Supporting Toddler’s Social-Emotional Development
How parents of toddlers can support social-emotional development
For more information on child development and developmental check-ups, visit our Ages and Stages page.
Respond to your child’s needs
- Understand your child’s nonverbal communication and know how to respond.
- Understand your child’s verbal communication and know how to respond.
- Support your child’s emotional needs.
- Use positive comments and language with your child.
- Successfully redirect your child’s inappropriate behaviors.
- Understand why your child engages in inappropriate behaviors and know how to modify the environment.
Provide predictable schedule/routines and an appropriate environment for your child
- Provide a mealtime routine for your child that is predictable and appropriate for your child’s age.
- Provide a rest and sleeping routine for your child that is predictable and appropriate for your child’s age.
- Provide your child with predictable limits and consequences.
- Take time each day to play with your child.
Provide a safe home and play environment for your child
- Do a safety check at home to make it safe for your child.
- Have a safe way to transport your child.
- Provide your child with safe care and supervision.
- Provide access to regular medical and dental care for your child.
- Know how to manage your feelings of anger and frustration that come up when you are with your child.
Provide activities that match your child’s development level
- Provide your child with books, toys, and playthings that match your child’s developmental level.
- Know the age-appropriate games that your child enjoys.