For Parents
12-23 months
Social/Emotional Development (18 Months)

Social/Emotional Development (18 Months)

July 7, 2022

Normal Development:

  • Shows signs of independence; says “no”(18–24 months)
  • Begins to show difficult behavior (18–24 months)
  • Finds it hard to wait (18+ months)
  • Gets angry sometimes and has temper tantrums (18+ months)
  • Enjoys simple pretend play like wearing hats and talking on phone (18–24 months)
  • Can become aggressive when frustrated (18+ months)
  • May become attached to a toy or blanket (18+ months)
  • Generally more comfortable with strangers (18–24 months)
  • Can understand how other people feel (18–24 months)
  • Shows feelings of jealousy (18–24 months)
  • Recognizes herself in mirror or pictures (18–24 months)
  • Becomes aware of things that don’t make sense (18–24 months)
  • Becomes embarrassed (18–25 months)
  • Imitates the behavior of others, especially adults and older children (18–27 months)
  • Gets excited about being around other children (18–27 months)

What You Can Do:

  • Make play dates and take opportunities to play with other kids.
  • Sign your child up for some classes (music, art, gym) or go to the museum, library, or playground regularly.
  • Help your child recognize and label feelings (“You are feeling frustrated because this is taking such a long time.”)
  • Read your child books about feelings
  • Encourage pretend play (dress-up, kitchen, firefighter, etc.)

Our Advice:

  • Try not to fight with others in front of your child. It will make them feel frightened. At this age, kids need to feel safe.
  • Try to stay calm while disciplining your child
  • Try to avoid forcing your child into any situation that makes him or her nervous. If it is somewhere your child has to go (like school) give them a lot of support and preparation.
  • Remember to tell your child when they are behaving well, not just when they are behaving badly. In other words, catch them being good-not just bad. If your child learns that good behavior gets your attention, they’ll do it more often.

Try not to compare yourself to other parents, or your child to other children. Every family is different!

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