If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve witnessed a tantrum or two in your day. We expect them in two-year-olds. But if your child reaches school age and meltdowns and outbursts are still frequent, it may be a sign that he or she has difficulty with emotional self-regulation.
Simply put, self-regulation is the difference between a two-year-old and a five-year-old who is more able to control his emotions. Helping kids who haven’t developed self-regulation skills at the typical age is the goal of parent training programs. And many older children, even if they’re beyond tantrums, continue to struggle with impulsive and inappropriate behavior.
What is self-regulation?
Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, to adjust to a change in expectations and to handle frustration without an outburst. It is a set of skills that enables children, as they mature, to direct their own behavior towards a goal, despite the unpredictability of the world and our own feelings.
To view this article in its entirety, click here. It was originally posted on childmind.org.