North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

Subdomain: Developing a Sense of Self with Others

Goal: Children demonstrate the social and behavioral skills needed to successfully participate in groups.

Skill Progression: Behavioral regulation

Age: 30-33 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 30-33 Months.

Follows rules part of the time

Situations for Observation of Skill

Watch the child during daily routines or play activities.

Elicitation Strategy

If in a classroom, the child may show understanding of rules, such as: staying away from off-limits areas of the room, picking up toys at pick up time, passing food at snack, not touching friends during naptime, etc.

Behavior Observed

The child anticipates what to do in specific situations and may verbalize the rules to others.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help parents understand that children at this level will not always obey. They are still discovering what rules mean, what they can decide and what adults decide. Encourage patience and perseverance in teaching why rules are important.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit