Children and self-regulation


Self-regulation is the ability to understand and manage one’s behaviour and reactions to feelings and things happening in the environment.

Infants and young children depend on their caregivers to help them when they feel distressed or overwhelmed. As an infant matures, they can develop self-soothing strategies, such as thumb-sucking, rocking and actively seeking the comfort of a preferred carer.

Caregivers use sensory strategies to help soothe young children, such as familiar songs, favourite teddies, a preferred drink – not so much the words spoken to them. We don’t tell an infant to calm down, we help them to feel calmed. To find out more about how families and educators in early learning centres can use strategies that help calm children’s bodies in order to help calm their minds and emotions please have a look here: https://thesector.com.au/2020/06/23/calming-the-body-before-calming-the-mind-sensory-strategies-for-children-affected-by-trauma/ 

To read more about self-regulation in general, please read this information here: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/behaviour/understanding-behaviour/self-regulation