The Importance Of Self-Regulation In Children

Self-regulation is the ability to control and balance our emotions. For children, this task is much more difficult and if not positively enforced by adults within a child’s life, can have negative effects. Poor self-regulation at a young age can affect many different aspects of a child’s life, such as his or her success in school, with social relationships, as well as his or her own well-being. In order for children to have all of the skills needed to succeed in life, proper emotional support must be given from parents as well as teachers.

A child with good self-regulation does not mean a child that does not express his or her feelings, but rather a child that does not express negative emotions in a damaging way. By self-regulating one’s
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Clancy Blair, a developmental psychologist, notes that the area of the brain that controls cognitive function and the area associated with emotional stimulation have an influence on one another, which means that strong emotions will affect the child’s ability to process information (Blair, 2009). Cognitive functions are key skills that a student needs to succeed in school, such as the ability to focus, to pay attention, and to solve problems. Without the enforcement of emotional regulation in a child’s life, the child will be more likely to fall behind in his or her education. The child’s ability to pay attention and focus will be dictated by his or her mood, and this inconsistency will not provide a good platform to learn and process information. Just as well, if the child has not been taught to control his or her emotions well, he or she will have difficulty working with other students and will not do well in projects associated with teamwork. However, when emotional regulation is taught and positively supported, children will not only be attentive and focused, but will feel more comfortable to communicate their thoughts and …show more content…
By having discussions about feelings, it can help children learn how to express what they are feeling. When children see adults verbalize what they are feeling, they feel more inclined to talk about their own rather than expressing themselves in nonverbal ways (Webster-Stratton, 1991). Modeling the appropriate behavior during upsetting events helps children learn how they can and should respond appropriately to emotions. Teachers should not attempt to minimize a child’s emotions by saying phrases such as “don’t be sad/angry/disappointed”. Instead the teacher should encourage the child to practice expressing their emotions in a healthy way by talking about the upsetting event and then empathizing with the student. It is also important to give verbal praise for successful self-regulation, as it reinforces those behaviors. Another opportunity for students to learn to regulate their emotions is by playing certain games. For example, the game “Red light, green light” is actually very good grounds for children to learn self-control while also having fun and associating it with positive activities (Dewar, 2015). Similar games that require kids to freeze in place are all great exercises to help children learn how to assess and manage their bodies and their emotions by learning to control themselves. This creates an environment of learning that exercising self-control is

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