Emotional Regulation


Parents and therapists act like an 'emotion coach' and with their help, children can learn to regulate their feelings and behaviors. The ability to manage feelings and behaviors is called self-regulation.

A child who is not regulated and/or minimally engaged might may have difficultly moving past an “unplanned/ unexpected moment” or when something doesn’t go their way. A speech language pathologist can help a child identify their emotion, label what triggered the feeling, and support communication to discuss next steps. As children get older, tantrums become less acceptable as they would with a two-year-old, and these children may continue to struggle with impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

Part of working through emotional dysregulation, also includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions when upset and the ability to calm yourself down when you get upset and adjust to a change in expectations without an outburst. One key point in improving self-regulation skills, is not to avoid situations that are difficult for kids to handle, but to coach kids through them and provide a supportive framework toward the behavior you want to encourage. The goal is eventually decreasing support until they can handle disruptive challenges on their own through use of communication and emotional regulation strategies.