Module 4: Promoting Mental Health in Early Childhood

Early Childhood

During early childhood, children make enormous gains in the development of their concepts of self and the ways they interact with family and friends.

From age 1 year to 4 years, children begin to develop a sense of themselves as separate from their parents and caregivers. They have increased self-control and respond appropriately to life experiences by delaying gratification, modulating responses, remaining calm, focusing on tasks, recognizing consequences, and complying with rules. Parents continue to be the major influences and facilitators of healthy development during early childhood.

Promoting Healthy Mental Development in Early Childhood

Module Objectives

  • Review major developmental goals and areas of special concern in early childhood
  • Describe observable parent-child interactions
  • Specify developmental screening guidelines and identify screening tools
  • Explore key components of healthy mental development in early childhood
  • Suggest topic-specific health interview questions
  • Offer practical tips for primary care providers
  • Provide targeted guidance for parents
  • Recommend additional resources for both providers and families


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