Self-regulation refers to overall calmness, appropriate emotional responses, and goal-directed behaviour. This ability doesn’t start to develop until late toddlerhood. This is because the emotional right brain is more dominant than the logic left from about 25 weeks gestation until the age of two.
Of course, infants can suck on their fingers and stop crying or roll over to get a better reach of their ball, but this is not sufficient evidence to prove they can soothe themselves when overwhelmed. From infancy and beyond, children need our help to regulate their emotions.
Though the untrained eye may think responding to a child’s emotional needs is coddling, it is not. Coregulation refers to the development of emotional regulation in conjunction with caregivers.
Mothers, or other caregivers, either “up-regulate” emotions by building on the baby’s coos, smiles, or play (e.g., teaching peek-a-boo). Or, “down-regulate” emotions by holding, shushing, or offering words of comfort (e.g., “Mama’s here. It’s okay.”).
The research on co-regulation shows that mothers who are sensitive to the needs of their babies and respond with compassion and warmth have infants who tend to be calmer, soothed more readily and more curious and engaged.
As a mother and her child co-regulate, secure attachment develops. This has far-reaching implications for the child’s life.
Kathleen Notes: Attachment is foundational to how a person`s sense of self is formed. A healthy foundation is necessary for healthy awareness and acceptance of emotions.
- - Volume: 10 - WEEK: 24 Date: 6/9/2022 8:10:18 AM -