Self regulation is a hot button topic in our world. We are becoming more aware of the affects of constant stimulus on our bodies and our concentration. This interaction with our world comes from our senses, our emotions, other people, our impulses and reactions and our thoughts. As Dr. Stuart Shanker teaches, there are five formal domains of self-regulation:
- Biological – how well the child regulates her internal states and sensory stimulus’ like sight, sound, smells, touch and tastes.
- Emotional – how well the child identifies, monitors and modifies her emotional responses
- Cognitive – how well the child can sustain and switch her attention; inhibit impulses; deal with frustration, delay gratification, ignore distractions; sequence her thoughts
- Social – the child’s mastery of rules of socially appropriate behaviour; how well the child can co-regulate or help others to participate in social norms
- Pro-social – the desire and ability to develop and sustain relationships, support and care for others, act inclusively and be an engaged member of a community
Each domain builds on the others to help us stay calm, alert and focused. This is most easily learned while playing, being physically active and in close relationship with people who love us. Daddy and Me Gym Night and Families in Motion are monthly opportunities to practice all of these skills in a playful environment.
As I observed the play at Daddy and Me this month, I noticed examples of:
- children experiencing new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures, in a very stimulating enviroment
- kids and dads managing powerful feelings: excited, joyful, frustrated, sad, angry, scared
- taking turns, sharing toys, managing distractions, taking risks
- children mastering social rules and learning to help others learn those rules
- Playing, creating and problem solving with others, sharing and including others
Look closely at these photos and see if you can find clues of how these kids are learning to live happily in their bodies and in their community. This is not an easy task in the modern world.
As always, I am grateful to participate in a monthly event where so much learning takes place in such an authentic and fun environment. Please join us Wednesday, November 13th at Robert Ogilvie Gym.