Helping Children Build Healthy Self-Regulation at Every Age

Photo of Dr. Marti Erickson Discussing Self-Regulation on KARE 11 TVIn these uncertain times, we have seen many examples of adults having outburst that rival even the most outrageous of toddler tantrums. So, what can we do to ensure our children have the resources and tools they need to regulate their emotions throughout life? When in a child’a life should we begin the process of teaching self-regulation? And, what role does “co-regulation” play in this?



Emotional regulation is the important process of recognizing feelings and responding to those feelings in appropriate ways. Developmental psychologist and Mom Enough co-host, Dr. Marti Erickson, was on KARE 11 to discuss practical tips for parents to help children starting in infancy to develop self-regulation skills. You won’t want to miss this segment and Dr. Erickson’s helpful tools for teaching regulation at all ages.



Dr. Erickson discussed four practical tips to help children learn self-regulation:

1) Provide consistent, sensitive care and comfort in infancy

2) Think out loud, naming feelings and ideas for managing them

3) Practice mindfulness and teach children the same

4) As a family, plan ways to create a healthy “sensory diet”



TIPS FOR HELPING CHILDREN BUILD HEALTHY SELF-REGULATION AT ANY AGE. Check out this tip sheet for more information on specific things you can do to support you child in developing self-regulation.


SELF-REGULATION IN PRESCHOOL: PREPARING FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN. When we think of preparing a child for kindergarten, we often think of teaching them letters and numbers. But one of the most important skills for making a smooth transition to kindergarten is self-regulation. Early childhood teacher and author, Mike Huber, of St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development (SDC), joins Marti & Erin for a practical discussion of this important aspect of development.


FROM CO-REGULATION TO SELF-REGULATION: PARENT-CHILD INTERACTIONS THAT PREPARE OUR CHILDREN FOR LIFE. Tune into the first episode of the series on self-regulation with Melissa Williams from St. David’s Center. Tune into this engaging and practical discussion about what is involved in co-regulation, with an emphasis on how to show, tell and practice together with our children. Melissa also highlights the importance of “rupture and repair,” describing how we can admit our mistakes at those times when we get it wrong with our kids (as we all do!), say we are sorry and tell our child what we will try to do differently the next time.


PROMOTING SELF-REGULATION IN CHILDREN: THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULATORY PARTNERS. Most parents can recall a moment when their child threw a tantrum. Perhaps they were frustrated that they didn’t get what they wanted and fell to the floor screaming or crying? Or, maybe they missed a nap and simply couldn’t handle what was being asked of them? Regardless of the situation, a tantrum may be a perfectly normal response in early childhood, but in time, a child needs to learn healthier ways to express and cope with their emotions. This is called self-regulation. Occupational therapist and health coach, Kate Biederman, from St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development shares how you can join your child in the process of building self-regulation by partnering with them as they begin to develop the skills they need to be happy and healthy. Walk away with a clear understanding of the three big tasks of regulatory partners and tips for implementing these at different ages and stages. You won’t want to miss this in-depth discussion on self-regulation.


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