By Dr. Jin Lee*
Social and emotional development is the progression of a child’s need to understand and connect with others. The child’s social- emotional ability will impact how much and how well she learns, builds, and maintains relationships throughout her lifetime. Unlike motor and sensory developments, social-emotional skills are harder to spot, yet they require more time to develope and more involvement from caregivers.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, here are a few important social-emotional milestones to look out for in the first 6 months:
- Month 1: primitive grins and grimaces
- Month 2: genuine smile to express what she likes and doesn't; he will also start looking at you for a longer period of time to absorb all your facial expressions
- Month 3: exhibiting “smile talk”: waiting for your cue to smile, or smiling on her own and mimicking your facial expressions
- Month 4: expressing interest in other people: She will turn her head to find the source of a voice when others are talking
- Month 5: recognizing her own name, laughing aloud
- Month 6: likes to play peek-a-boo; expresses more emotions
Studies have shown that the more you practice “responsive care”- promptly and consistently comforting your baby’s needs, the less demanding and more emotionally secure she will be at a later age. The first six months are especially critical for you to attend to your child’s need so that she can develop a sense of security, trust, and confidence.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and developmental psychologists recommend that parents recognize and accommodate to their child’s unique behavioral style rather than resisting it. In addition to POVI that focuses on creating better family conversations with kids in pre-school to teenage ages, another good tool to help track your child’s unique social-emotional development is my company, Qidza Inc.
Our first free app, babynoggin, translated critical milestones (such as those listed above) from peer reviewed clinical and scientific research into step-by-step video and written instructions so that you can play and measure your baby’s progress anywhere, anytime. As your child’s temperament will affect how you parent and feel about yourself and her, our goal is to provide an easy tracking tool so that you can understand more about your child and flag any potential issues along the way.
* Dr. Jin Lee is an Oxford- trained developmental psychologist and the Founder of Qidza. Follow her @drjinlee. Get exclusive access to babynoggin app by signing up today at Qidza.com.
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