Toddler: Trust and Emotional Security

Posted by Nate McCallister on November 29, 2015
Child holding bear.

Trust and emotional security are important parts of social emotional development for toddlers. Healthy relationships are the cornerstone for progress in this domain. At this stage, toddlers will bond with familiar adults.


Age: 18-36 months
Domain: Social Emotional Development
Sub-domain: Trust and Emotional Security


Progress and Support

Toddlers show progress when they

  • say “hi” and “bye’ to familiar caregivers,
  • want to take a toy or blanket when leaving on a trip or visiting an unfamiliar place,
  • show enthusiasm when a caregiver they know enters the room.

You support development when you

  • name and talk about familiar people in photos,
  • remain present and available while children venture into new areas of play,
  • talk to your child about where you are going and when you’ll return when you leave (“I’m going to work now. I’ll be back to pick you up this afternoon.”).

Resources: Minnesota’s Early Childhood Indicators of Progress, 2007

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Author: Nate McCallister

Nate McCallister started with SonShine Learning Center in 2003 as a preschool teacher. Today, he works as the organization’s financial director and is the site director at the Luther location. He earned a bachelor’s degree in technical communication and professional writing from Metropolitan State University and studied early childhood education at St. Paul College.