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The Developmental Domains: Emotional Development

Welcome, September! This month, we discuss the last piece of what we call “S.P.L.I.C.E” in child development. The "E" in "S.P.L.I.C.E" stands for emotional development and is just what it sounds like: a child's developing ability to recognize, express, and manage their emotions at different stages of life -- as well as the ability to empathize with others.

Children with a strong foundation in emotional literacy tolerate frustration better, have fewer conflicts with others, and form friendships more easily. They are also less impulsive and more focused, leading to higher academic achievement in their school years.

Emotions are a complex and vast topic that may seem daunting at first but teaching children healthy emotional habits at a young age will benefit them as they grow.

Throughout September, we will explore various areas of emotional development on Facebook and Instagram, including:

Attachment and Emotional Development:

How does a parent or primary caregiver help a child develop their ability to understand emotions and create and sustain relationships? Creating a secure and trusting relationship from a young age helps your child be able to develop secure and trusting relationships as they grow older. And the best way to create a secure and trusting relationship is through serve and return interactions!

Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and talk about our own feelings and also the feelings of others. What can you do to help your child develop emotional intelligence?

Labelling, Acknowledging, and Responding to Emotions:

When your child is having difficult feelings or big emotions, what can you do to help them feel better? We will give you some “tools for your toolbox” to help in these situations.


Self-regulation is the ability to recognize and respond internally to emotions. Self-regulation is not something that children are naturally born with but is learned over time through recognizing and naming your child’s emotions, role modelling, and coaching. We will be providing some strategies that can be used with your child in the moment to help them develop this important, lifelong skill.


Empathy is the ability to put yourself “in someone else’s shoes.” Empathy is another very complex skill that requires a lot of practice with your child to be able to do independently. However, there are strategies that you can practice with your child to help them develop this important skill.

Stages of Emotional Development:

All children develop at different rates; however, emotional development typically follows a direct path. Together, we will be exploring the different stages of that path.

Are you curious about where your child is in their emotional development? Call 780-471-3737 and ask to speak with one of our Intake Facilitators about doing an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-SE) to help you identify what stage your child is at in their social and emotional development.

Remember, laying the foundation for your child to develop these healthy emotional skills will take time and patience but will help your child to become a healthy and thriving citizen as they grow older.



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