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Know What to Expect    

Understanding social and emotional development from birth-five allows you to know what to expect and how to support your child’s development. For a brief overview, check out this informative brochure: Early Social Emotional Development to learn more. For more about infants and toddlers, take a closer look at Developing Social-Emotional Skills from Birth-3.

Build a Strong Positive Relationship    


Relationships matter most. Caring, responsive relationships provide your child the foundation needed for healthy social and emotional development. The following video and tip-sheet, Spending Quality Time With Your Child, for ways to begin building strong, positive relationships with your child.

Responsive Care is where it all begins. 

Some excellent resources specifically designed for families can support you in this role.

The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) offers ideas about teaching your child how to cooperate with your requests; how to become independent with daily routines; how to express emotions, and much more.

The national organization, Zero to Three provides a wealth of resources, including many focused on social emotional development and discipline. Here are some you may find particularly useful:


The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations provides families with activities and tools. Here are a few for you to try:


Looking for a quick way to engage your child in a brain building activity?

VROOM is a family friendly way to make connections in the brain (called neural pathways) that will develop skills and offer opportunities to learn in an active and healthy way. This helps offer positive experiences when life might otherwise be hectic and chaotic. Download the app and enter your child’s information for age appropriate activities that you can lead in a matter of minutes! VROOM captures some of what your child might be doing in child care and allows you to build on it at home. The more opportunities we offer children to connect, the stronger relationships become and better prepared they are to make choices that support healthy development.

Prevent and Address Challenging Behaviors


During birth to five (and beyond) children are in the process of learning self-control and self-regulation; the ability to regulate their emotions when they are upset. Because these skills are a work in progress, challenging behaviors like tantrums, crying, and hitting are not uncommon in early childhood. Developing approaches for preventing and responding to such behaviors can be extremely beneficial for you and your child. 

You can use also teach your child Calm Down Strategies to learn how to handle anger, frustration, and stressful situations.


The "Making Life Easier" series available at the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations provides ideas about how to make often challenging events easier for you to navigate, and even enjoyable, for you and your child. Here are a few you may find helpful:



For a more comprehensive approach for dealing with challenge behaviors, these articles offer excellent ideas:

Want to Learn More?     


If you would like to learn more about what is happening in New Hampshire to support you and your child’s social-emotional development review these resources:

  • Positive Solutions for Families Workshop Series at this link view a short video clip a workshop designed to help parents and caregivers promote their young child's social and emotional development and to better understand young children's challenging behaviors. 


If you would like to participate in this series, contact Kimm Phillips at the Parent Information Center phone: 603-224-7005 x120 or email: 


  • New Hampshire Pyramid Model Tip Card for Families briefly explains the Pyramid Model an approach used by families, caregivers, and early childhood teachers to support children in having better social and emotional development and less challenging behavior.

Social Emotional Development:  What, Why and How?

You play a crucial role in your child’s social and emotional development.

Let’s begin by exploring what we mean by social-emotional development and why it is so important.   

Teach Social and Emotional Skills

“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.
“If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.
“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.
“If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.
“If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we... teach? …punish?”
Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?
Tom Herner, 1998.

This quote is a powerful reminder that, just like any other skill, “good behavior” is something children need to learn. It does not come automatically. The same is true about positive social-emotional skills. You are an important teacher in your child’s learning process. 

In this Zero to Three video, see how you can set age-appropriate limitations for young children who are learning to cope with their emotions.

Ask your child care provider or child’s teacher if they use Pyramid Model. If not, share this website with them. 

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