Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Teaching Self-Regulation to Preschoolers

What is self-regulation? Beginning from infancy, instilling limits and a sense of responsibility will give your children a sense of being valued and supported as they grow up. They look to you for boundaries.

Frustration plays a big role in children’s behavior. An inability to express negative emotions can lead to aggressive outbursts and tantrums. It’s important to teach preschoolers how to increase their frustration tolerance. Give them choices, have your kids stick to decisions previously made through gentle reminders and let them work through any frustration that may arise. You can give your children a sense of power through choices and decisions. If they feel like they are part of the decision-making process, there is less room for resentment and subsequent negative behavior.

Lead by example. If you are able to deal with your own frustrations, you can demonstrate to your children that problems can be solved through compromise and self-restraint. If your children observe you being frazzled and powerless, it will bleed through into your relationship with them. You can always explain to them that while you are feeling frustrated it is okay to feel that way but still stick to your resolutions.

Even when you enable your children to deal with their own emotions, preschoolers may still become overwhelmed with frustration, especially when in the company of other children. Sometimes it becomes necessary to step in to avoid further escalation, even if you are encouraging your kids to face their own challenges. When this happens, it’s best to give them a chance to calm down and then talk about a particularly frustrating situation. You can defuse critical situations easily by separating kids that are fighting and shouting, then help them sort out the details when the immediate problem is resolved.


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