image for Social & Emotional Development

Social and Emotional Domain (SED)

Social and Emotional Development domain includes children’s feelings about themselves and their relationships with others. Learning to manage and express emotions is also a part of this domain. As the foundation for personality development, the skills and characteristics included in this domain affect progress in every other area of development.

Children’s social skills and the relationships they form with others are important for their overall development. Early relationships provide the basis for children’s later relationships with adults and with peers. Through positive early relationships with adults, children learn to understand and care about others. They also gain skills that help them have an easier time adjusting to the demands of formal schooling when they are older. Sensitive interactions with all adults, including family, caregivers, and teachers are particularly important for infants and toddlers because they are learning to form attachments, or strong ties, to people who care for them. These vital relationships establish a strong foundation for social and emotional development enabling children to feel safe and support learning through exploration.

Warm, responsive, and predictable environments help children thrive emotionally and socially. Adults can provide an environment that is relatively calm, positive and stable with appropriate expectations based on age and development. When adults pay attention to children’s cues, responding consistently with positive regard, children are assisted in learning to manage emotions, impulses, and regulate reactions. They learn to feel good about themselves and to relate positively with others. Play experiences also help with the development of pride, joy, and mastery of skills. As children play, they learn self-control, turn taking, sharing, negotiation, and appropriate ways to express their emotions. Play also helps children work through situations they may not understand and explore roles that are unique to their family and culture.

The transition from preschool to kindergarten is a particularly important time to support children’s social and emotional development. Helping children make a smooth transition into kindergarten allows them to continue their social/emotional and academic growth without disruption. Visits to the new school, meeting the classroom teacher, reading books about kindergarten, and talking with children about future changes will help them approach this new milestone with confidence and enhance their enthusiasm for learning.

It is important to keep in mind that a number of factors affect children’s social and emotional development. A child’s temperament, the unique way a child responds to the surrounding world, plays a big role in how they express emotions and relate to others. Some children may be generally happy and very friendly, while others may be more withdrawn or shy. Sensitive adults recognize that children respond differently when exposed to a variety of situations. Responsively interacting with children in ways that match each child’s temperament supports social and emotional development.

Social and Emotional Development Domain

Component: Developing a Positive Sense of Self Goal

SED-1: Children demonstrate a positive sense of themselves as unique and capable individuals in play and everyday tasks.

Component: Developing Relationships

Goal SED-2: Children form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults in play and everyday tasks.

Goal SED-3: Children form relationships and interact positively with other children in play and everyday tasks.

Component: Self-Regulation and Pro-Social Behaviors

Goal SED-4: Children demonstrate self-regulation, pro- social behaviors, and participate cooperatively as members of a group in play and everyday tasks.

Goal SED-5: Children demonstrate an ability to identify and regulate their emotions in play and everyday tasks.

Goal SED-6: Children recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others in play and everyday tasks.







image of South Dakota Early Learning Guide PDF

Want it all in one place?
Get your copy of the South Dakota Early Learning Guide.

Download Now