Observe the child in daily routines and in play interactions with another.
Conflicts or hurt feelings may arise naturally between siblings or peers. If not the adult can enter the play and pretend to be sad when a child takes a toy or when the blocks fall on her foot.
The child understands not just that someone is upset, but that his actions caused the feelings. The child may offer a toy, pat the child or vocalize sympathy.
Parents love it when their child says, “I love you” and gives hugs. The child discovers he can make people happy, sad, or mad. His actions are not just for the good feelings he get, but also for intentionally eliciting feelings from others. He may tease, show off, comfort, etc. Adults should comment on how the child’s actions make them feel.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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