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 recognize and respond to the needs and feelings of others.

Skill Progression: Recognizes and responds to needs and feelings of others

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

Shows distress at the cry of another infant; Imitates simple expressions

Imitates simple expressions

2-4 Months

Responds differently to happy and sad faces

Vocalizes to socialize with another

4-6 Months

Responds to specific facial patterns as a having a specific meaning

6-8 Months

Smiles toward and may touch another child

Understands that adults’ signals (voice and face) together convey information and emotions (behavior changes with adult signals)

8-10 Months

Social referencing (checks adults cues) used to determine how he should respond to situations

10-12 Months

Shows initial signs of empathy

Facial expressions reflect adult’s emotions

Uses self-calming strategies when sees another in distress

12-15 Months

Recognizes other’s distress and pats, touches them

Understands what adult wants and spontaneously offers object

15-18 Months

Expresses caring for another vocally and physically

Recognizes his actions cause feelings in others

18-21 Months

Reacts to other’s feelings by commenting and offering an object to make them feel better, demonstrates a broader range of comforting strategies

21-24 Months

Attempts to control others’ feelings through verbal (“no cry”), physical (patting), or social means (giving comfort object)

Uses words relating to mental state for self and others (e.g., happy, sad, want, like)

24-27 Months

Asks about others’ feelings or states and the causes of their feelings

27-30 Months

Shows true empathy

Differentiates self and own feelings from others

30-33 Months

Hugs familiar playmates to show affection or to comfort

33-36 Months

Talks about others’ emotions and understand what elicits them (infers cause)

36-42 Months

Demonstrates awareness of others’ thoughts, feelings, and perceptions (Talks about how others

42-48 Months

Discusses how and why others’ feelings, attitudes, and beliefs are different

48-54 Months

Asks questions to understand what another person thinks

54-60 Months

Compares and negotiates ideas with others in play

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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