Monthly Archives

January 2016

Self-Regulation: Tips for Helping your Child Develop Self-Regulation Skills

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This is the last post in a series of posts on self-regulation.

So now that we have discussed what self-regulation is, how it is different from compliance, and why it is important, here are some tips on how to promote self-regulation for your child.

  1. Include your child in decision-making processes: give them the opportunity to feel confident and independent and practice decision making
  2. Offer your child time for exploratory play: this provides children with the opportunity to play in ways that express their interests, plan and problem solve on their own
  3. Provide your child with tasks/responsibilities to complete on their own: this is similar to the benefits of decision making, it helps them build confidence in their abilities and practice problem-solving
  4. Engage your child in exploratory conversations: practicing language is important to guiding behaviour
  5. Support emotional and behavioural self-control: this is important for them developing social skills and coping mechanisms




Self-Regulation: Asking Why

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This is the third post in a series of posts on self-regulation.

An important thing to consider regarding self-regulation is WHY a child might be having trouble doing it.

It is easy to dismiss a child’s inability to focus in a learning setting as boredom or disinterest in the material, however this is more often a problem of self-regulation.

A good example is the anxious child. Often, anxious or nervous children have trouble focusing or staying alert. Their anxiety may not always be apparent however their lack of focus often is. In this example, difficultly self-regulating is indicating a larger underlying problem…anxiety, and this problem needs to be uncovered and accounted for by educators or caregivers. Once this problem is discovered, a child’s environment can be adjusted to produce less anxiety (for example making it less stimulating).

In conclusion, self-regulation helps to better understand the characteristics that define a child, their strengths and weaknesses in certain setting and how to facilitate their growth so they can reach their full potential.



Self-Regulation: Self-Regulation vs. Compliance

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This is the second post in a series of posts about self-regulation.

A common misconception about self-regulation is that it simply involves a child getting control of their negative emotions. However, this refers more to compliance than self-regulation.

The goal of self-regulation is much superior to that of compliance because compliance simply suggests doing what one is told, however the goal of self-regulation is to have children be able to know how to handle themselves and their emotional states in an aware and constructive way, not just because of rules in the classroom or at home.

Self-regulation is meant to foster a child’s ability to know the how to interact with others on their own and to help them develop self-esteem knowing that they can cope effectively in stressful situations. Self-regulation is about practicing focus and alertness and can look different for different children, therefore it is not the same as compliance.



Self-Regulation: Defining Self-Regulation

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This is the first post in a series of posts about self-regulation.

Self-regulation is a growing area of research for early childhood education. Self-regulation can simply be defined as a child’s ability to calmly focus on a task and stay alert. A large part of self-regulation is self-control.

The better a child is at self-regulation, the better they can take in information, process various stimuli and form connections through thought and action. Nurturing a child’s skillset for self-regulation is central to helping them build the ability to cope with stress and the increasing challenges they face as they get older. It helps them with understanding and responding appropriately to their emotional reactions, and helps build a foundation for positive interaction with the self and others.

Five Domain Model (advanced by Baumeister & Voh’s in Handbook of Self-Regulation)The five domain model is one way of defining self regulation, and distinguishing it from self control. The suggestion is that self-regulation permeates into a number of areas of development, these areas are:

  • Temperament (refers to the ability to regulate one’s level or arousal)
  • Emotion Development (refers to control of emotions)
  • Cognitive Development (refers to ability to regulate goal-oriented behaviour)
  • Social Development (refers to interpersonal and social skills)
  • Educational Theory (refers to awareness of one’s own academic strengths and weaknesses and ability to handle academic tasks)

The key to defining and understanding self-regulation based on the above is the idea that staying alert and focused for children is required in many settings and is accomplished in many ways, and the better a child can master the skill of the self-regulation, the better they will be at conducting themselves in a variety of situations.



How to Foster a Love of Reading in Your Little Ones

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Here are some tips (used by educators themselves) for increasing your child’s interest in reading and literacy, even for those little ones at the age of two.

  • Create a cozy space for reading books aloud to your children
  • Read with emphasis and excitement, and change voices for different characters
  • Point to pictures and ask questions to keep children engaged
  • Read books with repetition or rhyme so that kids can read along
  • Read repeat books so children learn prediction skills as the begin to recognize the repetition
  • Point to words and tell children what those words say with emphasis on each letters sound
  • Choose books based on children’s interests so that they hold kid’s attention
  • Don’t create a designated book area, keep books in various areas of the room or house so that they are easily accessible, and if possible, try to connect them to their environment or surrounding objects.


Source: Petersen, Sandra H., and Donna S. Wittmer. Infant and toddler Curriculum, 2nd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012. VitalBook file.


Upcoming Events in Coquitlam

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A new year has begun and with it are a bunch of new activities to do in the city of Coquitlam! Check out these upcoming activities for 2016!

  • Jan 15th: free swim at City Centre Aquatic Complex
  • Jan 16th: free skate at Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex
  • Feb 8th: Family Day activities at both Poirier Community Centre and City Centre Aquatic Complex (see link at bottom for more details)
  • Feb 21st: Kid’s Swap Meet (event to purchase used children’s items)
  • Mar 19th: Easter Bunny Hop & Hunt (registration required)
  • And more!


For full event details and more events in Coquitlam in the upcoming months visit (source):


Nurturing the Need for Movement

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Movement is a central aspect of children’s ability to explore and build a sense of self in their environment.

Increased movement in early childhood has been found to have a number of benefits for learning and cognitive functioning:

  • Tool for curiosity
  • Increasing the brain’s efficiency in processing motor responses
    • The brain uses 3 central steps in creating plans for physical movement:
      • Forms a mental picture of the desired movement/outcome
      • This picture is then integrated with past experiences
      • Execute the plan at the appropriate time
      • This process is made faster with practicing motor movements

Self-confidence is also sustained through movement, and as we have discussed before, self-confidence can be an important aspect of children enjoying learning.

Here at parkland players, we try to incorporate movement into learning. Children dance in their music classes and we play outside as often as we can. We also like to go for nature walks to the local park which gets kids moving and exploring in their environment.

Source: Dietze, Beverlie. Foundations of Early Childhood Education: Learning Environments and Childcare in Canada. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2006 VitalBook file.