Mental Health, Uncategorized, What's New|

with Self-Regulation

Children are not born with self-control.

Learning self-control (or self-regulation) is one of their most important developmental tasks. Self-regulation has to do with a child’s ability to control their emotions, respond in appropriate ways to frustration, get along well with others, and eventually become independent.

Families and caregivers can help young children learn skills to help them control or regulate themselves.

Tip 1: Pay Attention

Pay attention to the signs a child is hungry, tired, or frustrated and respond consistently and predictably.

Tip 2: Provide More Opportunities

As children grow, provide more opportunities for them to make their own decisions—such as what clothes to wear, what food to eat, and where to sit—by giving them several acceptable options.

Tip 3: Provide Reminders

Provide reminders that help children make good choices and not become frustrated when they are not able to do what they want.

Tip 4: Anticipate Problems

Anticipate problems by talking beforehand about what they can expect and what will be expected of them.

Tip 5: Be Empathetic

Be empathetic and show you understand the importance of their needs and feelings.

Tip 6: Provide Positive Alternatives

Talk about what children can do, not just about what they can’t. Provide positive alternatives.

Tip 7: Create a Safe Space

Create a safe place where children can go when they need a break, to calm themselves.

Tip 8: Teach Children to Wait

Teaching children to wait helps them learn self-control and also teaches them other people have needs too. Don’t make the wait time too long, and give them something to do while they wait.


Get information on what changes you should expect as your child grows with the Developmental Milestones Checklist

Call Pennsylvania’s CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288 for information about your child’s development and connecting to Early Intervention Services in Pennsylvania.

Get information about the Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Project.

Click here to print this infographic: 8 Tips to Help Children with Self-Regulation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close Search Window