Self regulation and executive functioning is an important example of the importance of early language environment. While working on a child’s language this can help in shaping the behavior of a child and not only the language of a parent or caregiver.
Intelligence is very important, but if a child is not sitting at one place, and not following directions, that child may not be able to control emotions, then learning will not occur even if the child is smart enough.
First, I would like to talk about the reason, ‘why some children are able to self not regulating’? The reason is the effect of constant stress at home, as its effect on the cortisol levels in babies and young children. Though without stress in the home self regulation required learning, where language is most important.
In the early years of life parents help their babies in regulating them by helping them to look towards a stranger and smile or say ‘Hi’.
By stopping them to climb down from the bed, or scribbling on the wall.
But teaching them to sit for some time by playing with the appropriate toys, so that they can pay attention, take interest, show their emotions and listen to others by following directions etc.
These are the skills which help them in learning to solve problems, achieve academic performance in their school.
According to Dana Suskind there are three T’s which are very much helpful in development of self-regulation skills.
How a parent can help a child develop Self regulation and executive functioning?
There are various techniques to teach your child Self regulation and executive functioning from the beginning.
- By following three T’s
- By playing with them for their first year of life
- By modelling self regulation
- By giving them choice instead of giving them a task.
Speech Therapy- Self regulation and executive functioning
By following three T’s
(According to 30 million words)
Three T’s are tuning in , Talk more, and take turns
Tuning in is a very fine one, where a parent has to make a conscious effort to notice when a baby or a child is focused, when it is appropriate talking with the child about it. Mainly focusing as the child is focused. Talking them even there concentration is coming and going. Primarily taking the lead of the child is tuning in
Talking more is my favorite one and I used it with my kids, got wonderful results. Talk to them about each topic, they are grasping some words or some words are not in their age vocabulary. They are becoming aware of new vocabulary, learning new concepts and later on use them in their life. Talking more gives a rich language to your child, which helps them in thousands of ways at each step.
Taking turns teach a child language and self regulation to its extent. turn taking helping them in learning new skills, they learn interactions. When a baby cries for milk, he is saying that I am hungry and parents are taking turns by feeding them, or if baby is rubbing his eyes, a mother makes her baby sleep.
As the baby grows into a toddler taking turns become more diverse. It is embellished with words, facial expressions, and gestures.
As they grow words become sentences and sentences become lengthy conversations and through conversations it is easier to teach self regulation and executive functioning.
Speech Therapy- Self regulation and executive functioning
By playing with them for their first year of life.
In the beginning year of a child, you can play in this way
Activity 1. Material- Toy bell that can be rung by moving it to and fro
Outcome– Emotional development, auditory skills, eye contact, self regulation by involving, waiting, responding.
Show your child by moving it so that the sound can be heard. Children love sounds and they immediately look at the source of sound.
You may notice wide eyes of your baby and a cute smile on the face. He may be waiting for another round of sound. Do it and wait for the response and repeat it for 8-10 times. Repetition of this activity can be checked if your child is taking an interest.
In case you find that your child is not much interested, there are many other activities.
Activity 2- To play peekaboo with a towel.
Outcome- Interaction, auditory, eye contact, emotions, problem solving by finding and play skills
Take a towel and hide yourself behind the towel. Call name of your child, and peep from one side. Again hid behind the towel and peep from the other side. Call his name or call Peek a boo.
You may notice that your child is waiting for another round of peek a boo. Repeat the process by hiding him behind the towel (Always check the readiness of your baby for any activity as each child is different)
Here I am giving a short list of activities that you can play to enhance self regulation and Speech-language skills together.
Playing with the softball throw and catch
Blowing bubbles while taking turns
Clap and take turns
Saying babababa (babbling) and take turns
Making animal sounds and taking turns
By modelling self regulation
This is the best way of teaching self regulation at every stage of life, beginning till teenage and more. I am a calmer person at my home and workplace both. When I was busy in developing skills with my elder child. I used to be very calm, patient, playful, involved, but exhibiting lots of good behaviors. I noticed after sometime whatever I modelled were it watching TV shows or regular prayers on time, my daughter started copying at a very young stage.
And, she is a calm, patient, playful, talkative, interactive and academically bright from the day one of school.
So remember, do not exhibit anger, frustrations or upset mood in front of your child at their young stages. Exhibit healthy arguments so that they learn to deal with the life problems and learn to solve them.
Use three T’s during your interactions to enhance language along with self regulation
Tune in: Toddler is playing with his blocks or toys and he has started throwing them everywhere. Mom responds calmly
Talk More: Oho, all toys gone under the bed, now how I will play again. Can you please help me getting them back and keep in the toy basket.
Come here both of us take them out and keep them back in the basket.
Hurray, we did it, High five, clapping for each other. Now lets play and model the way of playing.
By giving them choice instead of giving them a task
This is the important way of teaching self regulation by offering them choices. When all decisions are made by an adult, it is difficult for a child and they may not consider taking action.
Once the choice is given they will immediately consider one option to take an action. Three T’s are important always
Tune in: A child wants to see video immediately after waking up during summer break and once a video session starts it takes so long to finish breakfast, bathing, cleaning their beds everything is delayed.
Talk more: Good morning, Do you want to watch video in the morning or Do you want to take a bath first and have breakfast before video?
Take turns: I am making your bed, you go and take a bath. Have breakfast and take your video time. After your video time we will make a schedule of summer break. I will put your study time in that, you can enter your outdoor and indoor activities/ free time in the schedule. I would love to add help time, where you can help me in making my videos for YouTube or help me in the kitchen.
This is an example of a child who is in grade 7. you can brainstorm and give choices for your toddlers, child’s age group between 5-12 and teenagers.
Concluding it in short, that children are not born with all the required potencies. We, as parents help them in learning each and everything at the beginning. Once they understood they can walk easily on the shown pathways.