Self-Regulation – Tips for teaching your child to remain in a calm state and maintain body control
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HOW DO YOU IMPROVE SELF-REGULATION:
– Self-regulation is learned during everyday activities and interactions with others. Young children learn to regulate their thinking, behaviour and emotions.
– Children who engage in intentional self-regulation are able to learn more easily. You can help your child to remain in a calm, alert state by having a predictable routine.
– Routines are very important in order for your child to remain regulated. You should create a schedule to help your child predict what will come next. It is best to always start and end each activity, such as going to sleep, in the same way. Your child will start to predict the next step and participate in your routine.
– Routines to focus on include sleep, feeding and toileting.
– As a parent you can help your child by co-regulating. If you remain in a calm alert state, it will help your child to match your behaviour.
– You can also help your child by learning about his sensory preferences. If your child seeks out movement by running and jumping, you can integrate this sensory preference into your daily routine to help your child remain regulated.
– Explain clear expectations to your child and talk to them prior to new events. Such as, “Today we are going to the doctor. The doctor will look at your tummy. The doctor will not hurt you, Mommy will hold your hand.”
– You can help prepare your child for new situations through play. Pretend play is an excellent way for children to learn and understand new and frightening situations. You can pretend to examine your child using a pretend doctor’s kit.
– Use language to help to identify your child’s feelings. This helps to acknowledge how your child is feeling. For example, “You are scared of the needle.”
– Provide choices for your child so that he has a sense of control. You can provide controlled choices for snacks, clothing and toys. For example, “Do you want the puzzle or the book?”
– Play will help your child to learn self-regulation. Play helps your child to learn to wait and take turns. For example, rolling a ball back and forth.