Watch the infant with familiar adults, parents and siblings as well as unfamiliar adults.
No elicitation needed.
The infant’s facial expression and behavior changes for familiar and unfamiliar people. The infant gets excited or calms for a familiar adult, attends with anticipation to a sibling, and turns away from or cries when an unfamiliar adult tries to interact. This demonstrates differentiation of faces and also stranger anxiety.
Children need to know who is familiar and unfamiliar; who they can trust and not trust. This begins with recognition of familiar faces and strangers’ faces. Help early childhood educators and parents understand that the negative reaction to strangers is a sign that children know who they can trust. If the adult talks to the stranger with a smile, children will check in and see that the adult is ok, so they may calm down. Children need time to adjust.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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