or with a familiar person.

Older Toddlers (18 to 36 months)

  • Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words.
  • Communicate to make needs known.
  • Manage emotions and control impulses with guidance and support (Say “I don’t like that!” instead of hitting; wait by door instead of running ahead when excited to go out).
  • Display emotional outbursts less often.

Younger Preschoolers (36 to 48 months)

  • Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words.
  • Use a variety of words or signs to express and manage feelings more clearly.
  • Describe reasons for their feelings (“I’m sad because Grandma’s leaving.” “That makes me mad when you do that!”).

Older Preschoolers (48 to 60+ months)

  • Express a range of emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, tenderness, hostility, shame, guilt, satisfaction, and love) with their face, body, vocal sounds, and words.
  • Independently manage and express feelings effectively most of the time.
  • Use a larger vocabulary for talking about different feelings (“I’m frustrated with that puzzle!” “I’m excited about our trip.”).
  • Give reasons for their feelings that may include thoughts and beliefs as well as outside events (“I’m happy because I wanted to win and I did.”).
  • Use problem-solving strategies when feeling angry or frustrated.

Click here for more on Step Up to School Readiness and the SC Early Learning Standards.

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