As human beings, we are constantly filled with different emotions. As adults, we have learned our own ways of managing these emotions, but for children who learn and think differently managing big emotions is a challenge that’s hard to understand. Regulation of big feelings is a skill that takes a long time for many children to develop and that’s why co-regulation is important for parents and caregivers to be able to provide. But what is self-regulation and co-regulation?
Today’s guest helps us understand the terms and how crucial it is to teach and model. Danielle Kent joins the podcast today to share the importance of self-regulation and how we can co-regulate to support children and adolescents. Danielle gives examples and some tips on how to regulate our own emotions to stay calm and to model the skills used to do so. And after hearing this conversation, I think you’ll agree that teaching co-regulation and self-regulation should be prioritized.
[2:24] – Managing big emotions is a frequently seen challenge. Danielle explains why she is passionate about normalizing big feelings.
[4:10] – There’s nothing wrong with having frustration, but how it is communicated can be inappropriate for the situation.
[5:28] – Self-regulation is the ability to connect the dots between your thoughts and emotions and direct yourself forward.
[6:45] – Co-regulating is regulating with someone, a caregiver in particular.
[7:55] – Some kids need a longer amount of time to co-regulate before they can self-regulate.
[9:09] – Danielle describes proactive and responsive co-regulation.
[11:32] – Sometimes it may be difficult to understand behaviors.
[12:34] – Executive functioning encompasses several skills and Danielle gives an example to demonstrate how regulation is part of that.
[14:29] – The ability for you as the parent to be regulated while your child is struggling is very important.
[15:30] – Seek to understand the experience your child is having.
[17:49] – The parent’s experience also matters and how you model regulation can calm down a child as well.
[19:12] – As parents, we are coaching imperfectly.
[20:15] – Approaching experiences as learning opportunities is a crucial mindset.
[21:17] – Danielle gives an example to show how to look at regulation skills as a long game.
[22:50] – We all have different brains and we all need different tools.
[24:30] – Sometimes kids need explicit language on how to shift.
[26:57] – Kids need to understand that everyone has different brains and that it is not a bad thing.
[27:43] – Teaching self-regulation skills must be a priority.
[30:02] – Normalizing all types of communication and types of play helps give children a strong sense of self and an understanding of others.
[31:43] – As an SLP, Danielle noticed regulation concerns in some students but her passion for self-regulation came from learning about her son.
About Our Guest:
Danielle graduated with her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology in 2011 and has worked in a variety of settings. She is dedicated towards equipping and empowering parents and professionals to support the development of self-regulation and joyful/autonomous communication via prioritizing co-regulation. She completed the VT- LEND fellowship in 2016 and completed DIR Floortime (R) Certification the fall of 2021. She is the owner/operator of Piece of Mind Therapy and Consulting, LLC. Danielle stepped into the Program Director position for the VTHEC Neurodiversity and Inclusion Program in the Spring of 2021. Danielle runs The Brainy SLP Podcast and The Brainy SLP YouTube station.
Links and Related Resources:
- Episode 9: How Occupational Therapy Helps Kids with Leah Hiller
- Episode 45: How Sensory Processing Impacts Communication with Jessie L. Ginsburg, M.S., CCC-SLP
- Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress: A Comprehensive Review of Self-Regulation Interventions from Birth Through Young Adulthood
- Co-Regulation From Birth Through Young Adulthood
Connect with Danielle Kent:
- The Brainy SLP Podcast
- The Brainy SLP YouTube Channel
- Danielle Kent’s Website
- Danielle Kent on Instagram
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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.