Today’s discussion was inspired by Dr. Stuart Shanker’s book, Self-Reg. I received a preview copy in order to facilitate this post.
As parents we’ve all had our fair share of trying moments with our children. Each time an upsetting moment happens, I always reflect on it at the end of the day and wonder what could have been done differently.
I’ve noticed all of my children act differently when they’re alone with my husband and I versus then when all three of kids are playing together.
My middle guy is three and I’m finding parenting tough these days because he often wants to do what his older sister is doing or is regressing in other areas, like potty training, because his younger brother is in diapers. I’m hopeful he’s just trying to figure out life and his place in our family. They didn’t coin the term “threenager” for nothing. ?
I recently read a book by Dr. Stuart Shanker called SELF-REG: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life.
In SELF-REG, Dr. Shanker shares practical advice for parents to help their kids engage calmly and successfully in learning and life.
Through decades of practice and research, Shanker explains how a child’s “bad” behavior is often an expression of their inability in the moment to respond to what’s going on around them.
The goal of the SELF-REG is for parents to learn how to identify a child’s stressors and reduce them.
In the book, Dr. Shanker reveals:
- Why our ability to thrive—to complete tasks, form friendships, and learn—depends on being able to self-regulate.
- The difference between misbehavior and stress behavior.
- How our kids feed off our stress and we feed off of theirs.
- How many of the “tricks” parents use to calm or quiet our children (i.e. giving them an iPad to watch or video game to play) actually makes it harder for your child to calm down.
Not only is this book helpful for all parents, it is accessible and is a valuable tool to have on hand as families encounter challenges.
These are the five core steps to SELF-REG, according to Dr. Shanker:
- Read the signs and reframe the behavior.
- Identify the stressors.
- Reduce the stressors.
- Become aware of when you’re overstressed.
- Figure out what helps you calm, rest and recover.
According to Shanker, self-regulation can dramatically improve a child’s mood, attention, and concentration. It can help children to feel empathy and to develop the sorts of virtues that every parent knows are vital for their child’s long-term well-being.
But before parents can teach their children self-regulation they must master it themselves, says Shanker.
A quick Google search of Dr. Shanker shows he is often quoted, saying “There’s no such thing as a bad kid.”
And you know what? He’s right.
If you’re interested in reading this book, here’s more information:
How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life by Stuart Shanker
Penguin Press ▪ June 21, 2016▪ 208 pages ▪ $26.00 ▪ ISBN: 978-1-59420-609-2