Do you wonder why your child seems to explode with an outburst at the slightest inconvenience?
Tantrums are pretty commonplace in the life of a toddler. One wrong move could set off a sour mood for the rest of the afternoon. If you’ve ever been at the mercy of a toddler’s meltdown, then you’ve probably also found yourself questioning your own emotional maturity. I have definitely experienced this first hand!
After having an especially hectic morning a few weeks ago, I rushed to make my 18-month-old son his lunch. I quickly realized that I had made the fatal error of using the wrong cup for his water, as disappointment sent him into a tailspin of frustrated shrieks.
As he wailed, I mentally reminded myself to take a breath. While exhaling, it hit me that while I realized what was needed to calm myself, my son did not have those tools. He did not yet understand that uncomfortable emotions are just temporary.
That moment was a deciding factor in my mind- I needed to find ways to teach my young child self-regulation. I also knew that the first years of life are vital to emotional development–it’s never too early to start.
Emotional outbursts can happen at any age. The one likely common denominator of emotional outbursts, regardless of age, is that we want to be able to handle them in a productive way for both ourselves and our children.
If we want to provide solutions for our children in having a healthy outlet for their emotions, we must evaluate how self-regulation plays a role in emotional well-being. After all, self-regulation is a skill that we know is especially necessary for the success of our children throughout their school-aged years and adulthood.
Self-regulation refers to the management of our own behaviors, body movements, and emotions. Self-regulation should not be confused with self control which concerns the inhibiting of strong impulses. Self-regulatory skills provide benefit to our overall well being and are necessary for a child’s school-readiness; therefore, we need to be enforcing these practices as early as possible. [Read more…]