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Children who become aware of their own and other people’s emotions, motives, desires, and feelings are better able to understand, describe, and predict people’s mental states – thoughts, wants and feelings.

In turn, these skills help them to:

  • Know how to respond to the actions of others.

  • Become sensitive to the psychological state of others.

  • Engage in empathic, cooperative, and pro-social behaviours (e.g., sharing toys and helping others in need).

  • Adopt the perspective of others (e.g., in pretend play).

Beyond these benefits, social cognition skills help children to develop stronger language abilities making them better communicators.