The ability to self-regulate is an important skill for children to develop. It helps children as they learn to follow rules and understand limits. Recent research has found that kindergarten teachers rank the ability to self-regulate as the most important characteristic necessary for school readiness. There is also evidence that self-regulation levels have a stronger correlation to school readiness than IQ or academic readiness.
Self-regulation behaviors include having the ability to:
Children are not born with the ability to self-regulate, so their behavior is often dictated by their impulses and immediate wants. Self-regulation introduces the capacity to exercise restraint and decide a proper response before acting.
A child’s natural disposition can influence their ability to self-regulate. This means some children are born with instinctive self-control, while others need to develop strategies to help them deal with stressful situations. It takes a long time for these crucial skills to mature and they’re often not completely established until adulthood.
There are strategies you can incorporate at home to help your child on their path to developing these self-regulation skills. Such strategies may include:
These links offer additional information on the importance of self-regulation in children: