Personal, social and emotional development

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Children must be provided with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others, respect for others, social skills and positive disposition to learn. Providers must ensure support for children's emotional well-being to help them to know themselves and what they can do.

Aspects of Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is made up of the following aspects:

  • Dispositions and Attitudes – is about how children become interested, excited and motivated about their learning.
  • Self-confidence and Self-esteem – is about children having a sense of their own value and understanding the need for sensitivity to significant events in their own and other people's lives.
  • Making Relationships – is about the importance of children forming good relationships with others and working alongside others companionably.
  • Behaviour and Self-control – is about how children develop a growing understanding of what is right and wrong and why, together with learning about the impact of their words and actions on themselves and others.
  • Self-care – is about how children gain a sense of self-respect and concern for their own personal hygiene and care and how they develop independence.
  • Sense of Community – is about how children understand and respect their own needs, views, cultures and beliefs and those of other people.

What Personal, Social and Emotional Development means for children

  • For children, being special to someone and well cared-for is vital for their physical, social and emotional health and well-being.
  • Being acknowledged and affirmed by important people in their lives leads to children gaining confidence and inner strength through secure attachments with these people.
  • Exploration within close relationships leads to the growth of self-assurance, promoting a sense of belonging which allows children to explore the world from a secure base.
  • Children need adults to set a good example and to give them opportunities for interaction with others so that they can develop positive ideas about themselves and others.
  • Children who are encouraged to feel free to express their ideas and their feelings, such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, can develop strategies to cope with new, challenging or stressful situations.

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