The ability to self-regulate has a direct influence on your child’s ability to cope with daily demands at school, home and with friends. If your child is able to self-calm, she will be available to slow down, weigh options, take other’s feelings into account and develop more effective problem solving skills.
Here are some guiding tips to support your child’s ability to self-regulate in your daily parenting:
Routine and consistency is the cornerstone for your child to cope with the demands of everyday life. Your daily rituals provide a stable base for him to feel supported to deal with new experiences and tricky feelings.
Designated time with your child. Quality of time matters. Pleasurable shared experiences together provide the emotional “glue” for your child to cope with life’s demands when you are not with her.
Physical activity. Movement allows your child to expel his worries and stressors from the day. At the same time, movement releases endorphins in your child’s body that reduce stress and create positive feelings
Down time and breaks at least 3xs a day. In your fast paced world, you may need to create rituals that help your child’s body to wind down. Having a cozy space and quiet activities such as reading, drawing, puzzles or listening to a story give your child practice in moving to a calm state.
A break from screens. While your child may look relaxed while engaged in a video or YouTube, your child is receiving a lot of visual stimulation. The refresh rate of a screen may be 60 to 120 times per second! Replace screens with interaction, hands on calming activities, or calming audio stimulation.
Talk about feelings. Check-in with your child about his day. Create a rating scale such as from 1-10 so even if your child can’t quite find the words to rehash her day, she can give you a number like “my day was a 6” and then you can peel the onion from there. Share your feelings about your day too!