What Is Co-Regulation? (Part4)

advice/correction lens shift Aug 07, 2022

When your child is having big feelings; anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration or even excitement ("hyperactivity"). What's really happening is that it's like they have a storm inside.

Or in other words, their brain is experiencing some kind of stress response ("fight or flight").

Their immature and under-developed brain doesn't have the ability to shut down the stress response or calm the storm, so they need our ACTIVE involvement to shut down their brain's stress response.

In some ways, the parent acts like the child's advanced brain (Prefrontal Cortex) by helping the child regulate her emotions and that's why it's called co-regulating.

Here are the steps of co-regulation:

1- Get close

2- Check yourself

3- Mirror their thoughts or/and feelings

4- Empathize/validate

5- Explore later (situational)

 Overtime this way of co-regulating teaches kids to regulate themselves. Especially if you've been modeling it yourself. Ask yourself what YOU do when you're upset? Our children can't do better than us in their difficult moments.