Emotional regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behaviours in accordance with the demands of a situation.
Why is emotional regulation important for your child?
Improves learning at school
Sitting and listening in the classroom
Behaves in socially acceptable ways
Able to make good decisions about their behaviour and learn how to manage in new situations with less guidance
Children with emotional regulation difficulties may:
Display reduced communication and social skills
Withdraw and have trouble interacting with others
Display difficult behaviours
Experience difficulty learning at school and be less productive
Struggle with transitions between tasks.
How to improve your child’s emotional regulation skills:
Model positive emotional regulation skills for your child
Help your child in identifying emotional triggers for example:
Lack of sleep and hunger
Sensitivity to loud noise or
transitioning away from tasks such as electronic devices
Explore coping strategies together
Mindfulness and breathing practices
When they are experiencing strong emotions, encourage them to name the emotion/feeling and what caused it
Provide positive reinforcement when your child self regulates and manages a stressful situation
Plan for challenging situations with your child
Fun activities to assist with emotional regulation:
Pop bubbles with only one hand
Red light, green light
Duck Duck goose
Hand clapping games
Hoffmann, J., & Russ, S. (2012). Pretend Play, Creativity, and Emotional Regulation in Children. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and The Arts, 6(2), 175-184.
Raisingchildren.net.au. (2020). Self regulation in young children. Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/behaviour/understanding-behaviour/self-regulation
Zeman, J., Cassano, M., Perry-Parrish, C., & Stegall, Sheri. (2006). Emotional Regulation in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics, 27(2), 155-168.