Co-regulation basically means calming down together.
When our children are losing it and misbehaving, often that makes us want to ‘lose it’ with them and shout. Their dysregulation makes us dysregulated. Everyone ends up upset.
A better way to support our children, ourselves and our relationship together is to co-regulate - calm down together. Your nervous systems are out of whack and you need to get back to baseline - but kids have no idea how to do that by themselves. That’s where we come in.
In this video you can see me using:
- ‘dragon breathing’ as breath work. We’re just blowing ‘fire’ in each others faces but sneakily it’s helping him to take deep breaths and breathe evenly.
- ‘Heavy work’ (pushing and pulling)provides proprioceptive input though the muscles and joints and calms the nervous system. I just ask him to push my hands.
- sensory play with hand cream to engage the senses and shift focus from whatever was frustrating him. We put it on and rubbed it in and smelled it together.
- Deep pressure cuddles for ‘touch’ sensory feedback and grounding.
Could you try one of these next time your child is upset and angry? Remember that tantrums are part of toddler life and totally natural. They’re not being naughty, they’re communicating that they’re dysregulated. We need to MODEL CALM to PROMOTE CALM.
Tag a friend with a tantrumming toddler.
Watch the full reel here