Supporting those who struggle with self-regulation
Am I selfish? This is not a question that I am comfortable with. If someone said to me ‘Ali, you are selfish’ I would feel hurt.
But should that be the case? I wonder if we are all a little bit selfish at times when we need to be, at times when things are tough. When our base instincts are shouting the loudest.
The dictionary definition varies from:
‘…caring only about what you want or need without any thought for the needs or wishes of other people’ Cambridge University Press
‘Selfish is usually meant to be an insult; someone selfish goes beyond just taking care of themselves, and actively takes from others’ Vocabulary.com
It is often connected with self- interest and self-indulgence.
But I wonder when we see children’s behaviour as seemingly selfish - do we look beyond that behaviour? Do we try to get them to think of others – or do we wonder what is beneath that behaviour?
What we often see as selfishness is only a short step from what every human needs when they are struggling- they need to fight back, they need to run away or shut down from excessive demands.
Those of us who work with children know that selfishness is not sustainable on a daily basis. What children need to develop are the skills to get along with others, become part of a team, to share their skills and resources, time and space with others - something we now call self-regulation.
The journey, shifting your focus from self to others is one of the longest. The journey from being ‘selfish’ thinking only of your self and your needs, to thinking of others and the implications of your actions takes a long time to learn - and, when things are tough can take even longer. It is a journey with many bumps and setbacks- so even when we think we have it sorted, things can get in the way- and mean that we need to focus on ourselves, our own needs at that particular time.
This decision, to be selfish or self-regulated is often out of our hands. Things that happen in our lives, or in the little lives of little people are often what cause these shifts and that is exactly the reason we, as the adults who teach and care about the children, need to take time to reflect, to dive deeper and really understand how we can support those who are struggling with self-regulation.
Supporting those who are struggling with self-regulation?
To find out more do come and join me along with the lovely team at Community Playthings
Affordable and sustainable training
If this date or venue does not work for you, do get in touch to see how I can bring training that meets your needs and, in these tricky times - how it can be affordable and sustainable.
Get in touch today to join me for training and consultancy that is proven to make a real impact for you, your teams and most importantly for your little people - the children who are struggling with self-regulation.