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 form relationships and interact positively with familiar adults who are consistent and responsive to their needs.

Skill Progression: Separation

Age: 24-27 Months

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Demonstrates anger or excitement at adult separation and/or upon reunion after separation

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child when the adult returns or comes to pick the child up after a several hour separation.

Elicitation Strategy

No elicitation needed.

Behavior Observed

The greeting the adult gets after a separation is partially dependent on how hard the separation was initially and if the child had a difficult time during the separation. Anger toward the adult may be seen if the experience was uncomfortable for the child. On the other hand, the child may also greet the adult with excitement.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Help parents understand that the child’s point of view: she was afraid the adult wouldn’t return and her anger stems from concern. Help parents know how to reflect the child’s feelings, reassure the child, and offer affection. Also, help the adult understand how to prepare the child when a separation is to occur. Be alert to disorders in attachment that may require more support and intervention.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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