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Social development

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Self directed or imaginative play is very important in children’s social and emotional development. Children will ‘act out’ event they have experienced in their play. They do this to show their experiences are in their memories. This is important because a child’s way of thinking and coping with situation can be developed in many different ways.

Moral development:-

An important part of social development is moral development. Children observe other children and adult’s behaviour, gradually developing a sense of right and wrong. Reinforcement is important in moral development where certain behaviours are promoted as being right or wrong- aggression is a good example of this.

Pro-social behaviour:-

An advanced stage of a child’s moral development I when he or she is capable of pro-social behaviour. This refers to an act of helping or benefits others to the person doing it. For example, donating a kidney is an example of pro-social behaviour because if you donate a kidney it is saving somebody’s life but as a result you may not make it.

Development of aggression:-

A child could develop aggression in their behaviour because of what they have experienced. For example, child has been naughty and their parent or guardian slaps them as a punishment a child will think it is acceptable to hurt or hit another person. Another example is if a child witnesses a male hitting a female at home. It is ok because their parent is hitting one another. Children at a young age mimic adults and carers. A child not being able to express themselves for example tantrums and mood swings could lead to aggression.

Primary socialisation:-

This is within the family. In the first years how to interact with others and learning what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

Secondary socialisation:-

This is when a child becomes into regular contact with others and settings outside the home, such as playgroup, nursery, school. This continues through life.


Learning to cope with the family and society we live in. this is dependent on the family and this process will differ.

A baby aged newborn to four weeks, responds positively to their main carer. A baby aged four weeks gazes inventively at carers.

At four months a baby smiles, engages and vocalises with carers and other close relatives. A Baby also at this age also tends o babble and coos. A baby responds to somebody shaking a rattle or bell. A four month old likes to play peek-a-boo games.

At six months a baby starts to show interest in other babies and smiles at one another. A baby also in this age group tends to become more interested in social interaction, depending on the amount of time spent with other children and their personality. A six month old baby tends to seek attention off other adults and children. They do this by babbling and smiling.

At eight months a baby responds to their name and spends a great deal of time watching and observing others. A baby at this age also imitates sounds and actions and facial expressions of others. A baby also at this age responds to distress shown by others by crying or making moaning sounds. A baby at this age also raises their arms as a sign they want to be held and cuddled.

At twelve months a baby likes and prefers to play alone. A baby at this age also imitates adult actions like drinking a cup of tea, talking on the phone and doing household jobs. A baby at this age also responds to their name and offers toy or objects to others but expects them to be returned, a baby also tends to push away something they don’t like or don’t want.

At eighteen months a baby starts to be potty trained and have separate sense s of ego-centric. A baby at eighteen months also has little ideas of sharing and a strong sense of ‘mine’. Babies at this age also enjoy playing exploring game and gets into everything and requires constant supervision. A baby shows affection by returning a kiss or a hug. A baby at this age also tries to do things for themselves.

At two years a child enjoys company of other children but is very reluctant to sharing toys. A child at this age may show concern when another child is upset they do this by hugging. A two year old child also learns to separate from carer or parent for short periods of times, for example nursery and play groups. At two years a child should be able to know their own identity, they also engaged in parallel play(along with other small toddlers).

At three years a child will play in twos and trees and they share ideas amongst themselves. A child will have close and will show affection and be friendly to other children. A year old is less anxious about being separated from their parents/carers.

At four years a child enjoys co-operative and dramatic role play, a child also responds to reasoning and also takes turns fairly and equally. A child also enjoys their independence and freedom but also likes to be reassured and comforted.

At five years a child becomes more engrossed in activities and is very concerned about being dislikes by other young children.

At six and seven years a child is able to form a firm relationship and is very supportive of one another. They also play more complex games. Children in this age group tend to play in separate sex groups. They increase sense of morality (right and wrong).

An eight to twelve year old create strong friendships and they become very important in a child’s life. Most of their friends at this age are all of the same gender/sex. Children are often unsure about changes and settings. For example going into secondary school is a very big change and could be very unsettling.

A thirteen to sixteen year old are most likely pushed into habits their friends are doing like smoking and drinking alcohol this is called peer pressure. Teenagers at this age want to spend more time with their friends more than their family. A sixteen childhood is coming to an end and they need to resolve changes into adulthood.

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