Mother and child hug and kiss

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

What is it?

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is recognised as one of the building blocks of success in life. It supports children’s development by helping them to interact effectively and develop positive attitudes to themselves and others. However, this does not happen in isolation and relies on influential adults such as parents and carers providing them with positive feedback and modelling appropriate behaviour.

In the Revised EYFS PSED is broken down into three aspects:

  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behavior
  • Making relationships

Self-confidence and self-awareness

This aspect is about how children come to develop confidence in who they are and what they can do and in expressing their own ideas We know that although many children have several people who care deeply about them all children need to have at least one person who is ‘on their side’ for them to really thrive. This helps the child feel valued and special and gives them a sense of self-worth. This in turn leads to them being confident with others and knowing when they need support from other people.

Managing Feelings and Behaviour

This aspect is about how children can understand their own feelings and other people’s feelings, and how they learn to manage their feelings without letting them spill out at every small annoyance they meet. It also links to how they learn and can follow simple rules which operate in different places such as home and a setting or a play area. Children need the support of adults to help them to understand these complex and often challenging areas.

Making relationships

This aspect is about how young children learn to get along with other children and with adults; how they can see something from somebody else’s point of view and take that into account when they play and work with other children. It is also significant in developing friendships. To be able to do these things children need role models – adults who show them how to be with others; how to be kind and to understand why people behave in certain ways – such as saying sorry for hurting another person’s feelings.
This area of development and learning is one which many adults continue to struggle with since it is far-ranging and complex. Helping children develop personally, socially and emotionally is often challenging but the benefits of this are life-long.