Episode 52: 6 Tips for Self-Regulation

In this solo episode I’m talking all about self regulation and how to help kids self regulate. Self regulation is all about how to get your child to calm down when they aren’t calm.

In this solo episode I’m talking all about self regulation and how to help kids self regulate. Self regulation is all about how to get your child to calm down when they aren’t calm. Essentially, how can we help our kids gain the ability to understand that a. They’re going to be ok, b. The outcome will likely be the same, and c. They are safe. I have six tips for self-regulation that I share with the parents I work with one-on-one and I’m sharing them with you in this episode! 

  1. Co-Regulation: The idea we are working on regulating ourselves while our child is working on regulating himself/herself. When your child starts to exhibit a negative behavior, you might become uncomfortable or triggered by their actions. Co-regulation happens when we remain calm, when we recognize our own triggers, and we keep our boundaries.
  2. Boundaries: Boundaries are a structure that is predictable and consistent. Children are looking for things that are predictable in nature to keep themselves regulated. Boundaries help teach our children how to self-regulate while experiencing dysregulation.
  3. Validation: Validation is when we can understand why our child feels a certain way, not giving them a pass for that emotion or behavior. There is so much power in practicing validation in the long-term. 
  4. Breathwork: Breathwork is a great way to practice self-regulation in times where your child is completely regulated. Then they can utilize this tool when they are feeling dysregulated. Blowing out candle breathwork, fire hose breathing, and other things that help the nervous system calm down are great ways to help with self-regulation. 
  5. Sensory Toys: There are so many different sensory toys that can help kids while they are regulated and dysregulated. It’s a calming mechanism that can help people of all ages. Having sensory toys available such as fidget spinners or expanding tubes available at all times is a great go-to as children continue to learn more about how to self-regulate. 
  6. Work on Regulation while They’re Regulated: Working on self-regulation during a tantrum won’t work 9 out of 10 times. Co-regulation is the best way to help work on self-regulation at the moment. 

What can you do in the moment when a tantrum is happening?

  1. Boundary-Empathy Sandwich - state your boundary, note your empathy (it’s hard to not get the thing you want), restate your boundary.
  2. Remind yourself “I am safe and so are they.” - Many of us learned that showing sadness or other “negative” emotions as a child was met with reactions like “stop crying” or “don’t be upset.” This likely caused us to feel unsafe. Now, as parents, when our children have similar emotions, we have a strong response and want to remedy it as quickly as possible. This mantra will help you to steady yourself and stay calm. 
  3. Take a break if you really have to - Give yourself a no-demands day to reset as you fatigue. This looks like loosening boundaries, not engaging in high-stress times, and relaxing.
  4. Say less - Don’t over explain your boundary and feel confident in your boundary.
  5. If they become physical, keep them and others safe - Stand up in a neutral position with your hands at your sides. Sometimes you need to pick them up and move them to another location to keep them safe. Other times you need to hold onto them. Remind them they are safe and physically calm their body. Tell them they are not allowed to hit you. 

Free Emotional Regulation Webinar: https://stan.store/theparentingreframe/p/free-download-emotional-regulation-for-parents


If you would like to do my 2 month 1:1 coaching with me to get a custom road map on how best to tune into your child’s needs, book a free call to see if we are a good fit:  https://stan.store/theparentingreframe/theparentingreframe_store/page/51536


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