Emotional Regulation Gifts | Core Health Chiropractic
Emotional regulation is the process in which one identifies emotions, and reacts to those emotions. Emotional regulation typically develops around age five. Before a child can emotionally regulate on his or her own, they must first experience something we call co-regulation. This is where a parent, teacher or other trusted adult provides soothing input, such as calm words, noises, movement and love, to help a child regulate when his or her emotions are too much. The process of co-regulation will help the child to begin to develop pathways in his or her brain for healthy coping mechanisms when emotionally overwhelmed. As a parent, it is important that you are regulated and calm when providing co-regulation to your child! (More on regulation for parents tomorrow)!

Another way that we develop emotional regulation skills from a young age is by learning about facial expressions, communication, and using calming input to help with regulation. For an infant, this may include the baby playing with a mirror nearby to start to make sense of faces. This could also include using soothing sounds, rocking your baby, or singing to the baby. As your baby grows into a toddler, he or she may begin to be more interested in faces and creating different facial expressions through play activities. Providing appropriate tools for calming will also be helpful during this time. As your child continues to grow, you want to model emotional regulation skills; talk about feelings and emotions, and let your child know that it’s okay to feel your feelings! No feeling is ever “wrong” or “invalid”. Provide strategies that may be calming when your child is overcome with big feelings, such as deep breathing, yoga, a stress ball, hugs, or a calming corner. Sensory input can be really helpful when feelings are overwhelming, so refer back to the sensory post from yesterday for more sensory tools.

Books are also a great way to incorporate learning about emotions and regulation strategies! We’ve added a list of books that we have found useful for helping a child to understand his or her emotions. 

Birth – 2 Years

3 – 5 Years

6 – 9 Years

10 Years +

Books for All Ages

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