Social Emotional Development

  • Fear in Infants

    Babies startle at loud noises or when their bodies aren't supported from birth. This is not true fear, however; it is a bodily reflex, instead of a feeling caused by an emotion,
  • Anger in Infants

    Soon after birth, babies experience "infant rage," which occurs when a baby is distressed. The baby experiencing infant rage may swing its arms and legs, turn red, and cry loudly. This is not technically anger, because there is no thought behind the rage.
  • Fear in Infants, cont.

    Starting around 4 months, babies may begin to fear adult strangers, and known adults who have changed their appearances.
  • Fear as an Emotion

    Fear as an emotion begins around 6 months. At this age, infants realize that they can be hurt, and begin to fear this. Babies fear in two ways; fear of the unknown, and fear through direct teachings. Babies fear what they have not experienced, and a repeat of bad things that have happened to them.
  • True Anger Develops

    Around 8 to 10 monts, babies develop true anger. This anger is directed at a certain person or object. Babies may show anger by trying to get away from the person holding them, and grab, shake, or hit an object. Babies are often angered when they are held against their will, have something taken from them, or are being distracted when their needs aren't met.
  • Anxiety in Infants

    Before 10 to 12 months, babies cannot anticipate future events, and therefore cannot experience anxiety because of them. Babies usually experience separation anxiety before other types of anxiety, becoming anxious when an adult that they love leaves. Babies cannot understand why parents leave, and cannot predict their return.
  • Anger in Toddlers

    Toddlers desire more independence, and often show anger in temper tantrums, or sudden outbursts of anger. Temper tantrums are often meant to attract attention, and are not directed at any specific person. The tantrum should be ignored, and the child should be met with love and reassurance when it is over.
  • Fear in Toddlers

    Many fears of infancy extend to the toddler years. Fears increase after 2 years, because toddlers are aware of more things to fear. Toddlers often fear monsters, animals, darkness, "bad people," injury, and startling noises. Toddlers tend to act out their fears in play rather than talking about them. Adults should never tease toddlers about fears, but avoid or limit TV consumtion, which often limits the things that toddlers are aware of, limiting what they can fear.
  • Anxiety in Toddlers

    Many toddlers still continue separation anxiety, but it can decrease in the toddler years, as long as the toddler recieves the proper care during separation. Anxiety is often portrayed in nighmares in toddlers, which decrease in time.
  • Fear and Anxiety in Preschoolers

    Many toddler fears are gone by the preschool years. These are often replaced with new fears, including fear of the unknown; like robbers and monsters, fear of pain, and anxiety of general nature. Many preschool boys report having many fears, and girls often have more intense reactions to their fewer fears.
  • Anger an Aggression in Preschoolers

    Expressions of anger change in the preschool years. Preschoolers tend to react less physically, but more verbally. Boys tend to be more physical than girls. Anger and aggression are directed more at close friends and family than peers. Children often use anger to get their way, or intentionally hurt others. Adults should try to understand the underlying reason of the anger or aggression.