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Posts Tagged ‘self-regulation’

Did that title spark your interest? As a mom of three small children, I find myself stressed at times because of my kids’ behaviors. The behaviors I am referring to are typical behaviors for their ages however when multiplied by three it is enough to make you want to pull your hair out at times. I know my children are not the only ones that struggle with the following:

  • Act overly silly or “out of control”
  • Have tantrums or meltdowns
  • Experience difficulty waiting or taking turns
  • Struggle being in close proximity to others
  • Move too quickly or with too much force
  • Act on impulse by grabbing, throwing, or touching things
  • Experience difficulty walking or waiting in line
  • Have problems during social interactions like talking too loudly or standing too close to others

If you have noticed some of those struggles with a child in your life then they may need help learning how to regulate. Self-regulation is “control [of oneself] by oneself. It is a skill that effects a person’s ability to handle disappointments, failures, and tolerate unmet wants or needs with the outcome being success. The key word is SKILL. Self-regulation is taught and then children need time to practice using this skill. The more they practice the better they become.

There are four types of games/activities you can do to teach children how to self-regulate. The purpose of the games is for children to practice managing their impulses and self-control.  

  1. Red light, green light- have a start line and a finish line, one child is the cop and says green light for the rest of the children to go and red light for them to freeze. If they move after red light has been said then they move back to the start line. First person across the finish line wins and gets to be the new cop. Reverse rules, stop when the cop says green light, and go when the cop says red light.
  2. The Freeze Game- dance to music and then freeze when the music stops. Dance fast to fast-paced songs, slow to slower-paced songs, and then reverse the rules.
  3. Wacky Relay- have children work with a partner to move an object from the start line to the finish line using elbow to elbow, palm to palm, hip to hip or forehead to forehead. The larger the object the easier it is.
  4. Self Control Bubbles- allow children to pop bubbles as you blow them, then tell children not to touch the bubbles at all, even if they land on their face. Praise children as they refrain from touching the bubbles.
blowing bubbles
Blowing Bubbles

Just a few minutes a day can really help improve their self-regulation.  Games and activities are great ways to help children reflect on their own ability to self-regulate in various situations. Children can learn self-awareness for handling stress and emotions that will carry them through their teenage and adult years while saving your sanity.

Sources:

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/self-regulation/

https://www.acesconnection.com/g/Parenting-with-ACEs/clip/5-incredibly-fun-games-to-teach-self-regulation-self-control-early-childhood-development-8-minutes-kreative-leadership

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

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