Self-regulation is one’s ability to regulate emotions and behavior in situations. Some students acquire naturally, while others need explicit teaching and tools. Students who are emotionally dysregulated can display their dysregulation in many ways. Dysregulation can include acting out, tantrums, distractibility, or irritable behaviors. A regulated child can manage their emotional reactions in everyday life. We empower students to have tools to regulate themselves and more seamlessly work through everyday road bumps of life.
Why is Self-Regulation important?
If self-regulation is so important, why have I never heard of it? While you may have never heard the term, you have experienced it. A child throwing a temper tantrum is a prime example of not having self-regulation skills. They are feeling emotions yet are unsure how to manage and work through those feelings. Most children “grow out of it,” while others don’t. We can all benefit from learning explicit strategies to develop self-regulation skills.
Mindfulness or awareness is information from paying attention to the present moment. Mindfulness strategies can include breathing strategies and gratitude thinking. It includes teaching kids to pause and think before they react. These skills help them focus and calm before responding to their feelings.
Cognitive reframing is a strategy involving changing your thought patterns. It consists in reinterpreting a situation to change your emotional response to it. It helps children expand their understanding of situations and have new ways to interpret situations. It helps increase positive emotions.
Strong self-regulators will:
- Demonstrate self-control
- Use calming strategies
- Self soothe when upset
- Communicate well
- Persist through difficulties
- Be flexible and adaptive