This parenting gig is wonderful. And sometimes it can be tough. Whether our kids have a big outward reaction to something or they turn inward and distance themselves, we as parents worry about their safety and overall wellbeing. Our kids are still learning how to tune into their bodies. They’re still learning how to self-regulate. So what can we do in those heightened moments? What can we do in those low moments? How do I stay calm enough to support them, too? Answer: Co-Regulation.
With co-regulation, one person regulates themselves so they can help the other person move towards regulation.
How does this work?
As humans, we are wired for connection. So much so, that we have something in our brain called "mirror neurons" which basically wire us to imitate those around us - physical and emotional states.
Ever sat across someone crossing their legs and you find yourself crossing your legs, too? Mirror neurons.
Ever been in a store and overhear an angry customer yelling at an employee, then suddenly feel yourself become distressed, too? Mirror neurons.
Ever say "cheese!" while taking a picture of your child and find yourself smiling, too? Mirror neurons. Which reminds me, I need more phone storage.
All this to say that we are hard-wired for connection. So whether your toddler is the middle of a meltdown, or your teen is lacking interest in anything, we can try co-regulation.
Now I won’t say this is an easy process because co-regulation takes a lot of hard work. But I created your Parent's Guide to Co-Regulation as a starting point!
Learn more step-by-step of how to support your child while also supporting yourself, get regulation strategy ideas, and move towards confidence in your parenting journey.