Early Experiences Matter

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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Promoting Social-Emotional Development

Healthy social-emotional development entails the ability to form satisfying, trusting relationships with others, play, communicate, learn, face challenges, and experience and handle a full range of emotions. It is through relationships that young children develop these skills and attributes. Starting from birth, babies are learning who they are by how they are treated. Loving relationships provide young children a sense of comfort, safety, and confidence. They teach young children how to form friendships, communicate emotions, and to deal with challenges. Strong, positive relationships also help children develop trust, empathy, compassion, and a sense of right and wrong.

To learn ways you can support your young child’s healthy social-emotional development, explore the resources below.

Learn More

Tips and Tools - In this section, you will find downloadable resources and brochures that highlight the development of social-emotional skills from birth to three.

Q & A - In this section, you will frequently asked questions about infants, toddlers, and play.



Focusing on Peers: The Importance of Relationships in the Early Years - This unique book presents a state-of-the-art research review on the development of infant and toddler relationships. More Details

Early Experiences Count: How Emotional Development Unfolds Starting at Birth
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My toddler has been at home with me since he was born. Do you think it is necessary that he begin preschool or child care in order to develop social skills?
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My 3-year-old son spends half his time with me and my wife, and the other half with his mother. When he is with my ex-wife, my son gets away with more than when he’s with me. I’m not sure how to handle that.
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Recently, my 3-year-old made the following comments in public: “Mommy, he is fat!” What do you do when your child makes embarrassing comments about people?
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