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NAN: Helping Toddlers Regulate Emotions

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Emotional regulation refers to a toddler’s ability to exert control over his emotional responses. According to Dr Carolyn Webster-Stratton, emotional responses occur on three levels; neurophysiological and biochemical, like an increased heart rate in response to anger, behavioral, which could include crying and cognitive, which includes the verbal or written expression of emotions. Not all children express their emotions in the same way, with the same intensity and with the same frequency. 

Children are not born with the ability to regulate their emotions. Emotional regulation is learned. During toddlerhood, children begin to assume more responsibility for regulating their emotions. With the development of language and communication skills toddlers can begin to label their emotions, thoughts and intentions. As toddlers begin to communicate their needs and feelings they learn to regulate their emotions when their needs are met and their feelings are addressed. 

To help toddlers develop emotional regulation, nannies can set consistent limits which breed feelings of security, not take toddler emotional outbursts personally, talk openly about feelings, both theirs, others and the child’s, and help the toddler to label his feelings. Nannies can also model appropriate ways to express feelings. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Helping Toddlers Regulate Emotions