Self-regulation is the ability to manage and understand behavior. Children are taught when they are still in a young age how to react to feelings and the things happening to them. Naturally, children start to develop this ability from around 12months and as they grow older, they get better when they get assistance from adults.
What self-regulation includes
- Control impulses
- Refocus attention on a new task
- Calm down after something upsetting or exciting
- Focus on a task
- Regulate reactions to emotions like excitement or frustration
- Learn how to get along with others
Why self-regulation is important in a child
As children grow, self-regulation helps them to:
- Become more independent – Self-regulation gives a child the ability to make good decisions about how he or she behaves and also learn how to act in new situations with less supervision.
- Make friendships – Self-regulation helps a child to get along with others easily and therefore a child is able to share toys, take turns in games and express emotions like anger in appropriate ways. This allows a child to make new friends easily.
- Learn at school – Since self-regulation gives a child the ability to focus, they are able to listen and sit still in a classroom.
- Manage stress – As mentioned earlier, self-regulation helps a child to cope with strong feelings and therefore it helps him or her to calm down after getting angry.
- Behave in socially acceptable ways – Self-regulation helps children to control their impulses and they are able to conduct themselves accordingly in a social setting.
How self-regulation develops
Since the time babies are born, they have a natural ability to control their own behavior and reactions. However, self-regulation starts to develop more in toddlers and pre-schoolers. This continues to develop right until children get into adulthood. It is important to enroll your child in a daycare to help them learn self-regulation. At daycare, children are taught how to interact with other children and also taught that certain behaviors have consequences.
Before enrolling your child in a daycare, check if they teach children self-regulation. The best daycare in Vaughan will understand that children are different and so they will use different approaches to teach each child on self-regulation. There are different things that can affect a child’s ability to self-regulate including changes to a child’s routine, illness and tiredness. Some children find it easy to learn self-regulation in a daycare than when they are at home while others are the opposite.
What you as a parent can do to help your child to self-regulate
If you find that your child is having trouble managing his or her behavior, you need to make the decision to enroll them in a daycare as soon as possible. Daycare care givers are well experienced to deal with children and they have ways they can help a child learn how to self-regulate fast. Signs that you should check out for that will confirm that your child needs to learn self-regulation include:
- Your child is getting harder to control as he grows older
- Your child seems to be very withdrawn
- Your child’s behavior poses danger to herself or others
- Your child is having difficulty communicating with others
- Your child is throwing more tantrums than other children her age
- Your child is hard to discipline and your strategies to discipline him or her do not seem to be working
As a parent, you are able to tell when a child is out of order and just needs guidance to self-regulate. There are special cases like autism spectrum disorder that requires professional help to help a child to manage her behavior and emotions.