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: Social awareness and conscience

Age: 8-10 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 8-10 Months.

Responds differently to different people

Situations for Observation of Skill

Watch the infant with familiar adults, parents and siblings as well as unfamiliar adults.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation needed.

Behavior Observed

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.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

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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