The Importance of Emotional Self-Regulation and Secure Attachments

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“Growth of self-regulation is a cornerstone of early childhood development and is visible in all areas of behavior” (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000) Throughout the course of a person’s life, they will face many situations where self-regulation of the emotions is needed to make decisions that can determine a positive outcome of a given situation. Most adult are able to think about the consequences of their actions before a situation gets out of hand. They have, through experience, the understanding and knowledge that for every action there is a reaction and the decision you make at this given time may affect some other aspect of your life. An example of this would be a scenario where a person is driving and someone cuts them off. The outcome of a crisis situation such as this depends on the action of the person who was cut off. Some adults will react aggressively as in instances of “road rage.” A more mature adult would simply count to ten and continue as if nothing untoward happened. To be faced with this type of experiences is why development of good emotional self-regulation and secure attachments is important for children to learn and important for adults to practice. According to Santrock, children are faced with emotions that range from anger and frustration to joy and excitement that starts in infancy where emotions are rooted in the more primitive area of the brain, the limbic system. As the child grows and learns through experiences such as social referencing, changes in their brain will help in gaining better control of their “mood swings” (Santrock, 2013). In studying child development, self-regulation and secure attachments factor into the child’s overall health, physical and emotional well-being, and cont... ... middle of paper ... ...t, K. (2008, December 29). Borderline personality. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from About.com: http://bpd.about.com/od/glossary/g/emotreg.htm Santrock, J. (2013). Emotional development. In Child Development, An Introduction (14e ed., pp. 281-311). McGraw Hill. Shonkoff, J. P. (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: the science of early childhood development. Free Executive Summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Shonkoff, J., & Phillips, D. (2000). From neurons to neighborhoods: the science of early child development / Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development; Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips, editors. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, c2000 (2002 printing). Tools of the Mind. (2012). Self-Regulation - Tools of the Mind. Retrieved from Tools of the Mind: http://www.toolsofthemind.org/philosophy/self-regulation/

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