Category Archives: Self regulation

Growing Resilience: Mastering Adversity

As weird as it may sound, our children need to experience adversity to grow resilience. The sense of mastery that grows within a child having overcome challenges is one of their biggest sources of resilience.

As parents we interrupt many of the opportunities our children have to develop mastery because we lose the distinction between danger (where it is our job to secure safety) and pain (where there is an opportunity for learning.) The drawers in my family medical office were fun to play with because they felt so good when they moved in and out. My young patients loved that feel so much I made sure that there was one drawer that held things that would not harm a child. Even though I okayed drawer play, parents often reacted quickly when their toddlers started pulling and pushing on the drawers for fear that their child might pinch some fingers. Continue reading

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Preparing Ground for Resiliency

One thing people with resilience have in common is a supportive network. You are your child’s first and most important “network of support.” You establish the ground from which they can learn, take risks, make mistakes and come back to safety. With solid ground beneath them children have more ability to overcome challenges. Continue reading

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Bullying and Our Culture

Adults sometimes use power to change someone’s behavior by humiliating them or scaring them. There is an implicit assumption that the person is not already doing the best they can at the moment, that somehow they don’t care and that fear and shame will be helpful motivators. This is craziness. We know from brain science that when we are threatened our ability to learn new things shuts down. Athletes and talented technology workers are there because they want to be there. They dream of being on the “A” team, and are working hard to improve performance. Is the bullying really helping?

And, as a culture we buy into this. There is little public outrage at the very public bullying we (and our children) see on television. What are our children learning? Continue reading

Posted in Growing Responsibility, Mutual Respect, Self regulation | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

An Ode to the Wild Things

Our children are born into an adult world where many experiences are new, confusing and often scary. They are working hard at taming the wild things. As parents, we can help our children make sense of the frightening things in the larger world around us. Continue reading

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Self-regulation Matters

But she KNOWS better! Why does she act this way? How many times have you thought this, said it or listened to another parent share their frustration this way? And when you reflect on it, how many times have you noticed, reflecting back on one of your not-so-wonderful parenting moments that indeed YOU knew better? Join the club. Continue reading

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Holidays: Fun or Frenzy

Maybe it’s just me, but there is something about the holidays that put my dreams about what it means to be a “good parent” on a collision course with real life – and they always make contact. Sometimes it is messier than others. They are most certainly not stress-free. Continue reading

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Time-in for Children: Re-gathering Response-ability

Children (and all of us) do better when they feel better. Our culture tends to want to “teach” children who are misbehaving by having them feel worse “so they’ll learn not to do it again.” We forget that if the child had felt included, important, or weren’t so tired or hungry she likely would have handled the situation well to begin with. Instead of teaching by hurting the goal of a time-in is to help our child learn how to regain their “better” sense of self so that she can come back to the situation and meet the challenge. With practice, children get better at “re-gathering” by themselves. Remember, this kind of “feeling better” is not happiness – it is a sense of being able to respond (be response-able) from a centered place. Continue reading

Posted in Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments