Co-Regulating with Children During COVID-19

By on March 31, 2020

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Did you know that your children co-regulate with you? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

When your children are feeling dysregulated (or out of sorts) for one reason or another, they are looking to you to help bring them back to calm. In times of uncertainty like these, as parents, we must be the calm presence our kiddos need to be able to downregulate.

Downregulate – “The process of reducing or suppressing a response to a stimulus” (Merriam-Webster)

Basically, if you’re not calm, your babies cannot be calm.

It’s okay to feel anxious or uncertain about the times we’re living in right now. However, I do want to bring awareness to this so we can appreciate and address our needs.

My kids were SO dysregulated last week. No surprise there, because I was feeling overwhelmingly anxious and distracted. I’m sure many of you can relate. If your children seem dysregulated, the best thing we can do is check-in with ourselves to see how we’re feeling. If we’re not okay, we need to figure out how to calm ourselves down so that we can be what our children need.

Whether you’re feeling totally fine today or completely overwhelmed, I want you to make two lists for yourself.

On the first list, I want you to write out the fundamental things you need. Think food, water, sleep, hygiene. Then make a plan for how you can ensure you’re meeting those needs for yourself every single day.

The second list will vary a bit more. Write what helps you to get to a calm state. Is it a walk outside? Listening to a particular song or playlist? Yoga or meditation? Unplugging from social media? Reading a book? Whatever it is, write it down somewhere handy.

As each of us finds our way through this chaotic time at home, remember the importance of scheduling time for yourself. It’s easy to forget to breathe during your busy day, so make sure to take a few minutes to write down the things that will help you feel more relaxed.

For more information on Elli Pears, please visit her Instagram page @glowingheartssleepco

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