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: Emotional expression

Age: 18-21 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 18-21 Months.

Demonstrates embarrassment and pride, smiles when engaged in a joint activity with adult

Situations for Observation of Skill

Embarrassment in young children is shown when they see something funny or unusual about how they are perceived by others. They may become embarrassed when they are the focus of attention.

Elicitation Strategy

Often just asking a child to “perform” something for others makes him uncomfortable and he demonstrate embarrassment.

Behavior Observed

The child who is embarrassed often hides behind the adult, looks down or away, and avoids looking at the observers. On the other hand, the child who performs, smiles broadly and then repeats the action is showing pride and the effort to get observers to respond again.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents do not need to encourage embarrassment. This emotion evolves naturally as the child becomes aware of others’ interest in observing his “skills.” Embarrassment is natural, but parents can be encouraged not to put the child on the spot in front of friends and relatives. Parents often think the behavior the child shows is shyness, but it may well be embarrassment.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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