I’m often asked to teach children self-regulation – “Just come and teach him how to do it.” Well, it’s not that simple.
As you’ve probably noticed in previous editions of spark* News, self-regulation is a family or whole class/group thing. “Fixing” one person isn’t going to happen unless the whole family/group takes part.
Everyone needs to be conscious of their own self-regulation. Everyone needs to remember to exercise their own executive functions. At this time of the year, that becomes even more challenging – schedules change, everyone is end-of-term tired, diets tend to change, sleep patterns change, etc.
Here are some ways to help everyone stay more self-regulated:
- Practice self-calming – do some mindful (Turtle) breathing every day with your children. Take the time to calm and center yourself. It doesn’t take long and can make the rest of the day run a lot smoother. If you find you or your children are getting stressed, take a few minutes to do some Turtle Breathing and just ‘be in the moment’. This is one of your best safeguards against some of the stress that tends to happen in daily life.
- Plan and organize activities and events carefully –
- Make sure you have enough time to do the activity or enjoy the event. Try not to run out of time and leave things unfinished.
- Make sure you and your child aren’t tired or hungry and are feeling well.
- Include things the children like and enjoy – don’t just do activities that are “good for them”.