Emotional Self Regulation Emotional self-regulation Self-regulation is the ability to control and manage one's emotions and behaviour according to the situation. When a young person experiences strong and uncontrollable emotions such as anger, anxiety or sadness, you may witness these behaviours: tantrums, outbursts, whining, or confrontation.
Self-regulation is the ability to control and manage one's emotions and behaviour according to the situation. When a young person experiences strong and uncontrollable emotions such as anger, anxiety or sadness, you may witness these behaviours: tantrums, outbursts, whining, or confrontation.
Adults can help the young person calm down by responding to these behaviours in a comforting, non-judgmental way, while giving them the chance to find other ways to react to the situation.
To help develop self-regulation, encourage the young person to name and talk about their emotions before they become too intense. Avoid promoting the idea that “a good mood is the right emotion to adopt”. Teach them that everyone experiences a range of emotions and that none are inherently good or bad.
Teach the management of difficult emotions early in the young person's life. In the early years, they will learn by watching you. Show them how you deal with these emotions. For example, when you are frustrated, nervous or angry, describe your coping strategy out loud.
You can use validation to help a young person calm down; this approach will require you to accept their emotions. To do this, give them your attention and be receptive to their body language and facial expressions. It also means understanding their perspective on the situation and letting them know that it's okay for them to feel that way.
To promote self-regulation, establish clear rules and regular routines. It may be a good idea to let the young person know of any upcoming changes. For example, before interrupting an activity the young person is engaged in, say something like: “In fifteen minutes, we are going to get ready to go out. “
Asking a young person to do things they don't want to do can trigger difficult emotions in them. To mitigate this kind of reaction, you could, for example, offer them two options (either “A” or “B”). This strategy often has the effect of limiting negotiations and tensions.
If you know of situations that may irritate the young person, it may be helpful to discuss the upcoming event and strategize about overcoming emotional challenges.
When a young person goes into a crisis or has a tantrum, your instinct might be to ignore it, but it can be helpful to revisit the events after the fact. Talk to them without judgment and together identify things they could do differently when a new event occurs.
To help manage any stress that may be affecting the young person, it can be effective to set aside some time each day to both take part in a fun and meaningful activity of their choice.
If your child is having difficulty self-regulating their emotions, talk to the school counsellor anytime for support and other coping strategies.