Why is it important to equip children with self-regulation tools to manage their emotions?
Equipping children with self-regulation tools to manage their emotions is a crucial step to promoting self-awareness and independence in children. There will be times where children experience different reactions to feelings when no adult is nearby to help them understand or manage them.
Children who are trained to use self-regulation tools to cope with their feelings are empowered to practice self-regulation in a guided way on their own.
When they remember how to use such tools in different situations, they are able to gain more control over their behaviours and reactions to their feelings.
For instance, a child who is all alone in the playground and is taking quick and shallow breathes as a sign of anxiety, could recall the steps of the PIE (Pause, Imagine, Express) tool, and tell himself to remain calm as he looks for someone to direct him to his teacher.
Research has revealed the importance of self-regulation for children, and this ability develops over time from childhood to adulthood.
Hence, it would be highly beneficial to equip children with tools to support them in their self-regulation.
Research has found that self-regulation helps children to be more independent, more focused in class, display more socially-accepted behaviours, have stronger friendships, and to manage stress appropriately.
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- Florez, I. R. (2011). Developing young children’s self-regulation through everyday experiences. Young Children, 66(4), 46-51.