Dr. Courtney Knapp

Child & Adolescent Psychologist Serving Orange County, California

How is Emotional Regulation Learned


Emotional regulation is the ability to manage one’s feelings. As adults we have trouble with this at times so imagine a child trying to navigate such a huge task. This article discusses how children may learn this skill. As the author points out, there are different approaches to helping children learn emotional regulation and he goes on to share his approach. Barish states “…children most effectively learn to regulate their emotions when they are confident that their feelings will be heard. When a child expects that her feelings and concerns will be appreciated and understood, her emotions become less urgent.” In my own experience I have seen a simple reflection “you are angry” can calm a child almost instantly. Not to say that this is always the case, but at times that is all a child needs…to be understood. I encourage parents to take their children’s feelings seriously at any age and take the time to listen!

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