is the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.
Improved emotion regulation leads to benefits in all areas of a child’s life. Children who are able to regulate their emotions are able to pay more attention, work harder, and achieve more in school. They are better able to resolve conflicts with their peers/siblings, communicate in times of stress and show lower levels of physiological stress.
Aspects of emotion regulation include:
- the ability to shift attention away from the things that are likely to kick up intense negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, shame, and anxiety
- the ability to inhibit acting on an emotion when desired
- the ability to decrease the intensity of emotions.
Dysregulation of emotions:
- difficulty identifying their emotions,
- completing tasks when upset
- expressing anger/melt down/tantrum
- impulsive and/or problematic behavior patterns
Impulse control disorders involve chronic problems in one’s ability to control his or her emotions and behaviors. This lack of self-control causes the children and adolescents suffering from these disorders to experience significant distress or impairment in all, or most, areas of functioning. Children may act out in the following way:
- Acting out in risky sexual behaviors
- Playing with fire
- Agitation/Irritability/Lack of patience
- Difficulty concentrating
- Obsessive and intrusive thoughts
- Low self-esteem/Social isolation
- Brief periods of emotional detachment
- Increased levels of anxiety
Support, guidance and assistance of a therapist is fundamental for a child’s healing and meeting developmental mile stones. If you or someone you know match the symptoms listed above, I am confident that I can help and invite you to contact me today for a free consultation.