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What is social, emotional and behavioural development

Social, emotional and behavioural development begins at birth and continues into adulthood.

Children’s social, emotional and behavioural development is very important because it is interconnected with all domains of development.

It supports them to enjoy their lives and grow to be confident and secure.

Having a positive sense of self will improve your child'sresilence when they are faced with challenges.


Your relationship with your child
The time you spend with your child and how you talk to them will greatly influence their future sense of self and their social and emotional development.

By having a secure relationship with you, your child will:

  • feel more confident exploring their environment
  • learn about and understand various feelings
  • begin to form new relationships
  • be encouraged to become more independent, knowing as they explore that they can return again to the safety of your presence
  • Your child's personality
  • Every child is unique and has their own personality.

It is important to understand your child’s personality as this is unlikely to change. Some personality traits are inherited from our parents, while others are shaped by our world, families and cultures.

Avoid making negative comments about your child's behaviours and their emerging personality. Children are often very sensitive to these comments. They want and need your approval.

The way you think and talk about your child will have an influence on how they view themselves. The more positive that view is, the better your child’s self-esteem will be.

[RT] Your baby’s mental health

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
Next review due: 20/11/2021