Encouraging Self-Regulation in Young Children

Austin's Best Early Childhood Education - Stepping Stone School
Children’s self-regulation is closely tied to school readiness and success.

As children develop and practice self-regulation skills, they are less frustrated and more successful, not only in school, but in social interactions and personal pursuits.

Stepping Stone School teachers develop programming and environments that foster self-regulation skills for infants through school age. Each classroom offers opportunities for children to explore and take healthy risks while learning to respect the autonomy and interests of others.  Teachers listen thoughtfully to children, encouraging language expression and problem solving.

Our intentional programming and consistent classroom routines make each classroom a natural setting for the development of these skills.

Tips for fostering self-regulation:

  • Model appropriate behaviors that exhibit self-regulation and self-control during frustrating or trying times. Children learn from watching, hearing and practicing.
  • Establish routines. The predictability and structure of routines support the practice and development of self-regulation skills.
  • Set appropriate responsibilities like carrying a toy to the shelf, brushing teeth before bed, feeding the dog, carrying a backpack or taking out the garbage.
  • Play games with your children! Notice when games become easy and the child loses interest. Then, gradually increase the difficulty.
    • Infants: begin by handing toy to baby, work up to toy being exchanged between you and baby.
    • Toddlers: roll ball back and forth. Gradually include a second child in the game.
    • Preschool: play a board game like Candy Land, or active game such as Duck, Duck, Goose.
    • School Age: anything involving taking turns like board games, card games, 21 Questions or Simon Says.


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