Often, children may become anxious, angry, or overly upset due to insufficient incidents. Parents and teachers can accept such manifestations as defiant behavior, attempts to manipulate or attract attention, and indicate a lack of discipline or weakness of the child. However, frequently such actions are a stress reaction, an inability to cope with emotions. For this reason, the vital task that parents and educators face is to teach children self-regulation, and concentration, understanding their feelings.
Self-regulation differs from self-discipline and compliance and is another way to understand children and their experiences better. The use of widespread approaches to education with punishment and encouragement will not help develop self-regulation but can only aggravate the nervous system’s overload. Self-regulation aims to understand the causes of unusual behavior and mitigate them (Shanker, 2013). It includes ways to cope with stress triggers and recover from them. Self-regulation contributes to the physical and psychological well-being of children, their high ability to learn. Parents from early childhood help babies develop their capacities for self-regulation through emotional support and its manifestations. As an educator, I can affect the level of stress in the classroom and notice signs of the need for self-regulation in children. Moreover, the teacher can explain feelings of stress and calm and explore with children ways of self-regulation that will suit them.
The modern world is full of stress triggers, and the value of self-regulation for children is constantly increasing. According to Shanker (2013), the primary sources of childhood stress are biological, cognitive, emotional, social, and prosocial. Understanding all these factors is essential for understanding stress and developing self-regulation. Signs of the need for self-regulation in children may include inattention, irritability, desire to argue, difficulty in sleeping, and other manifestations. Given the sources of stress, I can make sure of the comfort of lighting, temperature, places for children, and the absence of extra sounds in the classroom. Educators can provide alternation of educational classes with physical ones. Concurrently, it is crucial to establish good relations with students, be an example of calm, and ensure comfortable communication conditions. Under appropriate classroom circumstances, it will be easier for children to learn the necessary self-regulation skills.
When children learn to self-regulate, they need to find individual methods that will help in various situations. Besides explaining stress, self-regulation, practices, and providing the necessary conditions, parents and educators must respond to impulsive behavior calmly. In this case, children will not feel irritation or condemnation directed at their emotions but will receive adequate feedback on what might have gone wrong, which can be changed at the next regulation attempt. A leisurely and calm approach will allow children to thoughtfully and consciously act and explore their feelings.
Thus, the modern world provides quite a lot reasons for stress in children. As a result, they may not cope with their emotions, which will manifest in unusual, often aggressive, or apathetic behavior. To respond better to stressors, stay in tone, and study effectively, children must learn self-regulation. Both parents and educators contribute to the development of these skills. The teachers can help explain feelings of stress and the principles of self-regulation. Moreover, they influence the classroom environment of children and can also significantly reduce the stress level there. Simultaneously, a critical aspect of self-regulation training is also an example adults show and their response to childhood stress. Parents and teachers should not devalue the children’s experiences but thoughtfully help them cope with the negative manifestations.
Shanker, S. (2013). Calm, alert and happy. In Think, feel, act: Lessons from research about young children (pp. 21-26). Queen’s Printer for Ontario.