A child’s capacity to control their emotions and behaviors in various contexts is one of their self-regulation talents. It has to do with planning, managing one’s emotions, and controlling one’s own actions.
Do your kids act out or pout more than other kids their age when they lose a board game? Does your child lose their calm or become angry when they can’t find things before school, like their shoes or backpack? When they don’t get something, they want, like a toy, does your child frequently quarrel with their siblings or other kids?
Continue reading if you indicated yes to any of the questions above or believe your child may be poor in self-regulation abilities. This article will give you advice on how to support the growth of your child’s self-regulation abilities. Since studies has shown that a lack of self-regulation early in infancy can cause greater problems in the future, such as challenges in school, it is critical that children receive assistance with these skills as soon as possible.
Tips to Help Your Child Develop Self-Regulation Skills
1. Discuss Self-Regulation in Their Terms
My kids have often claimed to one another, “He made me do it!” Usually, they are defending their own inappropriate behavior. When an older sister hits a younger brother, she may claim that she was forced to do so since the younger brother spit on her first.
This is how a child’s mind functions. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children that each person is responsible for their own choices and responses. Children must comprehend that it takes time and repetition to learn to control their emotions and actions.
Early childhood should be the time to introduce self-regulation skills. Through consequences, toddlers can start to learn the fundamentals of self-regulation. It is important to convey these repercussions and the expectations for their behavior in simple, age-appropriate words.
2. Help Your Child Set Goals
Objectives aid in controlling behavior. Your child’s conduct might be geared toward that aim if they establish it as a goal to obtain an A in arithmetic. If students truly want to obtain an A in arithmetic, they may be more motivated to complete their homework rather than play video games after school. According to research, goals control behavior. If a person doesn’t have any clear objectives, their behavior is probably less likely to be controlled or directed toward something constructive.
Your child’s self-control may be improved if you assist them in creating attainable goals that they can be passionate about. For instance, if your child struggles to wake up every morning, talk to them about having a goal of going to bed at a certain time every night so they don’t wake up feeling foggy. You can assist them in creating a chart of this objective so they can monitor their development. You can then talk with them about how their life has improved with more sleep and a regular bedtime after a few weeks of successfully completing the objective.
Only you are aware of your child’s self-regulation demands. After identifying the areas that require improvement, assist the individual in creating goals that will lead to improved self-regulation abilities.
3. Give Them Choices
A youngster with high self-control will be able to recognize the possibilities that are available to them in a given circumstance, evaluate each option, and decide which is the best. Youngsters who are constantly given direction on what to do, how to do it, and when to do it may develop poor self-regulation as a result of not being given the chance to experience making choices.
From an early age, kids should be given the freedom to make straightforward decisions throughout the day. For instance, during snack time, ask a child if they would prefer milk or juice. Given that both options are healthy ones for the child, it actually makes little difference to the parent whether one is selected.
In order for the child to learn to make their own decisions and comprehend how actions have consequences, it is important to provide opportunities that provide choices in a variety of settings.
With age, the possibilities and choices should expand. A five-year-old might be asked which shoes they want to wear to school, for instance. They have the option to decide. They will have learned a lesson through their own decision-making if they choose rain boots and find out at school that they are tough to run in during playtime. They ought to learn from this experience and choose wisely in the future.
4. Give Them Planning Opportunities
A child who plans is better able to control their actions. Self-regulation is related to emotional management, planning, and behavioural control, among other things. A child who struggles with self-regulation may benefit from planning how to respond in tense situations. Help your child to plan ahead if they have a tendency to lack self-control in particular situations. Help your child prepare in advance, for instance, if they have temper tantrums when their little league baseball team loses a game. Talk about their behavior if they succeed and their response if they fail. You might explain to them that they have a choice regarding their actions at that precise time.
Assist them to prepare in advance for the challenging choices they will face. You have the chance to talk about what they could do differently the next time when they choose poorly or make poor plans.
Children can learn self-regulation skills through play. Research has shown that one such method is teaching kids to control their impulsive conduct and obey rules, which changes their behavior from impulsive and spontaneous to mediated and voluntary.
Children learn to abide by the rules when they play games with their classmates, for instance. Kids will rapidly learn that their classmates will react if they break the rules or cheat. They can be expelled from the game or receive a reprimand from their teammates. Through play, they get the chance to work on self-control in contexts that kids can relate to.
6. Model Good Self-Regulation Skills
A child keeps an eye on their parents and other adults. They will observe to determine the type of conduct being modeled. That’s an element of how people evolve. Children observe, absorb, and mimic those in their environment.
As a result, parents and other caregivers need to be conscious of their own self-regulation abilities.
How do you respond in life when things don’t go your way? Do you swear and raise your voice? Do you act on impulse or do you think things out and choose the best course of action for each circumstance? Do you make wise decisions and plan ahead?
Through us, children can learn. In order for our children to acquire healthy self-regulation from us, we must work to develop these skills ourselves.