How to Co-Regulate with Your Child

how to co regulate with your child
Crédit d'image :
Publié le 1 décembre 2022, par Samir | 8 h 34 min
Temps de lecture : 4 minutes

Co-regulation is using your nervous system to regulate someone else’s, in this case, your child. The biggest sensory tool you have to offer is yourself. You will notice the majority of these strategies involve using your body and yourself as sensory tools. They involve no fancy equipment or toys, just you.

How to Co-Regulate with Your Child

Sensory-based strategies for co-regulation can often be overcomplicated when what is needed the most is to simplify and remove stimuli.

When a child is dysregulated, he is often experiencing sensory overload. So the most effective strategy is to minimize the sensory input in their environment and to utilize their preferences to assist with regulation.

Sometimes it is so effective as lowering your body, having a softer presence, and encouraging your child to lower their eye gaze. Think less is more, less talking, less moving, and less doing.

 When our children are dysregulated, we all tend to want to do everything at once to help. They escalate, and we escalate, but we need to be that calming and grounded presence.

Modeling deep breathing, mindfulness, and a preferred sensory activity rather than suggesting they can do it can be helpful. Eventually, you will notice they will join in.

Every child’s nervous system is unique; what works for one child will not work for the next and can even change daily. So remember, it is a process to identify what will work best for your child.

Co-regulation does not happen in times of distress but in times of joy. So doing these activities when your child is regulated will only further help to strengthen those pathways in their brain for when they are dysregulated.

Ways to Co-regulate with your child

Here are some of the ways to co-regulated with your child:

  • Lower your body position.
  • Lower your voice.
  • Soften your facial expression.
  • Model deep breathing.
  • Do heavy work together.
  • Walk outside.
  • Offer deep pressure.
  • Model a preferred sensory activity.
  • Move your body together.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Stop talking.
  • Change your proximity.

But no one-size-fits-all phrase or answer works for every parent or child because you and your children are your unique people. And you have your unique relationship. The authentic sauce lies in ourselves, our thinking, and our calm.

It starts with us:

  • Radically accepting our children for who they are, this season of life for what it is, and ourselves as flawed people who don’t need to be perfect. Just authentic and apologetic when necessary.
  • Radically trusting our children and listening, watching, getting curious about what their behaviors are telling you, and trusting in ourselves and our gut.
  • Self-care; anything from having a cup of tea and binging a show before bed to a shower alone. Anything that brings you joy that’s for you.
  • Did you know children need at least three hours of outside time for optimal development and regulation? That need for fresh air doesn’t go away as we get older. Whenever we can, especially in those most challenging moments on those hardest days, go outside.
  • Acceptance, trust, and patience if you’re open to change, being taught, and listening to your children and your inner child. It’s so much easier. It is so much easier to let go of everything else.

Our children borrow from our energy. We know this; it’s a massive part of why we feel tired at the end of the day. Suppose we don’t fill our cups – actively work on our self-regulation. In that case, we can find ourselves in a constant dysregulation triggered by developmentally normal behaviors.

Our dysregulation in their big, loud, challenging moments directly impacts or exacerbates their regulation. So much of parenting is the work we have to put into ourselves.

  • Recognizing we must take care of our needs to be present and happy parents.
  • Unlearning what we thought we may have known about raising children or even what worked for the children we had before.
  • Recognizing we are actively participating in our children’s regulation simply by existing in the same room.

Our job is to be their calm, not join in their chaos. But it’s also not to make them part of our chaos. If your mood is rubbing off on your tiny humans, make sure you:

  • Grab some food and water for yourself.
  • Share and narrate your feelings (without placing blaming or fault).
  • Try and get some sensory input in for yourself as soon as possible.

Children are worthy, valuable, and equal members of society. They are not more worthy or valuable as adults. They are not a step on the path to becoming members of society.

dim. 14 Rajab
الأحد 14 رجب

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