What is Co-Regulation?

Co-regulation is a process where two or more individuals manage their emotional states together to achieve a calm state. It's a key aspect of psychological development, particularly in children, as it helps them learn how to self-regulate their emotions. The process also involves how one person's nervous system can influence another's.

What is Co-regulation?

Co-regulation is a psychological term that refers to the process of two or more people working together to achieve a calm state. It involves the mutual regulation of emotional states between individuals, and can also refer to how one person's nervous system influences another's. This process is crucial in helping children learn to self-regulate.

What does Co-regulation involve?

  • Regulating emotions and behaviors: This involves managing one's emotional responses and actions in a manner that is appropriate and beneficial.
  • Managing internal sensory input or external situations: This entails controlling one's reactions to internal sensations or external circumstances.
  • Being present and showing up for someone: This involves being emotionally available and supportive to the other person.
  • Coaching, modeling, and providing feedback: This includes guiding the other person, demonstrating appropriate behaviors, and giving constructive feedback.
  • Providing a warm supportive relationship: This involves creating a nurturing and supportive environment for the other person.
  • Structuring supportive environments: This includes creating environments that facilitate emotional regulation and calmness.

What are some examples of Co-regulation?

Examples of co-regulation include calling a time out during an argument, avoiding an impulse purchase, lowering your body to eye level, holding hands and taking deep breaths together, offering a hug or squeezing a comfort item, adjusting the environment by dimming the lights, playing soothing music, and reducing visual clutter, and practicing active listening.

How does Co-regulation help children learn to self-regulate?

Co-regulation helps children learn to self-regulate by involving a variety of behaviors from parents, including building a warm relationship, setting limits, teaching self-regulation, providing external structure for calming down, and using logical consequences for negative behaviors.

What are some steps for Co-regulation?

  • Approach calmly: This involves approaching the child in a calm and composed manner.
  • Label the child's emotions: This entails identifying and naming the child's emotions.
  • Help the child find a calming strategy: This includes assisting the child in identifying and implementing strategies that help them calm down.
  • Build a relationship with your child through connection: This involves establishing a strong emotional bond with the child.
  • Get eye level (or below) and be with them in their state of emotion: This entails physically positioning oneself at the child's eye level and empathizing with their emotional state.

What is the role of parents in Co-regulation?

Parents play a crucial role in co-regulation. They are responsible for building a warm relationship, setting limits, teaching self-regulation, providing external structure for calming down, and using logical consequences for negative behaviors. Research has shown that the most ideal parent style is one that balances both high levels of warmth with high boundaries.

How can Co-regulation be practiced in daily life?

Co-regulation can be practiced in daily life through various means such as using voice, movements, gestures, and intonations to convey emotions, paying attention to latency, making sure the child is engaged before continuing, and using flash cards or games to identify the emotions and how they feel.

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