How to Help Your Child Understand the Importance of Self-Regulating Their Emotions at Home

Self-regulation is a crucial lesson that needs to be taught to children from an early age in order to ensure the most positive behavioural patterns as they learn and develop. This control is a complex topic, but your child should still be aware of the importance of it.

Self-control and regulation is a major behavioural and developmental milestone. A child with no self-regulation experience or knowledge may assume that it is simply alright to pee on their sibling or throw their least favourite vegetables out the window in the middle of dinner because they didn’t like the smell – no parent wants to deal with that. After a long day of work or errands, the last thing you want to do is attempt to explain the importance of self-control to an out of control child.

So how do you explain the importance of self-regulating emotions to your child? To start, you should understand what exactly the term “self-regulation” encompasses.

What Is Self-Regulation?

Self-regulation is very similar to self-discipline. Self-regulation can be a difficult topic to grasp, even for adults. It is the process of managing your individual emotions and resulting behaviour in a proper manner that meets the needs of the specific situation. Self-regulation is related to the crucial competency that is required for major developmental growth, learning, and success in life.

Self-regulation includes:

  • Being able to identify and regulate emotions
  • The ability to control impulses
  • Being able to think about options before making a thoughtful decision
  • The ability to delay gratification when necessary
  • Setting goals for oneself and accomplishing them

Why Is Self-Regulation Important at Home?

This conscious line of thinking empowers your child to be able to calm themselves down when they get upset or adjust their behaviour to handle frustration to avoid a temper tantrum. Children can utilise this ability as they develop by directing their conscious behaviour towards a goal and working to accomplish it.

You might think that this lesson is expected to be taught to your child within their school or day care teachings. However, if it is only enforced at school then you risk your child abandoning all of the things they learn once they leave the school’s property. How children learn to behave at home actually shapes a lot of their behaviour and decisions as they grow up, so it is not a lesson to skimp on.

Little Peoples Place teaches the importance of self-regulating emotions to children of all ages. Our lessons stress the importance of controlling emotions and making thoughtful decisions both in day care and school settings and at home. By engaging your child’s mind, we help shape positive decision-making skills and encourage good behaviour and self-control.

How to Promote Self-Regulation

Some children have an especially difficult time learning self-regulation due to their personality and temperament. However, every child has the ability to learn how to self-regulate their emotions and you as their parent play a large role in that development. A good way to start is by refusing to give in to tantrums and to not spend too much time soothing your child when they act out because they were upset. Here are 3 other tips to help promote your child’s self-regulation of emotions:

  1. When you make a decision, include your child in the process.

Children spend a lot of their time copying their parents, and this results in your child essentially mimicking the language you use and the way you make decisions. By including your child in basic and more complex decision-making processes, they can pick up on a lot of good behaviour and use the same process themselves. Ask your child for their own thoughts or ideas during your decision making process to help boost their confidence and encourage them to actively think independently.

  1. Accept your child’s feelings.

Children oftentimes have inconvenient feelings at inconvenient times, but you should accept them when you can. By empathising with your child, you can teach them that sometimes emotions are truly unfortunate, but that doesn’t make them dangerous or something to be feared. This makes the difficult feelings easier to process the next time the child experiences those emotions.

  1. Guide your child’s behaviour.

Guide your child’s behaviour, but don’t go straight to punishing when they misbehave. By spanking or shaming your child when they act out, they come to relate their emotions to the punishment. This could create a trend where your child continuously represses their emotions until they lash out.