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: 21-24 Months

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Decides not to do something she wants to do, but knows is wrong.

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child during daily activities, particularly around temptations.

Elicitation Strategy

If needed a temptation can be placed within reach of a child with a rule that the child is not to touch and why it is wrong to touch it. For example, “Don’t touch this glass ball. It might break.” “That is your sister’s new doll. Don’t touch it.”

Behavior Observed

As the child moves through the day, you may see the child reach for something out-of-bounds, then withdraw her hand. The child may also talk to herself to remind herself not to do something. “Don’t go outside.” If a temptation is purposefully placed, observe the child without the child knowing she is being observed (while talking to the parent, for example).

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Children of this age still have difficulty controlling anger and frustration, but they are beginning to be able to follow directions and understand right and wrong. Tell early childhood educators to acknowledge the children’s efforts whenever they do something right. This will encourage them to do right more than punishment for doing wrong.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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