Sunday, January 31, 2016

Process of self-regulation

The process of self-regulation is divided into two categories: social emotional and cognitive self-regulation. Social emotional self-regulation enables children to follow social interactions in diverse settings. It helps children interact and get along with others by following social standards of conduct. For example, when children are playing on the playground it's social emotional self-regulation that is being taught and executed as children take turns going down the slide. The ability of a child to wait their turn is a child executing social emotional self-regulation.

Cognitive self-regulation enables children to use the thinking process that is needed to solve problems and make decisions. For example, if a child is at preschool and they see that all of the bikes are being used it is cognitive self-regulation that a child uses to see that (problem)-all of the bikes are being used and to solve the problem by going and playing in the sandbox (decision made) until one becomes available instead of throwing a tantrum, crying and being upset because they can't currently ride a bike.

Self-regulation is influenced by the component of volition. Volition is the freedom to make choices on how to think and act that is inside a person. For example it helps a child make the choice to go play in the sandbox while waiting for a bike instead of getting upset because they couldn't ride a bike immediately. It helps a child be able to wait patiently to go down a slide until it's their turn. These two types of self-regulation are a process as children learn social rules and how to think for themselves in order to solve problems. To teach these two types of self-regulation take a lot of patience and understanding as children are still learning the rules of society and how to deal with their emotions and think through how to solve problems.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

3 tasks to developing self-regulation

There are three tasks to developing self-regulation children (people in general) need to develop in order to achieve self-control. These three tasks are: brain development, effortful control and emotional regulation. The brain is making billions of connections during the infant and preschool years. The connections the brain is making depend on a child's experiences, interactions with others and emotions. Play helps a child's brain develop as they have to learn how to do different activities such as crawl, walk, wait their turn or how to hold a crayon. Interacting with peers helps children learn how to communicate, share and the rules of socialization. A child's brain has to connect the dots to know how to control their emotions. A child has to  learn how to calm themselves after feeling sad or disappointed. A child has to learn how to control their anger and not lash out at people. As the brain makes the connection that even though they may feel sad and disappointed because they couldn't get ice cream everything is still okay and nothing in life or the relationship with their parents has changed. A child needs to learn that hitting isn't an appropriate behavior to being angry and make the connection that when I'm angry I need to tell the person why and talk it out with the person and find constructive ways to vent anger. As children's brains make these connections a child's brain capacity, attention, learning, memory and reasoning develop.

Effortful control is the ability to hold back a response in order to execute a different response. It's the ability to regulate impulses and respond to a developing conscience. For example, when a child wants to take a toy from another child because they want to play with it- instead of taking the toy from a child, the child sees there is another one on the shelf and reaches and plays with that one instead of the one the other child has- this is a child using effortful control to choose a different response. It begins to develop in the preschool years as children see older children and adults regulate their emotions and behavior and begin to imitate them. It leads to self-regulation as children learn to do a puzzle and don't get frustrated when a piece doesn't fit etc.

Emotional regulation is the development of cognitive and social emotional processes. It involves a child's ability to think and consider the impulses they feel that are being driven by emotional responses to the enviornment and being able to participate in emotional, acceptable behaviors. To help develop emotional regulation children first need to participate in behaviors guided by adults. For example, when a child meets a grandparent for the first time can be a scary situation for them. If the parents help the child regulate their emotion of fear by allowing the child to warm up to the grandparents at their own pace this guides the child through their emotions and the situation.

Developing these three tasks is a difficult process that takes a lot of time and patience as it requires a parent to teach a child many different things. It is a process as it will take years to develop these tasks in children, particularly to the point of them being able to achieve some level of self-control. Be patient with your children! Remember, they're still learning and developing these tasks and they need your help and patience as the parent to achieve them. Remember too that it's your responisbility to teach these things to your children. These are not built in to a child's conscience or behavior.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Self-regulation is the ability to control ones behavior and to adapt to a situation. It's the ability to follow expectations for behavior and is a critical feature of development within the first five years of life. Compliance with a parents request is one of the earliest forms of self-regulation. It requires a child to stop and modify their behavior in order to meet the parents request or instruction. An example of a child modifying their behavior is when a parent says, "Can you come help me put your clothes away?" The child has to stop whatever they're doing to help the parent and therefore modifies their behavior to go help the parent.

Self-regulation helps children solve problems and get along with others. It helps children solve problems because they can deal with the disappointment of not getting their way all the time. It helps children get along with others because it helps a child understand that everyone has input of what is played and be able to take turns. Children who have strong self-regulation skills are able to adapt to changes in their environment. This helps as a family moves to a new house or the child moves from elementary to middle school.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

3 other factors of self-efficacy

In a previous post I mentioned factors of self-efficacy. Three other factors of self-efficacy are modeling, social persuasion, and physiological factors. Modeling is when children see someone else succeed at a task and their self-efficacy increases as they come to believe they can succeed as well. For example, if a child sees that a friend has been successful at getting a good grade on a history test, the child will believe they can get a good grade on a history test too.

Social persuasion is encouragement. When children are encouraged to try activities it will help increase their self-efficacy while discouragement will decrease self-efficacy. For example, when a parent gives a child encouragement that they'll pass their history test it increases the child's self-efficacy. If a parent tells a child they aren't good at history and will only fail the test because their not good at history the child's self-efficacy will decrease.

Physiological factors are when stress affects children physiologically. This can be nausea, pains, shaking etc, and can cause a child's self-efficacy to decrease. We often refer to it as having butterflies. For example, when a child gets on a bike for the first time they'll feel scared and have butterflies. Some children feel nauseous or shake. Regardless of how a person reacts the experience that's causing them to feel scared affects them physically and once the child has achieved being able to ride the bike that accomplishment increases the child's self-efficacy and the physical reaction to learning something new is eliminated. When parents use these three factors along with the others mentioned in the previous post they can be used to help parents develop a healthy self-efficacy in their children which will also help develop a healthy self-esteem.