North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Cognitive Development (CD)

Subdomain: Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal: Children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions

Skill Progression: Making decisions

Age: 12-15 Months

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May know an action is out-of- bounds, but decides to do it anyway

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child during daily routines, especially around temptations, such as items that are out-of-bounds (stairs, glass items, electric sockets, etc.).

Elicitation Strategy

If necessary, place an enticing item within the child’s reach, but have the adult tell the child “don’t touch.”

Behavior Observed

The infant will look at the adult, and then reach for the item. When the adult says, “No, no” the child may cry or reach for it anyway (especially if there is nothing else of interest around).

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Explain that children are just beginning to understand what “no” means. Children need limits, but not punishment at this age. They do not know why something is wrong. They just read the adult’s face, hear voice cues, and know that they are doing something the adult doesn’t like. Say “NO” firmly. Add one or two words to explain why it is a “no-no.” “That’s mommy’s.” “It’s hot.” “Burn.” Remove the child from the situation and substitute an acceptable item or action.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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