Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ways parents can develop self-regulation

Parents can develop self-regulation by how warm they respond to their children, particularly when they are in distress. A parents warmth is connected to the emergence of a child's sense of self. Often a child is in distress because they are trying to communicate with words what they want but don't have the vocabulary yet to tell parents what they want. They can also be in distress when they don't get something they want. For example, if a child is trying to tell a parent what they want to do and are pointing to the toy box, the parent needs help in understanding what in the toy box the child wants. If a parent responds with warmth and uses a calm voice while pulling out toys and asking if the toy is the one the child wants, the parent teaches self- regulation because the parent has used self-regulation to not get mad or discouraged with the child.

Parents can develop self-regulation through social structure. For example, if a child is having a play date with a friend and the friend is playing with a toy that the child wants to play with, a parent teaches self-regulation by teaching the child to wait until their friend is done playing with it before having a turn and the parent has taught the child that taking turns is part of the social structure expected of people.

A parent can develop self-regulation by teaching manners and social etiquette. For example, when a parent is on the phone and a child interrupts them, a parent is teaching self-regulation by having the child wait until the parent is off the phone before talking to them and the parent responding to what the child needs. A parent also develops self-regulation by teaching their children to say phrases such as please and thank you.

One last way that a parent can teach self-regulation is through modeling appropriate behavior in different social situations. For example, when a parent goes to the grocery store and there aren't enough lines open which makes the check out lines long, instead of a parent getting upset, frustrated and saying rude things a parent can show children how to wait patiently by waiting patiently themselves and being kind to the checkout clerk instead of rude. By developing and demonstrating self-regulation to our children it shows our children how to behave appropriately to different situations. It also shows children how to control our emotions and how to respond appropriately to our emotions.

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