Self regulation is the ability to monitor one’s own emotions, thoughts and behaviors. This includes learning how to control our actions when we experience uncomfortable feelings.
Much of self regulation is developed in early childhood, when a baby learns that their internal states that produce discomfort will be reliably attended to by their primary caregiver. When that primary caregiver is not attentive to their baby’s needs, difficulties in self regulation may develop.
We can help children increase their self regulation skills by:
- Building impulse control (IC) skills. Games that require children to “pause” between thinking/feeling and acting develop impulse control
- Increasing stress resilience (SR) by incorporating regular relaxation activities into daily schedules
- Encouraging self-regulated learning (SRL). This is the plan–> monitor–>reflect cycle that you already bring to your academic program. The same cycle can be used for confronting challenges in all aspects of life.
- Simon Says-IC
- Freeze Dancing-IC
- Use breathing exercises as your brain-breaks-SR
- “How am I feeling today” thermometer check in each morning and afternoon. -SRL
- Role model how you plan, monitor and reflect on your own teaching units-SRL
Further reading for teachers