Teacher’s Tips on Child Self-regulation
Self-regulation can be defined as the ability to monitor and manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Moreover, the ability to self-regulate helps children focus on tasks, follow instructions and control impulses. The two most common patterns of teen and child self-regulation are that they become over-stressed (hyper-aroused), overactive, moving around consistently and may seek attention inappropriately or (hypo-aroused), shutting down interactions, running away from the stressor. Helping children succeed in school starts well before they get there. Also, School readiness and a successful transition to kindergarten play a big role in children’s later school success.
Children who are having difficulty with self-regulation may:
- Act overly silly or “out of control”
- Have tantrums or meltdowns
- Struggle with transitions between different environments/activities e.g. Home and School and classroom activities.
- Have difficulty waiting or taking turns
- Struggle with being in close proximity to others
- Demonstrate problems during social interactions (talking too loud, standing too close, touching others, covering ears, running away).
- Have difficulty walking or waiting in line.
- Move too quickly or with too much force.
- Grab or touch objects impulsively.
Teacher’s Tips for managing the classroom environment should include:
- Having an awareness of the child’s need/interests
- Make the classroom environment a calming space for all children
- Allow the child time to orientate himself/herself to their preferred space
- Allow movement breaks
Some teachers report that child self-regulation skills are more important than academics. It is key to school readiness that supports children’s ability to be successful in both academic and social situations.