Meltdowns, tears, task refusal, yelling…
What do these words evoke?
Are they all too familiar with your child?
How often are these emotional reactions happening in your interactions with your child, or among their siblings and peers?
You may be asking yourself what is typical and what’s not. While a broken pencil lead may be fixed without a second thought with some children, for others it may lead to tears or refusing to complete homework. A misplaced belonging may cause a state of panic, or being asked to share a toy may cause a fit of anger. These stress triggers are inevitable, but their overreactions can magnify stress in parents and caregivers.
There is good news! Self-regulation is a crucial skill that can be taught and honed in each individual child. As parents, recognizing the difference between a misbehavior and a stress behavior is key. Stressors require expending energy to maintain our internal systems.
These stressors can come from several domains:
The more triggers that fire, the more fatigued the mind becomes, making an overreaction more likely.
While we may try to teach a child to regulate his behavior, true self-regulation happens in the brain. When we experience stress, the connection between the lower part of the brain responsible for self-preservation, and the upper part of the brain responsible for executive functioning, diminishes. An overreaction occurs. Learn more about this process here.
Self-regulation begins with emotional self-awareness. This is a skill which children can be taught so they may recognize and respond to all types of stress appropriately. Your child can be given the tools to deal with life’s stressors and triggers. We are here to get you over those speed bumps. Join us for a parent coaching session to discover new possibilities. In addition, you can get tips on how to handle overreaction by our Speech and Language Director in this video.
If your student is experiencing signs of regression, there’s help. Our team of professionals, along with our dedicated Parent Representative, are geared up to face regression head on! Give us a call or click this simple form and a Parent Representative will offer support today.