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Early years: Difficulty in making and maintaining healthy relationships

Strategies and approaches:

  • Use small group/nurture group activities to support personal, social and emotional development.
  • Model appropriate emotional responses to disagreements or difficulties with e.g. sharing/turn taking.
  • Think about who the child can maintain a relationship with (adults only, younger children). Try and understand the reasons for this and use this information to build the child’s capacity to maintain relationships.
  • Use and model a conflict resolution approach to help manage upsets and disagreements. Use restorative approaches when relationships break down.
  • Try differentiated opportunities for social and emotional development e.g. buddy system/paired learning activities/scaffolding group work.
  • Use a key person to rehearse and replay more appropriate social communication methods, provide opportunities to practice the social communication skills.


Early Years in Mind – Aggression

Early Years In Mind – Sharing

Early Years In Mind – Play

Family Assist – dealing with childhood fights and squabbles

Last updated 2 November 2021

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