Social Development in Children

 Social Development in Children

Social development, according to Erik Erikson, consists of eight basic phases – the “eight stages of man.” His eight stages of man were based primarily on experience in psychotherapy, including extensive experience with treating children and adolescents fromvarious socio-economic backgrounds. Each stage is described by Erikson’s social development theory as a “dilemma that requires a resolution before the person can move onto the next stage of development. These stages are can be compared to the building of a house: satisfactory resolution of each stage is a prerequisite for the next,  just as the foundation of a house must be completed properly in order to advance to the first floor, which in turn has to be structurally sound in order to properly support and the second floor, and so on.

For more details on each stage of social and emotional development according to the model created by Erikson, click here:

For more details on social and emotional development milestones for specific age groups, click here:

Here is a detailed discussion of social and emotional deevlopment of children 1-12 years old:

Definition of Social Development

What is social development? Social development refers the development of social skills and emotional maturity that are needed to forge relationships and relate to others. Often developing empathy and understanding the needs of others is also included in the area of social development.

In order to develop socially, children need to interact with their peers and adults in a socially acceptable way. Developing good social skills is necessary for them to be abler to eventually form healthy relationships and fit into various social scenarios comfortably.

Parental interactions are the building blocks for healthy social development in children. By giving  lots of love and attention  to the baby, parents form a close bond with the child, allowing him or her to grow in a comfortable, secure and socially healthy atmosphere.

As a  child grows and matures, his language skills improve, making social emotional development and social interactions with peers an important part of his life,  as he becomes more involved with other children and adults around him. When the child reaches preschool,  friendships become increasingly important. At this stage of social development, children often prefer to play with same-sex friends, and often start  forming ” best friend” relationship with selected peers.

Friendships, attention and approval of his or her peers and significant adults become increasingly important to a preschool child. At this age, children become focused on seeking approval from their parents and friends. They often prefer playing with their friends or alone, apart from their parents. They begin to show a strong desire for independence and often insists on making their own choices and preferences in clothing, food, activities and so on. Most preschoolers at this stage of social development, however, still often need an adult assistance and supervision in order help them settle arguments or get necessary supplies. Many social development skills are acquired at this age as children learn to compromise, share and take turns.

The following site offers a selection of current, high-quality resources about healthy social and emotional development in children and teenagers. These resources include education, health and social services literature.  There are separate sections presented to cover topics such as developmental stages according to age groups. Other sources discuss the  factors that impact social and emotional development, as well as various policies and programs which  promote social and emotional wellness in homes and schools.  Various strategies are offered for integrating health, educational and developmental services. These resources are valuable for parents, health professionals, educators, program administrators, and community advocates. To read more and access the resources online, click here:

Social Development in Children Milestones

The early years of a child’s life present a unique opportunity for healthy development, and research has shown the great importance of the first five years of life. During these formative years, both positive and negative experiences help shape the  children’s cognitive, social, behaviora  and emotional development.

 Social and emotional development milestones are often harder to specify than those of physical development. This area includes various skills that involve self-awareness and self control. Social and emotional development is reflected in the ability of the child to pay attention, make smooth transitions from one activity to another, empathise and cooperate with others and other skills. Research shows that social development in children skills are very important in school readiness for children and play a big role in the child’s social integration in school.

For a detailed chart of social development in children milestones in children up to age 5, click here:

Social development skills are very important in a child’s life as he or she learns to form friendships and gets integrated into the classroom environment.

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 Social Development

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 Social Development in Children
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