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1 Year Old Milestones

Social and Emotional Development

In the last part, some milestones for one year old physical development was listed, and here, we'll cover some of the social and emotional development milestones that you might see.

A lot is happening in your child's life during this time period, and they are constantly learning new thing. While physical developments are easy to see and notice, you'll need to pay closer attention to see the social and emotional development milestones in your child. We'll list some below, so that you'll have a better idea of what to look for.

Emotional and Social Development Milestones

  • A 12 months old child becomes much better at showing a wide range of emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness, loneliness, fear, jealousy, or affection.

    You can help your toddler become more aware of his or her emotions and feeling by describing and explaining to him or her what he or she is feeling. For example:

    "You are happy right now because you just got a new toy from grandma!" Or...

    "You are sad right now because daddy has to leave and go to work."
  • Your child may start to explore a bit by themselves and allow themselves to be separated from you for a brief time. When outside of the house, he or she will use you as a "safe base", and come to you or cling on to you when their fear of the new environment or of new strangers is increased.
  • On the other hand, your child will  enjoy familiar environments such as your own home, or a relative's home where you visit often - for example, grandparents' homes.
  • A one year old child may have a special attachment to a toy, stuffed animal, an object, or perhaps a blanket that he or she likes to keep close and carry around at all time.
  • Some children at this age may also give you a hug or a kiss if you ask for it.
  • While the child may enjoy being around other children, he or she probably will not play with other children just yet. You may notice that while being around other similar aged children, a one year old child will likely just play by themselves.

Your toddler is learning through their all their senses. Give lots of praises and encouragement to help your child build confidence and feel more independent. Keep in mind that at just 12 months old, toddlers are still just beginning to discover and learn about their own feelings and emotions, so they still have not learned to consider the feelings of others yet. Do your best to help your child understand that some of their actions have an effect on others.

For example, if your child takes toy away from a sibling or another child, kindly explain to your child that these actions affects others as well. Talk to your child about his or her feelings and emotions, name those feelings (ie. happy, sad, upset), and accept those emotions. Take time to explain that we all have feelings and emotions, and how others might be affected by our actions. A young child will need a lot of experience and guidance before they learn how their actions can affect others.

Some may wonder exactly how much can we expect a 1 year old to know and understand. If you take the time and effort to talk to and explain to them, they will understand. Don't underestimate the ability of young children to learn and understand new things. The more you teach them, the more they will know and understand.

<< 12 Months Physical Development

1 Year Language and Speech >>

Baby & Toddler Videos

Toddler Reading Video
Watch a 2 year old toddler read, and see how this child's reading skill develops at 3 and 4 years old.