The What and Why’s of Social Development

The What and Whys of Social Development

Social development involves a baby’s developing ability to successfully engage with people, manage interactions with others, sustain close relationships and adapt to the demands and expectations of society and culture.

From birth to 24 months a child learns to ‘share the moment’ with another person. He learns how to initiate interaction in a socially acceptable way, ask for assistance, show empathy and love and be sensitive towards the needs of others.

This stage of life provides a crucial window of opportunity for learning to adjust to discipline.

From 8½ months onwards, children closely examine their caregivers’ behaviour and attitudes to actively adjust to them and imitate them.  As a result, every child enters into a ‘social contract’ with his primary caregiver(s) between the ages of 8 months and 2 years that encapsulates what is regarded as acceptable and desirable. The nature of this social contract has lifelong implications for learning and adjustment.

Healthy developing toddlers find a happy balance between their need for independence and their dependence on adults.

Effective social development during the first years of life has a lifelong effect on the development of a child’s personality and his emotional make-up, as well as his future ability to get along with others, collaborate in groups and maintain deeply trusting relationships.

The Practica Programme offers a home-based action plan.

We provide a wide variety of age-appropriate, playful activities aimed at maximising your baby and toddler’s social development as part of the big picture of child development. For more information, request a home demonstration here or visit our website at