Some sobering statistics recently came out from the CDC:
Data is clear that children develop the capacity to regulate through the process of being co-regulated by a safe, consistent, loving caregiver.
I recently listened to an excellent Rich Roll podcast and teen whisperer Lisa Damour, Ph.D. who is a Yale-educated psychotherapist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan who specializes in education and child development. She is the author of three New York Times bestsellers: Untangled, Under Pressure, and The Emotional Lives of Teenagers—the latter being the subject of the podcast. Here is the key takeaway:
"The best gift we can give our teenagers is to try to be a steady presence. teenagers experience their own emotions as very powerful and destabilizing. Part of how they can feel more secure is if they can bring their emotions to their parent and the parent can react (at least outwardly) in a calm way." - Lisa Damour, Ph.D.
If you're asking, "But how do I do this? How do I be a calm and steady presence?"
You become calm and centered within yourself.
Kids have a less fully developed rationalizing, logical center of the brain (pre-frontal cortex). They rely on us and our fully developed prefrontal cortex to support them with kind, empathetic responses and guidance because their pre-frontal cortex is not fully developed.
Our regulated nervous system is what helps them co-regulate. This is how our children regulate their emotions and behavior to soothe and manage stressful internal sensory input or external situations - with the support and direction of a connecting individual.
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