SED 3: Relationships and Social Interactions with Familiar Adults

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Definition: Child develops close relationships with one or more familiar adults (including family members) and interacts in an increasingly competent and cooperative manner with familiar adults

SED 3: Relationships and Social Interactions with Familiar AdultsView examples of the developmental levels for SED Measure 3 below: Responding Earlier, Responding Later, Exploring Earlier, Exploring Later, Building Earlier, Buidling Middle, Building Later, Integrating Earlier



Note: For young children, learning is an integrated experience. The examples below may include multiple areas of learning and development.

Responding Earlier

Responds to faces, voices, or actions of familiar people

Possible Examples

  • Widens eyes or brightens face at the face of a familiar adult.
  • Orients toward a familiar adult’s voice.
  • Quiets when picked up by a familiar adult.

Responding Later

Shows a preference for familiar adults and tries to interact with them

Possible Examples

  • Reaches for a familiar adult when being held by another adult.
  • Vocalizes at a familiar adult to gain the adult’s attention.
  • Laughs in anticipation before a familiar adult nuzzles child’s neck.

Source: California Department of Education. 2016.

Exploring Earlier

Interacts in simple ways with familiar adults and tries to maintain the interactions

Possible Examples

  • Places toy on a familiar adult’s lap, goes to get another toy, and then places that toy on the adult’s lap.
  • Puts hands near head to continue a game of peek- a-boo when a familiar adult pauses.
  • Repeatedly hands little cars to a familiar adult to continue a joint activity.

Exploring Later

Initiates activities with familiar adults;
Seeks out assistance or support from familiar adults

Possible Examples

  • Grasps a familiar adult’s hand to gain attention, and then gestures to begin a finger-play game.
  • Communicates interest in looking at a book with a familiar adult.
  • Brings a blanket to a familiar adult and then climbs into the adult’s lap when upset.
  • Gestures to a familiar adult for assistance about how to remove a tight lid from a canister.

Source: California Department of Education. 2016.

Building Earlier

Engages in extended interactions with familiar adults in a variety of situations (e.g., sharing ideas or experiences, solving simple problems)

Possible Examples

  • Communicates to a familiar adult, “Want some tea?” during a pretend tea party.
  • Completes a simple puzzle with a familiar adult, taking turns to fit pieces.
  • Shares rocks collected while playing outside with a familiar adult.
  • Uses an electronic tablet to play a game with a familiar adult.

Building Middle

Seeks a familiar adult’s ideas or explanations about events or experiences that are interesting to the child

Possible Examples

  • Asks a teacher why another child is not going outside with the group.
  • Communicates to an adult, “What’s the bee doing?” while watching a bee fly from flower to flower or sharing a book together about bees.
  • Asks a familiar adult for a suggestion about how to build the tower to keep it from falling down.

Building Later

Takes initiative in creating cooperative activities with a familiar adult

Possible Examples

  • Offers to place napkins and cups on the table when a familiar adult is preparing a snack.
  • Brings a board game to a familiar adult and communicates an interest in playing together.
  • Gives pretend food to a familiar adult and communicates, “I made some hamburgers for you. You tell me what you want to drink.”

Integrating Earlier

Works cooperatively with familiar adults, over sustained periods, to plan and carry out activities or to solve problems

Possible Examples

  • Works together with a familiar adult to complete a puzzle over several days, organizing pieces in different ways.
  • Plans a gardening activity with a familiar adult, communicating by signing the materials needed.
  • Gathers possible construction materials, such as glue, paper, and scissors, from a supply shelf to contribute to a building project with a familiar adult.
  • Works with a familiar adult and a group of children to make a piñata over two days, offering alternatives for its shape and construction and what will go inside.

What would your example be?

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