What is self-regulation?
Did you know that Yoga, play and breathing practices are all great ways that can help with self-regulation?
Learning ways to self regulate can help children properly process the things that are going on around them and react calmly when things don't go their way.
It is not about suppressing or ignoring any difficult or uncomfortable emotions but about not letting them take over and make children behave in a way that they don't actually want.
A child who is dysregulated may:
Self-regulation is a set of skills that help children understand their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, as well as the emotions, thoughts, and behaviours of those around them. It helps children to manage their reactions and responses in a positive way. It also helps them develop the ability to stay focused, make good decisions, and practice self-control. With self-regulation, children can learn to take responsibility for their own behaviour, set goals, and work towards achieving them. This can help them to become better problem solvers and more self-confident
Self-regulation skills are key to children understanding how to calm themselves when needed such as when they're feeling angry, frustrated, anxious, worried or excited.
This helps children to navigate the world and meet new challenges. These could be scenarios such as waiting their turn, going to a busy shop, not getting the toy that they wanted, leaving a parent, going to a new place or managing disappointment.
Interestingly, the process of learning self-regulation begins when they are babies. They learn a lot through watching and observing you! It continues to develop into adulthood, but even as adults, we need tools to help us!
Here are some fun ways to practice self-regulation for children
When is the best time to start practicing some of these ideas? Yesterday, but since you can't do that, today will work fine too. My point is, that it is never too early to start and these practices can be embraced at any age, even adults can benefit from these practices, as we never stop experiencing stressful or challenging circumstances that may need us to check in with ourselves and regulate our emotions.
Download My Free toolkit for helping children with self-regulation
Other blog posts of interest:
My ultimate list of books that help children identify their emotions
Five minute mindfulness for children
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