A child’s social emotional development plays a huge role in their ability to find success in school and also later on in life.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), children’s social and emotional development is important because it lays the foundation for how they learn to
… understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
I created a series of social emotional developmental checklists to help parents, educators, and counselors gain insight into how they can best support children’s social and emotional development.
These social and emotional developmental checklists are free to download. They are meant to be used as a point of reference. Not every child develops at the same pace, so there might be some variations for some children.
Additionally, these checklists are intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please contact your child’s pediatrician.
The checklists are based on the five social emotional development core competency clusters set forth by CASEL.
The five core competency clusters are discussed below. I’ve also included questions children can ask themselves in order to help them better understand these terms.
Self-management is our ability to control our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. It’s our ability to use appropriate coping skills when we are under pressure and stressed out.
When we control our impulses, set and work toward achieving personal goals, and practice self-discipline, we are displaying good self- management skills.
- What can I do to control my emotions and my reaction right now?
- How can I react to my current situation in a helpful way?
Self-awareness is our ability to recognize our feelings and thoughts and how they influence our behavior. Additionally, when we are self-aware, we can accurately (and confidently) identify the things we’re good at and the things we need to work on.
- How am I feeling right now?
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What am I thinking?
- What’s causing me to think this way?
- How can I express my thoughts and feelings appropriately?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my limitations?
Social awareness is our ability to empathize with others and see things from their perspective, even if they are from different cultures or have different backgrounds.
When we’re socially aware, we understand social and ethical norms for how to behave and carry ourselves accordingly.
- How can I better understand someone else’s thoughts and feelings?
- How can I better understand why other people think and feel the way they do?
Related Article: Teaching Children About Tolerance and Diversity
Responsible Decision Making
When we engage in responsible decision-making, we take actions that follow the rules, protect our safety and the safety of others, show respect for ourselves and others, and we show good character.
- What are the possible consequences that my actions will have on me and others?
- Are my actions in line with my values and beliefs? Explain
- How can I solve problems creatively?
- Did I consider all possible options? Explain
Related Article: Teaching Children to be Good Decision Makers
Having relationship skills means that we are able to make and keep healthy relationships with others, even when they are from different backgrounds or cultures.
We can express ourselves, listen to others, ask for and offer help when needed, resist peer pressure, and resolve conflicts in appropriate ways.
- How can I show genuine interest in this person right now?
- What changes can I make in order to improve how I interact with different people?
- How can I tell other people what I need and want in an appropriate way?
Below are the social emotional developmental checklists. These checklists are free to download when you sign up for our monthly newsletter, the Social Emotional Tool Box.
When you sign up here for the newsletter, you also gain VIP access to our library of free social emotional learning resources.
I hope you find these social emotional developmental checklists helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (n.d.). Emotional intelligence 2.0
Kathryn Sanchez says
I love the social-emotional development checklists. I work with teens and was able to print two but I was not able to pull up the one for ages 14-15.
JUHAIRAH JUZAILLAH BT ABDULLAH says
The above checklist really helps me to complete my thesis titled “art therapy for the development of special children’s emotions”. if you have another checklist for emotional development especially for special needs children aged 13 to 16, can you share with me for more clarity
thanks for sharing this!!