North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

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

Subdomain: Learning About Feelings

Goal: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.

Skill Progression: Self-control

Age: 6-8 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 6-8 Months.

Beginning to learn the meaning of “no,” stops action briefly then continues

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infants response when an adult indicates something is out of bounds.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation may be needed, as infants will try to mouth or explore everything. When the child moves toward an inappropriate object and tries to get it (the cat’s tail, a cup of coffee), the adult says “no” firmly with a brief explanation (“kitty will be mad” or “that’s hot”). If no opportunity arises naturally, place an attractive, but inappropriate object where the child can see it and react when the child tries to get it.

Behavior Observed

Children at this age are beginning to understand the meaning of vocal intonation in relation to what is “good” and “not good.” The child will stop, look at the adult, then go for the object again. The “stop and look” is beginning recognition of do’s and don’ts.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children all need boundaries, so learning the meaning of facial expressions and limit-setting words is important. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to pair words (short and simple) with firm intonation (not yelling). Make a frowning face, say ‘no’ firmly, and explain why simply (“That’s sharp.”) The child at this level will not understand the meaning, but this pattern is important for later cause-and-effect understanding.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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